Day 16: Iguazú Falls
Today we ventured across the border to the Argentinian side of the falls. It is all the same park, just separated by the river. After breakfast, we met Francisco who was our driver and guide for the day. It took about an hour to get there including stoping in Brazil to let them know we were tourists leaving to see the falls, and a stop in Argentina to let them know that we were tourists coming to see the falls.
Francisco knew the exact route we should take for optimal views, sunlight, and crowds. We thought a Monday in the winter would be a quiet day, but we were wrong — it was a nice day and we crossed paths with a giant group of school kids.
The park has multiple circuits of varying length and elevation. We completed all of the options, allowing us to see the falls from the water level, mid level, and above. We also saw some birds (including a toucan!), capuchin monkeys, capybaras, coatis, and butterflies.
Our first path was the Lower Route (AKA the inferior route) that took us to see the falls from the water level.
After completing the lower circuit, we continued onto the upper circuit (AKA the superior route). As the name implies, we went higher up, allowing us to view the falls from a different perspective, as well as see some new ones.
After finishing the lower and mid routes, we had a quick lunch of empanadas, then took a tram to the Devil’s Throat. Francisco knew exactly where to sit on the tram and where to go when we arrived to get to the overlook first, before the other 200 people on the tram (including 70 kids on an a field trip).
Of the 262 distinct waterfalls in the park, Devil’s Throat is the largest at 262 feet tall and composed of 14 falls. While there is slightly less water today compared to yesterday, the flow is so powerful that you cannot see the bottom due to all the mist.
When we took all the waterfall pictures possible, we walked back to the station and took the tram back to the entrance. We drove back to the hotel, stopping at border patrol again and paying a whole one dollar per tourist fee.
We arrived with plenty of time in the afternoon to relax at the pool and check out the sunset from the Belmond Hotel tower, the highest point on the Brazil side of the park.