2 sides to Iguazu Falls

After leaving behind our beloved Floripa, we arrived in Foz de Iguazu after a lovely 18 hour bus ride with not a lot of room and a lot of traffic on the roads. Due to our delayed arrival our plan of going straight to the falls on the Brazilian side went straight out of the window. So instead we just caught up on some R&R. This left us with only 2 days to see the falls.

The next day we were up early-ish to see the falls from the Brazilian side. We caught the bus to the bus station then changed to wait in the area which is specifically for the bus to Iguazu falls, and it’s pretty hard to miss with its floor to roof sign saying “Iguazu Falls”. Perfect. Tourist-proof.

We jumped on and had a pretty sweaty journey for about 40 minutes until we got off at the Bird Park. This place is a must see if you are on the Brazilian side and is walking distance to the ticket office for Iguazu. We spent about as much time in here as we did at the waterfall as it is a pretty big place, which is very well laid out, has great big enclosures for the animals and it is just pristine. The birds they have are all rescue animals from the amazon and just shows the variety of beautifully bright coloured birds that Brazil has to offer, and it is unfortunatly obvious why they are so heavily trafficked. We saw many different types of parrots that we didn’t even know existed. They were just beautiful.

Beautiful tropical flowers

Beautiful tropical flowers

These guys don't even look real to me

These guys don’t even look real to me

There are also large averies that you can walk through where you get very curious birds coming very close, especially the toucans, and since our stint at the animal sanctuary and our experience with Sam the Toucan, I kind of have a soft spot for them and their curiosity. So we spent some time trying to get some great photographs. Whilst we were doing this, we had one odd looking bird who seemed to like being photographed as whenever a camera was pulled out, there he was with his funny face and scruffy feathers. Ultimute photo-bomber.

We left the Bird Park and walked to the entrance to the Falls, and it was a bit weird, kind of like stepping into Disney. Don’t get me wrong, it was very organised and efficient but also completely Disney-fied. So we bought our tickets, which includes the 12km bus ride to begin the short walk. We got off and started the walk which, again, is pretty fool (tourist) proof. You can’t really deviate from the path and the walk shows the falls from all of the best angles. But you also have food and drink kiosks every 20 metres just incase you can’t survive the next part of the walk without anything sugary or cold. At the end there is a part where you can walk out and over the falls into the mist which is another great angle to see, but not really good for pictures, as you get soaked and will probably break your camera.

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This guy hitched a lift part of the way

This guy hitched a lift part of the way

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The next day we teamed up with 3 other girls from the hostel to tackle the falls from the Argentinian side, which as there was 5 of us, we hired a cab driver for the day, which meant we didn’t need to change buses and run the risk of not getting stamped out of brazil, which apparently can happen! We were all up nice and early, as it took about an hour to get to the Argentinian side of the falls, after doing border procedures etc. To our surprise, we also went back in time as Argentina is officially 1 hour going across a bridge means we are therefore on Buenos Aires time! Which was a huge win for us as we arrived at the park just after opening thanks to an unintentional time travel. As we had heard good things about it, our first mission was to find and book the river trip, which wasn’t too hard given that the ticket office was at the front door as we walked in and the next one would be leaving in 30mins, taking us through some jungle, before belting it up the river, towards the falls and under them!!!

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After getting completely soaked through and taking a shower under the falls, we head off around the various walkways, which lead you to various vantage points and awesome photo opportunities. On the way we walked through lush vegetation and there was certainly a lot more wildlife on this side of the falls compared to Brazil. Including our favourite friends, the Capuchins.

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After spending about 2-3hours walking around, getting drenched by spray from the waterfall and admiring mother nature at its best, we retreated to our ‘driver’ and headed on home. Out of the two sides its hard to say which is best, simply because both offer different things, like different view points and different experiences, but if I was to re-visit just one side, it would have to be the Argentinian side, as it feels more authentic, rustic and charming than the Brazil side.

—ACastling—

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