An Insider’s Guide to Iguazu Falls
As the legend of Iguazu Falls goes, a god fell in love with a local girl, who shunned him and fled with her true love in a canoe. The enraged god then divided the water into an upper and lower river, condemning the lovers to plummet there forever. It’s a tale befitting the romance and drama of one of the mightiest falls on earth.
Set within the backdrop of Iguazu National Park in Argentina and its sister park Iguaçu in Brazil, Iguazu Falls draws visitors from around the world. As it swirls its way along, forming the border of the two countries, the Iguazu River drops nearly 263 feet to create a plummeting chasm. Either side offers its own, entirely different panorama. With A&K Latin America travel, you can see both vantage points in all their glory.
Above the Devil’s Gorge
Experiencing luxury travel in Argentina is best capped with a visit to U-shaped waterfall, Devil’s Throat (Devil’s Gorge). Standing at nearly 500 feet across and 269 feet high when the volume of its raging, brick-red water increases. But when the water level is normal, an incredible 275 falls can be viewed from the same locale. “Our guests approach Devil’s Throat by train,” says Veronica Curtis of A&K Argentina. “It’s an 18-minute ride that brings us to the catwalks of the upper level on the Argentine side.”
A stroll along the catwalks is approximately three quarters of a mile, traverses the islands of the delta, and leads to the main balcony on Devil’s Gorge. “The view from Devil’s George is my — and most guests’ — favorite aspect of the falls,” says Diana Wilson, a manager with A&K Argentina. “People sometimes think ‘Why go there? It’s just a lot of water,’” Veronica admits. “But then they see it. The colors are like amber jewels. The falls look different at every hour of the day, and in every season.” But what stays the same, she says, is the thundering power. “The sheer power from all that water — no one can ever tire of it.”
Brazil or Argentina?
So, the traveller may ask, which country affords the best experience of the falls, Brazil or Argentina? “Both,” says Veronica. The Brazilian side is smaller than the Argentine side, but its vast forest protects a wide array of wildlife: rare birds such as macaws, toucans and parrots as well as monkeys, crocodiles, armadillos and jaguars. The Brazilian side of the falls also affords an entirely different panorama. From the catwalk one sees distant views of the falls on the Argentina side. “The view includes a side of Swan Martin Island not seen from Argentina and views of Devil’s Gorge from the front. And it frequently includes distant rainbows.” Says Diana, “Many say that from Argentina you live the falls and from Brazil you watch them.”
That being said, one would be hard-pressed to know which side Eleanor Roosevelt was standing on when she first saw Iguazu Falls and was reported to have declared, “Poor Niagara!”
This post was originally published on April 24, 2015. It has been updated with new information.