The legend has it that the Serpent God created Iguazu Falls out of jealousy for his beloved Naipi, who was about to marry a warrior from a neighbouring tribe whom she was madly in love with. The river where the lovers were supposed to meet spilled over the cracked earth and the two got separated forever. Today the border between the countries is not an obstacle, so why not cross it and see both sides?
Iguazu Falls are truly one of the most majestic natural wonders of the world. Yes, you might have visited some other impressive waterfalls before but trust me, nothing compares to this at all. The falls can be reached from two main towns – Puerto Iguazú in Argentina and Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil. As the falls form a natural border between the two countries there stands a question: which side is better? I visited both and here is my verdict.
The Brazilian side
Stand on the top of the Devil’s Throat
The waterfalls vary in height between 60m (200 ft) to 82m (269 ft), making Iguazu Falls taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide. Our first encounter with Iguazu was from the very top of this giant – the Devil’s Throat waterfall.
Stroll down the elevated walkway near the edge of the Devil’s Throat and position yourself right near the edge to feel the full force of this thundering beast.
Take a helicopter ride above the waterfalls
The Brazilians truly know how to entertain, don’t they? On this side you can take an optional flight above the Iguazu Falls. Spanning over 2.7 kilometres (1.7 mi), they are made of 275 waterfalls or, as they are called here, cataracts. They are arranged in a way that resembles the letter ‘J’. The Brazilian territory has around 20% of the drops, whereas the Argentinian side makes up for almost 80% of the falls. From a helicopter you will see it all.
Visit Parque des Aves – The Park of Birds
Heard about the bright yellow toucans? Vibrant Ara parrots? These guys (plus about 500 other species) play in the open, blending with the bright colours of the tropical rainforest. Butterflies in all colour combinations – imaginable and unimaginable – are flying around in huge groups and land on your shoulders to chill for a while. It really is an unforgettable experience.
The Argentinian side
Shower under the Devil’s Throat waterfalls on a speedboat
On the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls, white water rafting boats will take you straight under the heaviest waterfalls for a quick rinse. Imagine these heavy water streams pouring down with you right in the middle – wet but very wild!
Get a bus tour of a tropical rainforest
Whether you are a fan of flora, or fauna, or neither – guaranteed this one will impress you. 2,000 plant species, about 400 bird species, 80 types of mammals and countless insects and invertebrate species all call the rainforest here home.
So which side did my friends and I like better? We all agreed on both, actually! There is a lot of debate going on, but having seen the two, I will definitely recommend visiting both sides.