I know some of you may be wondering, Igua who? No Iguazu darlings. Iguazu is the name of the National Park and town in the Northeastern part of Argentina. It’s city is located in the province of Missions , but referred to by most as Iguazu or Puerto Iguazu. The cateratas ( waterfalls) are the main high light of this small deep green forested city. Iguazu National Park shares a part of itself , split between the two banks of the River Iguazu, with Brazil which is also known as Iguacu. The name Iguazu comes from the local indigenous tribes’ of Guani and Tupi , Y meaning water, and uasu meaning Big. And Big it is. The national park is so huge that it covers 259.9 square miles. That’s a lot of ground to cover. There are roughly 275 waterfalls that make up the Cataracts. It is mind-blowing and amazing.
Iguazu Falls is Much larger than Niagra, and Wider than Victoria Falls. It was definitely someplace I couldn’t wait to visit. But how to get there?
Aerolineas Argentina Airlines, has many flights offered daily from AEP Domestic Airport in Buenos Aires to Iguazu Misiones. The flight is a 90 minute hop skip and a jump. For the Argentinean side, you arrive at Puerto Iguazu Airport. The flight over is amazing . Once you start entering into the forested section of the country it becomes evident how beautiful, breathtaking, and absolutely green this side of the country is.
At the airport, there are Remise ( Car hires) available to take you to your hotel. It cost roughly 400 Pesos ( for me) to get to my hotel at the Mercure Iguazu Hotel. It takes about 25 minutes to reach the town / hotels from the airport.
I left Buenos Aires in the morning, ( Buenos Aires. Its never enough.) Sad to leave as I was just getting used to living in the city, but I knew adventures await. AEP airport is small and chaotic. Yet, through all that chaos, things moved so smoothly. Our flight almost didn’t land there. The pilot was scared to land because of low visibility. I know for me I was thinking ” hello, I can see the ground and the runway clearly” but I’m not the captain. So we circled around about 3 times , and if we didn’t make this last attempt, we would return back to Buenos Aires, and I would be one sour patch kid.
Well needless to say , we landed and I was so happy and so excited for my 2 night adventure.
I stayed at the drop dead gorgeous Mercure Iguazu Iru Hotel. This hotel is just absolutely stunning. My room, was nestled right in the jungle. and on that first night , I opened up all the windows with the screens still on, and listened to the jungle while I slept. It was magical. The location is most excellent and the rooms are absolutely stunning. You can read all about my review and time spent at this gorgeous establishment here: Hotel Mercure Iguazu Iru Review
I decided to just relax, chill, and read a bit today and tonight in preparation for an early start the next day. I hung out at the hotel, enjoying the beautiful view into the jungle, listening to all the activity, and reminiscing about my amazing time In Buenos Aires.
The next morning I was up bright and early. 6 am came too late, I was up at 5. The jungle noises started to settle down, as the nocturnal inhabitants prepare for bed. I got ready:
What to wear:
Because of a huge mosquito problem, in any jungle, and the outbreak of the Zika virus and the not to often mentioned, yet very terrible problem they have with Dengue and Yellow Fever ( I got a shot for yellow fever) I layered very well. Long light colored ugly actually, cargo pants, Long sleeve thin cotton henley with collar ( light colors again) Light colored short sleeve t-shirt with a higher neck collar, white rain jacket, and comfortable tennis shoes with truncation. But the most important thing I brought with me was my 99% DEET. I know I hate that stuff too, but I’d hate being sick or even dying more.
Fortunately however, the weather was too cool ( 60 Degrees F) and there were ZERO mosquitos. Ok at least I was safe.
At 7:30 I hired a Remise to take me to the falls. I wanted to be there exactly when the park opens, as I had read that it could take hours upon hours to see the park ( if you really wanted to) and I did. Actually it took me 7 hours of power walking in the park to see it almost all ( the falls that is).
Entrance Fee: The entrance fee for the park is $330 pesos or roughly $23 USD. You get a nice big map and now its time to plan which section to see first.
Planning your time:
I didn’t have the best plan, but it surely worked. Here’s what I did.
I decided to start at the Superior Falls, or the high falls. I left to go and walk on the ” Green Trail” but the minute I ended the forested section there was a sign that said: “Stick to the Path there are dangerous animals here” Freaked out I booked it out of there so quick and headed to the Free trains they have that take you to different parts of the park. On my train were a bunch of cute older ladies and gentlemen from Brazil who were visiting. They were a hoot.
We landed up by the Superior Falls trails or the ” Red Line” . It’s such an easy park to navigate as they have done such an amazing job at creating perfect treks that you can do alone. There were a few other people besides myself and the lovely older generation and they were dressed to do some massive trekking. The Red line was amazing and my first glimpse into the deep jungle forest and of the majestic falls.
