28.01.2013 - 29.01.2013 36 °C
28th January – Today we said farewell to Uruguay and were ready for a day of travel. It was sad to leave after our fleeting visit. Had we known how lovely it was we would have arranged a longer stay. It is certainly not a third world country. The people were really friendly and it felt safe. So if ever you are in South America, make sure you put Uruguay on your list. We headed off to the very modern Montevideo airport for our flight back to Buenos Aires. We flew Aerolineas Argentinas for the first time. Nice plane with only 2 seats on each side of the plane, this made it quite spacious and we even got a snack box with a fruit box, crackers, chocolate biscuit and muesli bar. This was only a 45 minute flight. We did however have to go back through immigration and customs (more stamps in our passports), pick up our bags and then book in for our flight to Iguazu Falls. This is something that we have been excited about for ages. The flight to Iguazu Falls took 1 hour and 35 minutes and we got another snack box although this time there were 3 seats on each side and it felt a bit more cramped. The plane even flew over the falls so that we could see it from the air. It was spectacular even though we were quite high up in the air. At the bottom of the picture you can even see the walkway that goes out of the river to the falls.
We arrived at our hotel the “La Aldea de la Selva (which was again booked by the argentinian travel company). It backs on the jungle and all the materials used to make the lodge have been made by local and regional manpower. The dining room is terrific all of the lights are suspended from tree roots and all of the chairs are made from tree branches. They are very unusual. To get to our room we walk along paths through the jungle.
29th January – Today we visited the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls. Wow is all you can say really. It was absolutely spectacular. I have seen Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls but this was even better. Shane said "Santa Maria holy mother".
Iguazu means big water. These falls are located where the Iguazu River tumbles over the edge of the Parana Plateau 23 kilometres upriver from the Iguazu's confluence with the Parana River. Numerous islands along the 2.7-kilometre-long edge divide the falls into numerous separate waterfalls and cataracts, varying between 60 to 82 metres high. The number of these smaller waterfalls fluctuates from 150 to 300, depending on the water level. About half of the river's flow falls into a long and narrow chasm called the Devil's Throat. The Devil's Throat is U-shaped, 82 metres high, 150 m wide, and 700 m long. We headed off at 7.30 this morning for the entrance to the national park. There, there was a sign stating it is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
Most of the visitors to Iguazu Falls were heading straight to the main attraction “Garganta del Diablo” the devils throat, so we headed off away from the rush and walked the upper trail where the walk ways take you along the upper lip of the falls to visit the “two sisters” waterfall followed by the beautiful Cataratas Falls.
We then headed along the lower trail where there were panoramic views of the Cataratas Falls and the surrounding vegetation. You can see a boat at the bottom of the falls. We were doing that trip at midday.
By the time we reached there it had become very hot and humid. We were dying to cool off and it wouldn’t be long before we had that opportunity as we took a high powered boat onto the water and got totally wet. The boat took us right under some of the waterfalls. It was fantastic. We also got a good look at the devils throat from the water.
Upon disembarking the boat we climbed up 200 metres of steps to be met by an open vehicle that took us for a ride through the jungle. We then stopped for lunch. It was important to watch out while having lunch for a creature called a coati. It is a member of the racoon family and they have become used to visitors and try to eat your lunch. They have really sharp claws.
We then headed for the main feature of Iguazu Falls – the devils throat. To get to the walk ways you need to catch a little train, it was actually good to be off our feet. The walk ways cross the upper river from island to island to reach the viewing platform. The amount of water going over the falls was unbelievable.
We could not believe the number of different butterflys and birds flying around, including lots of vultures.
By the time we had stood in awe of this amazing place it was time to head back, so we got back on the train. Unfortunately it broke down half way back and we ended up having to walk back to the entrance in the heat, it didn’t matter though as we had had such a great day. It was a long day as we arrived back at the hotel at 6pm. Best day so far. We will be heading off tomorrow but will be back in a few weeks time to visit the Brazilian side of the falls.