Iguazu Falls...wonder of the world
I think this photo looks like a postcard---it isn't....I got lucky with timing and light :) Iguazu Falls isn't one set of falls, it is more than 275 falls all located in one area on the border between Argentina and Brazil. I was shocked to see that there is only 1 non-stop flight per day to Iguazu from Rio and it is at a terrible time (late at night). Since the falls were one of the reasons I made the trip, I did the 1-stop flight. I arrived to Iguazu (the Brazilian side since I left from Rio) and was met by my driver. Most the hotels on the Brazilian (and Argentinian side) are outside of the park and you need to drive to get to the park. At the welcome center, you purchase an entry ticket and board a bus. Private cars are not allowed to drive in the park. I was staying at the one hotel in the park (on the Brazilian side). The Belmond Cataratas is a beautiful, historic building (that is pink) and guests can be driven through the park in a private car on arrival and departure. The hotel is literally steps from the falls and you can hear them when you arrive. The main perk of staying here is that you can experience the falls once the park closes to visitors---you are only sharing the large national park with the guests staying at Belmond. That exclusive access makes a huge difference!
I went to the falls as soon as I arrived---around noon----and there were people everywhere. The observation walkway was one big traffic jam and you had to take a photo quickly in between people walking. Not very peaceful at all. I went back again that evening and saw more lizards than people. My second morning was even better---I had the park to myself for probably 15 minutes and only saw maybe 8 or 9 people in total. I will remember that experience and that tranquility forever. That is how I got the photo above (and others) with so few people in them. In the slideshow below, you see if with the typical crowds.
Iguazu Falls isn’t one big waterfall---like I mentioned it is up to 275 separate waterfalls that change by the season. I found they changed even from morning to night, depending on how much rain fell at the falls or upstream. The whole Iguazu Falls area is large and really is spectacular. I love being in nature and this location did not disappoint. I stayed 2 nights and I think that was probably enough---one more night, however, would have given me a chance to visit the Argentinian side or go on an excursion.
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Tracey is the owner of Unraveled Travel and has traveled to every continent (thanks to the recent visit to Antarctica!