400 days to travel the world…only stopping to eat, drink, and everything in-between.

Iguazu Falls

Day 372 of 400: Relaxing day in Iguazu, Argentina

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Well there isn’t a whole lot to write about for today…we had a totally LAZY day!! After sleeping in and lounging around all morning, we took the bus to the center of town to find lunch.

We found a place and because it was so hot…sat inside instead of on the patio. We ordered a classic Argentinian appetizer which consisted of various fried foods and then we had steak and a bottle of wine (not exactly our healthiest meal).

Lunch was good, and then we walked around town afterwards hopefully burning a couple of calories before sinking right back into our lazy day at the hotel. We worked on the computer and just relaxed after the past two days of hiking in extreme heat.

Tomorrow we fly into Mendoza and are staying at a little B&B on a vineyard in the countryside!

Day 371 of 400: Iguazu Falls (day 2 of 2) – Argentina

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Our day started at the Sendero Macuco trail in the Iguazu Falls park. It was away from the crowds and was a dirt path through the rain forest…leading to of course a waterfall. The trail was pretty quiet and was much more like what we thought all of Iguazu would be. We saw a few random things like coatis (relative of the raccoon), birds, butterfly, lizard and huge spiders with their webs literally connecting the trees on both sides of the trail.

We were prepared today with plenty of water but again the heat was sweltering. The trail was about 2.2 miles one way and when we arrived…we heard the splashing of water and the gentle mumble of people at the waterfall. Giff quickly took off his flip-flops and jumped into the water climbing over the rocks and onto another pile of rocks where the water was free-falling off the cliff. There was a big handful of other people also soaking in the water but moved over a bit so he could have his turn directly under the water stream while I took pictures and watched our stuff.

We stayed for a bit and then continued our hike through the lush forest up the wooden stairs and over the little wooden bridge to the top of the waterfall we were just sitting by and took a picture. This park does a good job of really getting the walkways close to the waterfalls and at all angles. After pictures, we turned around and took the path back the 2.2 miles we had just hiked. Once we arrived to the main area, we found a little store and sat at a table guzzling water and eating some almonds to re-energize ourselves…there was one more major sight to see.

A few steps away from our little rest area was a train…the train took people from this side of the park all the way up to the opposite and much higher side of Iguazu Falls to a trail called, Gargantua del Diablo or Devil’s Throat.

We took the next 10 minute train ride through the forest and were let off at the top where we began our walk to one of the most breathtaking backdrops in the world. We walked on the catwalk over the water at the very top of the waterfalls where it just simply looked like a huge lake. We saw big fish swimming below and although the sun was beating down on us and there were people everywhere, the anticipation was building as to what exactly is this Devil’s Throat?

The walk wasn’t too long, maybe 20 minutes or so and then we started hearing the roar of the water before we could see it. Finally we stepped onto the viewpoint deck and saw several falls dropping 350 feet below. We could feel the spray and there was about a 100 ft cloud of mist surrounding the falls…the water was so powerful. Add the rainbow which was shooting across a few of the falls to that and it made for a truly amazing experience. This is why they call it one of the wonders of the world…words can’t really do it justice, you have to go see it and feel it for yourself. Iguazu is higher than Niagara Falls and double the width, it was created by a volcanic eruption that left a crack in the earth and it is one beautiful crack!

We spent lots of time just watching the water fall almost in slow motion to the river below. Giff spread the remainder of his dad’s ashes that we had brought with us on our 400 day trip around the world. Those ashes have been spread in some of the most amazing parts of the world that Giff and I have been lucky enough to experience and see for ourselves. What an amazing experience…

After taking tons of pictures and embracing the magical scenery, we walked back to the mini train station and took it back, and then walked to the main entrance…we were officially finished exploring Iguazu Falls. It was a little more touristy than we would have liked…we had imagined more of a rustic feel but so many people were coming from around the world to see the waterfalls, you can’t really blame them for making it a bit more structured. We did decide only 2 days are needed to visit the park comfortably, the four days we planned were definitely too many.

Since we had been out all day, we took the bus back to our hotel and ordered some gross food but were able to just relax in our room for the evening. How many world wonders have we seen now…?

Day 370 of 400: Iguazu Falls (day 1 of 2) – Argentina

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It was about 100 degrees with zero breeze today…as in sweat beads dripping off of us as we simply stood outside waiting for the public bus to take us from the hotel to Iguazu Falls.

The bus stop was right in front of our hotel and came by regularly, so after a completely nasty breakfast buffet at the pretty bad hotel, we caught the bus. We grabbed one of the few seats that were left and rode the bus the 20 minutes or so to the Iguazu Falls entrance.

After paying for our tickets and getting a map of the park…we asked for a suggested itinerary on what to visit today and tomorrow, they said to start on the green trail. The map showed many different trails leading to many falls. We walked down the wide paved sidewalks taking pictures of the trail signs and then saw our turn for the green trail. It was still a paved walkway which was surprising to us…we had pictured Iguazu Falls more in the middle of the jungle on dirt paths, but everything so far seemed very tourist friendly with paved walkways, clear signs and stores selling their trinkets along the way.

One of the first signs we saw walking down the green trail stated to be careful of dangerous animals…minutes after, we saw Coatis’s walking quite comfortably in the bushes and crossing the sidewalk. They looked similar to a very large possum but had huge claws and the signs said they do bite. We stopped to take pictures of them and then watched one of them grab a bag of chips out of the hands of a tourist…obviously they were hungry.

As we kept walking, our trail ran into other trails and we took the “lower trail” and saw our first massive waterfall in the park…it was pretty far away but was fun to see what we were walking towards. As we continued walking in the heat…we saw many other waterfalls and stopped to take it all in…we got some beautiful pictures.

The numerous waterfalls were rushing down the cliff walls into the river and spread over about 1.7miles varying between 197 to 269 feet high. There were about 150-300 smaller falls throughout the park depending on the water levels throughout the year. We have been impressed by a single waterfall in a place like Hawaii cascading down the mountain…now as we looked at the panoramic view…there were just tons of them one right next to each other falling effortlessly to the river.

As we continued walking around in the stifling heat, I realized I hadn’t had enough water and began over-heating, it was so hot that just an easy paced walk was tiring. We saw a women laying on the ground with people around her as well..clearly needing water! We quickly chugged the water we had adding a hydration pill to it and then started looking for more.

We walked through the current trail which merged into a point where we could now take the “upper” trail and found ourselves on top of the waterfalls watching them rush down below. It was beautiful and Giff decided to sprinkle some of his dad’s ashes into the water. The paths had led us below, on top and between various falls which gave us all kinds of different view points throughout the park.

We took our time on the various walks and enjoyed the falls before getting back towards the entrance. We did see a lot of the trails and falls from this side of Iguazu (the falls sit on the border of Argentina and Brazil) but still have a couple trails to explore tomorrow including what is said to be the most spectacular…”devil’s throat”.

We were hot and sweaty and had worked up quite an appetite walking around all day. We caught the public bus and took it past our hotel to the village of Iguazu. It was a small town filled with restaurants and little shops. We found a Steakhouse and ordered a bottle of refreshing chardonnay with our steak and salad. We sat and enjoyed our dinner after our long day of exploring one of the seven wonders of the world!