The Amazing Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil
If you are planning a trip to South America and you are not quite sure what landmarks to visit during your stay, we’re going to tell you right now that there is but one that trumps all others in matters of sheer size, beauty and significance: the Iguazu Falls. These waterfalls can be found on the Iguazi River, at the border between Argentina and Brazil, in a province called Misiones. This current UNESCO World Heritage Site was “discovered” by a Spanish conquistador named Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541. Apart from representing a very important tourist attraction, this exquisite landmark also helps satisfy nearly 40% of Argentine and Brazil’s electricity needs by powering the large Itaipu hydroelectric power plant built in 1991.
The Iguazu Falls are four times wider than the Niagara Falls and much taller. The falls were created as a result to a massive volcanic eruption, and they are actually divided into several waterfalls, the most important and well known being the so-called Devil’s Throat, which includes a total of fourteen falls that drop down 350 feet in a majestic display of force.
Views of Devil’s Throat are best seen from the Brazilian side, while the Argentine side features a series of catwalks that allows tourists to enjoy a closer view. There are also helicopter rides available from the Brazilian side, but if you’re sightseeing from Argentina, you can always opt for a boat ride. Argentina actually banned the use of helicopters in the area, since these are believed to harm the environment and disturb the ecosystem.
We advise you to visit the falls during fall or spring, since in the summer you might find the overall atmosphere much too humid and hot, while in winter the water levels drop considerably. Also, make sure to plan your trip thoroughly and save some time for visiting the Iguazú National Park, which boasts incredible fauna including pumas, jaguars, toucans and parrots as well as banded-tailed coatis and multiple species of butterflies. Tourists are also able to take part in special moonlight tours that allow them to view this incredible landmark from a completely different perspective.
As some of the most spectacular, majestic and impressive waterfalls in the world, the Iguazu Falls are definitely worth a personal visit.