8 February 2020
The geography of Iguazú Falls
The Iguazú Falls are a spectacular natural phenomenon on the frontier between Argentina and Brazil. The falls are by no means the highest in the world, nor is the curtain of the Devil’s Throat the widest, but the force, intensity and extraordinary beauty of Iguazú makes it a top attraction for both countries.
Iguazú Falls are an escarpment of 275 distinct drops. The image of the bird’s eye view of the falls shows the wide and calm Iguazú River dropping over the escarpment at various places, with the river then narrowing into strong rapids after the falls. One of the features of the falls is therefore how the various drops are stretched out across escarpments and terraces creating a watery wonderland of viewing points, boardwalks and remote corners.
Adventures at Iguazú Falls
The order in which the falls are viewed is thought through a lot by many people. We started with a helicopter ride for an overview (appreciating the vast sub-tropical forest surrounding the falls and river system), followed by a walk on the Brazil side of the river. This enabled us to experience the powerful intensity of the falls up close – and then the next day we followed up with a visit to the Argentinian side that shows the full perspective of Iguazú. In Argentina, walkways to the Devil’s Throat and the “Paseo Superior” were both tremendous but very popular. The “Paseo Inferior” was quieter and provided a dazzling view of the falls looking up, rather than down. Speedboating into the falls was also a thrill and a good laugh.
Bird watching at Parque das Aves
The Parque das Aves is a bird sanctuary at Iguazú, opposite the entry to the falls in Brazil. This was one of the best bird sanctuaries we have experienced, with beautiful and sensitively arranged settings. The rainforest path took us through a lagoon of Chilean Flamingoes and on to toucans nestling in pairs, parakeets, owls and the curious harpy eagle. There were three highlights: walking up close along a wall of macaws, (which included the fabulous Hyacinth Macaw); parrots playing under a sprinkler; and rainforest butterflies accompanied by hummingbirds.