Nestled within the dense forests of South America, the magnificent Iguazu Falls stands as one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. Spanning the border between Argentina and Brazil, this majestic waterfall system is a testament to the sheer power and beauty of nature.
Two national parks make up the Iguazu National Park: one is in Foz de Iguazu, Brazil, and the other is in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina (Argentina). The odd thing is that the park spans 252,982 hectares, even yet the falls are its only notable feature (67,720 on the Argentine side and 185,262 on the Brazilian side). These falls in Argentina and Brazil were able to garner so much attention that they were almost simultaneously designated as National Parks (1934 in Argentina and 1939 in Brazil). And after a number of years and millions of tourists who were mesmerized by the scenery and the sound of this natural wonder, UNESCO designated them as World Heritage Site in 1984 and reaffirmed them as having Exceptional Universal Value (their preservation should be of global importance) in 2013.
Iguazu Falls: Nature’s Breathtaking Masterpiece
Here is everything that you want to know about Iguazu Falls:
1. UNESCO World Heritage Site:
Iguazu Falls is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most vital facts to be informed of is that Iguazu Falls crosses the Argentine-Brazilian border. The falls make up around 80% of the Argentinian side and 20% of the Brazilian side. Switching sides is rather simple; however, we’ll get into that in more detail later.
2. Size and Scope:
The 275 separate waterfalls make up the 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) wide cascade. The falls are approximately 196 and 270 feet (60 and 82 meters) tall. In essence, they’re quite large! In truth, Iguazu means “large water” in the Guarani/Tupi language. The falls are particularly well-known since they were featured in various Hollywood productions, such as Miami Vice and Indiana Jones, and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
3. Devil’s Throat:
The most iconic and awe-inspiring part of Iguazu Falls is the Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo). It is a U-shaped waterfall that is 260 feet (80 meters) high and 490 feet (150 meters) wide.
4. Legend of the Falls:
Like any outstanding natural feature, Iguazu Falls has a fascinating legend. Long before the Spanish arrived in South America, the Guarani-Tupi people inhabited the area around the Iguazu Falls. They had many different gods, and M’Boi, or the Serpent God, was one of their most revered gods.
A young couple was destined for marriage in one of the communities near the falls. Because of Naipi’s attractiveness, the Serpent God fell in love with her. He insisted that she be sacrificed to him rather than her husband, Taruba. Naipi and Taruba made the decision to flee together out of fear. But when M’Boi pursued them, he created new bends and chasms in the falls. He eventually changed Taruba into a tree and Naipi into a huge stone on the opposite side of the falls so that the lovers would always be apart.
The rainbow that frequently emerges between Taruba’s tree in Brazil and Naipa’s rock in Argentina is thought to represent their love. Beautiful, isn’t it?
5. Biodiversity Hotspot:
The surrounding Iguazu National Park is renowned for its rich biodiversity. It is home to over 2,000 plant species, approximately 400 bird species, and a diverse range of animals, including jaguars, tapirs, and coatis.
6. Situated in Remote Location:
It is situated in the Brazilian state of Paraná on the Brazilian side and the Misiones province in Argentina. The falls are accessible from both countries and once you’re there, you can cross over to the other side. Iguazu Falls is relatively remote from the rest of the areas in the country due to its proximity to the border. Thus, traveling there on vacation could be a little challenging. But wait! One cannot deny that this waterfall is one of the most stunning waterfalls one could have ever seen.
7. Distance from Buenos Aires
Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires are separated by 1,300 kilometers (807 miles), thus they are not particularly close. The good news is that a direct one-way flight between them can be purchased for as little as $40 USD. The distance to the falls is only 10 kilometers from the airport. For about $8 USD, you may take a bus from the airport to the falls. Again, if you’d want, you can travel by overnight bus from Buenos Aires to the falls, but to be really honest, we advise against it.
8. Entry points
The Brazilian side of the falls’ town, Foz do Iguaçu, is one of the two primary entry points. The entrance to the falls is 30 minutes from the city center or 15 minutes from the airport once you’ve arrived in Foz do Iguaçu. You can take a bus or arrange a private shuttle from the airport or the city center to the falls. Alternatively, you can arrange a guided tour to make things simpler (more on the best tours below.)
9. Explore the Argentinian side too
Although the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls provides the best overall vista and is fantastic for photography, you can go considerably closer to the cascades on the Argentinian side. There are numerous boardwalks that follow the waterfalls, and there is a tonne of interesting scenery. You also get to explore more because most of the falls are on the Argentinean side.
10. Carry your passport always
Even if you’re only crossing the border for a few hours, you’ll need to have your passport with you because you’ll require an entry stamp. Private transportation is the best option to cross the border because local buses do not always halt at checks, which could get you into trouble. Using a tour operator also guarantees a speedy and easy border crossing.
11. Breathtaking View year-round
The Iguazu Falls are breathtaking year-round, so there is never a poor time to go. Since the majority of residents choose to visit the falls in January, February, and Easter, these months are highly busy. You can anticipate large crowds during these months. Temperatures and humidity are at their lowest from April to October, however, the falls aren’t at their most magnificent from June onward as the water flow considerably decreases. The water flow is very remarkable during the rainy season, which lasts from December to March, but it’s also possible that you’ll get caught in a downpour, which is not ideal.
12. Try jet boat
A thrilling and exciting way to explore Iguazu Falls is on a jet boat. You will go through the rapids and even under the falling water on this exhilarating journey. It’s an incredible way to go as close to the falls as you can, but if you plan on doing it, remember to pack a change of clothes since you will get soaked! Jet boat tours and jungle safaris can be reserved in advance or on the day you visit the park. You may go off-roading in the neighboring jungle and explore trails close to the falls. You can also jet boat underwater. The entrance fee to the falls is not included in the $92 USD per person price and must be paid separately.
13. Film Location:
Iguazu Falls has been featured in several movies, including “The Mission” (1986) starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons. The falls’ breathtaking beauty has made it a popular choice for filmmakers seeking dramatic natural scenery.
14. Power Generation:
The Itaipu Dam, located near Iguazu Falls, is one of the world’s largest hydroelectric power plants. It provides clean energy to both Brazil and Paraguay and serves as a testament to harnessing the power of the falls in a sustainable manner.
The region surrounding Iguazu Falls is a prime destination for ecotourism. Visitors can participate in various activities such as boat rides, wildlife spotting, and guided hikes, all while learning about the importance of conservation and sustainability.
Read More, Tallest Waterfalls In The World
A visit to Iguazu Falls is not just a journey to witness an extraordinary natural phenomenon; it is a transformative experience that leaves visitors in awe of the power and grandeur of nature. Whether you’re captivated by the thundering falls, mesmerized by the surrounding rainforest, or humbled by the delicate balance of ecosystems, Iguazu Falls offers a glimpse into a world untouched by human hands. It stands as a testament to the magnificence and resilience of our planet and reminds us of our responsibility to protect and cherish these natural wonders.