The time I went to Iguazu Falls and OMG
I arrive in Puerto Iguazu after a 18 h bus ride feeling surprisingly refreshed and ready to do stuff. Argentina sure knows how to play the bus game.160 degree reclining seats as wide as first-class plane seats, edible food and wine. I start walking towards the main street and pop in one of the hostels. I forget about all the hostelling rules – ask to see the room first, check the bathrooms, ask about breakfast, check wi-fi connection, negotiate price – and tell the guy I’ll take one of the dorm beds for a couple of nights. Ended up having a 4 bed dorm all for myself for the next 3 nights for the fabulous price of 230 pesos per night. Got lucky this time, I know.
For some reason I decided it’s too late to go to the waterfalls today and decide to leave it for the next day as I want to take it easy and not rush my visit. I do go to one of the other interesting things to check out in the city – the Tres Fronteras viewpoint. That’s pretty cool, I’d recommend it at sunset if you don’t mind walking back in the dark. You’re gonna be on Argentinian soil as you look at Paraguay and Brasil in the same time. Pam pam!
You know what’s one of the joys of traveling? You meet some of the most random people you’ll never see again. So in the evening I join this table of people hanging out in the hostel common area thinking they’re a bunch of travelers who don’t know each other. 5 min in I find out they’re all family traveling together for a bit before heading to Santiago, Chile for the wedding of one of them. At this point I was halfway though my gin and tonic and one of them knew so much about Romania it actually felt rude to leave. A cool bunch they were – mom and dad are 80 years old, super active and passionate about going places.Their grown-up kids are basically amateur athletes kicking ass in all sorts of marathons, coast to coast triathlons and mountain climbing and their grand-kids are a mix of everything. All super proud of their Kiwi roots and very engaged to tell me why their country is the best country.
But you know, karma or something, because after I go bed early enough to make it an early morning I wake up at 6 am to a pouring rain that never stopped throughout the day. A day of writing and chilling it is.
Day number three comes swinging and yaaaas, I wake up to a light blue sky, a few clouds and an excited Mada ready to check out the Argentinian side of the Iguazu falls. It’s a simple bus ride there and a very expensive entrance (500 pesos) to go in. But man, is it pretty. There’s 2 main circuits – the superior and the inferior one and a train ride to the view point to the Devil’s Throat. It basically took me all day but I really took my time.
I loved the fact that you’re casually walking through the rain forest and the next moment you’re gasping for air because the view is so overwhelming. Visiting the Argentinian side gets you upfront and personal with the waterfalls and I was lucky enough to not have a lot of crowds around. It’s really very impressive. But if you want an extra kick, do the Aventura nautica boat trip. They basically put you on boat and take you so close to the waterfalls you get completely soaked. I mean yes, I paid 450 pesos to get wet and cold (don’t even go there), but the thrill is completely worth it. Maybe you’ll be smarter than me and bring a rain poncho or a rain jacket. If not, at least bring a change of clothes.
There’s also a little charming train that will transport you from one station to the other. A nicer ride than the double-deck buses on the Brazilian side of the falls, enjoy it.
Keep the last bit, the train ride to the Devil’s Throat for the last, the afternoon sun is gorgeous on this mind-blowing view. I couldn’t get a decent photo with me in it, this was where it got very busy very soon. The whole thing is very goosebumpy, I’m kinda thankful I got tired cause I found it so hard to leave, the guards almost kicked us out.
Here’s a wrap-up of how to prep for your Iguazu Falls trip, the Argentinian side:
- Pack lunch and food, the food courts are expensive and busy
- Get a water bottle, there are several spots where you can refill in the park
- Pack a rain poncho and/or a change of clothes
- Do the Aventura nautica, it’s expensive and touristy, but very very awesome
- Make sure you have plenty of battery and space on your camera/phone
- Comfy shoes, I’ve seen quite a bit of people doing the trails in flip-flops but I’d say take sports shoes
- Try to be at the falls before 10 am to beat the crowds that all want to check out the Iguazu Falls
- Get a map at the visit center once you arrive
I’m adjusting to the Argentinian currency so here’s a bit of a reference point: 1 euro is 16 peso, 10 euros is 160 pesos and so on.
And have fun, it’s a wonderful place to be in! I liked it so much I went back a second time to see the Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side.