My first glimpse even at the smallest of Falls was breathtaking, I started to cry and scream with joy at the mere sight of it. I just can’t put into words how awe-inspiring it is to see, hear, and feel the thunder of the falls cascading down and hitting the rocks below, or the mists the gentle kisses your face . I’m here, I’m now truly here..and its only the beginning. You walk along many different paths on planks that hover over little rivers and lakes and which takes you out to amazing vantage points. The wildlife so far was minimal, but the parts and vultures that were flying all around made it seem just so Jungle Book to me. I was very happy .
That was just phenomenal. After I was done with the Red Line, I decided to go al the way up to the Devil’s Throat. Which is a culmination of many different waterfalls all falling into one. It is really a sight to behold and a very very very long walk on planks over water to get there. I took the train again, but the lines were enormous. The Trains come every 20 – 30 minutes so waiting can be bothersome. But not to worry, you have entertainment. The local raccoon like animals called Coatis are there to steel your food and go into your bags. I was initially afraid of them as their bites are vicious, but they are very gentle and loving, just leave them alone and you’ll be fine. Don’t offer food, don’t try to pet them just hide your food and leave them alone… Trust me… I saw some things hahahahah
The Devil’s Throat was amazing, and you can definitely feel the power of mother natures water here. It is load, wet, and oh so beautiful.
After that amazing experience with the Devil’s throat , hunger for the best of me. It’s already been about 4 hours. Yes where did the time go? I decided to make my way to the inferior falls (lower falls) area and have lunch there.
It was busy. Since the Sheraton Hotel , the only accommodation that is actually in the national park is there , the first stop for the residents are the inferior falls and food stop area But that is not the only “customers” around there. More coatis and now a black faced monkey who was very busy eyeing out people to see whom he’ll be able to hold up at teeth point and mug and rib the food from their hands. As adorable as he seemed ,he was vicious. He kept digging in this pole going crazy until he pulled out a lizard , bashed it’s head on the pole several times, but off its head and through the carcus at the spectators pretty much saying don’t F’ck with me fellas.
The food options aren’t the greatest. There’s the typical sandwiches and empenadas to which I chose the later. After I got my food I heard screams and se said black faces monkey attack a lady for her food. He won. This older lady was about to walk out with her food and I pulled her back in. She gave me the evil eye and then I pointed. Victim two of the monkey was just about to get it big time. Thank full the lady smiled. Mmhmmmmm.
Filled but not satisfied , which is good as I was hoping to loose some kilos today 😉
I left for the very steep and long inferior falls trail.
I think luck was definitely on my side today, because the inferior falls in my opinion are the best views out there as you are close and personal to them and can see and bask in its Magesty.
Ahhhhh how amazing is that ? And I’m sure you are absolutely aware that these pictures and videos do absolutely nothing for what you’ll see and experience in person right ?
Completely delighted and so filled with love and happiness , I slowly made my way back trekking through The jungle that I was initially so afraid of enjoying the beauty of nature and enjoying new wildlife in their natural habitat I also enjoyed watching the native people of this region perform and sing their local tunes and reminded me of my own people back home in Hawaii. My time in Iguazu national Park had come to end , I skipped the cheesy shopping and decided to head back to my hotel to filter out and think about all that I’ve just seen and experienced
I did try to visit a casino nearby but was greatly dissapointed. So instead I headed back to the hotel yet again , took an amazing bubble bath in my jet whirlpool tub and got ready for my last dinner at he hotels restaurant. Tried a local fresh water dish called Sorbi and it was surprisingly delicious.
Daylight broke and I was finally on my way to the airport the next day.
Check in was smooth , and I enjoyed a few cigarettes before heading past the tiny security line. About a half hour later I was approached by one of the police officers. She wanted me to follow her. ? What does? Anyway of course I complied with zero drama as I’m not in my own country and who knows what they would do to me. My mind was racing. Did someone stash something into luggage without me knowing she searched my bag thoroughly and of course there was nothing despite her trying so hard to find something. She was really trying to be a huge C word lol. She apologized later but not without leaving me with some mental scars of paranoia that followed me throughout the rest of my entire trip
To add salt to my wound , as I sat in seat 1a the flight attendant came to me and said that the police will Need lot search my bags. I said AGAIN? I was shaking thinking for sure she planted something in me this time. The door finally closed and I asked the flight attendant if everything was ok and he said yes. They already checked earlier. Yes I know that OMG just get me the hell out of here please. Once we were airborn I exhaled a sigh of relief and couldn’t wait to get to Mendoza. As scary as that whole ordeal was It made for a fabulous story and did nothing to deface the most amazing time I had visiting the falls. Iguazu I ❤️ you