At an incredible 80m high and 30km wide, Iguazu Falls, are higher than Niagara, wider than Victoria and arguably more striking than either. Made up of 275 individual cascades, the mind-blowing natural attraction straddles the Brazil-Argentina border, with the most impressive of the falls the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) marking the frontier.
And impressive it is. The rising mists thrown out by the falls mixed with the intense sunlight cause a series of rainbows to appear above the gushing waters.
As the park is flanked by subtropical rainforest you may spot a Capuchin monkey swing from branch to branch or catch a glimpse of a brightly-coloured toucan soar overhead as you make your way around. The falls have even created their own microclimate resulting in tens of thousands of colourful butterflies swarming the area.
The falls are not equally split between the two countries. Argentina’s Parque Nacional Iguazu boasts a far larger number of cascades than Brazil’s Parque Nacional do Iguaçu but it is tricky to decide which is the most impressive.
From Brazil, you can soak up the panoramic view of all the falls, marvelling at the sheer grandeur while boats tours on the Argentinian side allow you to come face-to-face with the force of the thundering water and walk over the Devil’s Throat (via a suspended pathway). The way around this is to visit both- and if you’ve a few days in the area this is entirely possible.
Classed a UNESCO World Heritage site in the mid-1980s, Iguazu, like most tourist sites, has become more and more commercialised. Orange speed boats dot the waters at the base of the falls as they transport tourists from pool to pool while photographers try to entice visitors to part with their cash and have a souvenir photo taken. But despite this, Iguazu (meaning great water in Guaraní) remains an awe-inspiring must-see for those visiting Latin America which truly lives up to its name.
Have you visited the falls? What did you think? Which side did you think was best? Share your thoughts below…