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Argentina's Beauty In The Iguazu Falls

By Sean Mahon

Posted: 10th February 2015 15:44

The sheer power of the Iguazu Falls is hard to describe unless you’ve been there for yourself. You can explore the walkways and surroundings for hours, or simply become entranced by the falling water itself. This series of 275 waterfalls, situated in the jungle between Argentina and Brazil, is actually wider and taller than the Niagara Falls in North America. The Iguazu Falls are considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in many recent polls.

The falls became known outside of South America when Spaniard Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca discovered them in 1541. Since then, they have enchanted travellers from all over and have even been featured in several Hollywood films including Moonraker and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The falls themselves are mesmerising but the trails are also beautifully majestic. They includes parts of the Argentine Rainforest, and wildlife ranges from hundreds of butterflies to toucans, monitors, monkeys and jaguars, as well as gigantic catfish and crocodiles in the two-levelled Iguazu River. Mischievous racoon-like coatis are also very common, though keep your distance, as these may seem friendly but will bite.    

Situated in an extremely hot and humid jungle, it is advised that visitors come to the site in spring or autumn to avoid the summer heat and tropical storms. During winter the water levels actually drop considerably too.  In terms of travel, there are no international flights directly here, but connections from Rio, São Pauloand Buenos Aires are common. Hotels, hostels and lodges in and around the Ignazu National Park also mean visitors can explore for more than one day.  There is plenty to see too, so at least two days is advised. The largest waterfall is named the Devil’s Throat and is around 900 metres high.

Legend has it that the falls were created when an ancient god tried to marry a beautiful young girl named Naipí but she fled. Escaping down the Iguazu River with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoethe girl was stopped when the lovesick god split the river onto two levels, forming the falls and condemning her to fall forever.