Travel Journal

Argentina, Purto Iguazu Compare and Contrast

(Friday 25 March 2011) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 225 3/19/11
The bus to the border was across the street from the hotel and I hopped onboard with some other backpackers making the same trip. The bus dropped us off at the exit customs, gave us a pass for the next bus and took off. I went to get my exit stamp and the clerk asked for the immigration card and I acted stupid (easy for me) and she just waved it off and stamped my passport. My companions were surprised because one had a friend who got the rough treatment for losing his cards. I was very lucky this time.
After a short wait we jumped on the next bus which did wait for us at the Argentinean customs which was no visa and no fees. I had decided to go cheap here for the one night stand and picked a place from the guidebook which was next to the bus station although after looking at the map I realized the bus was not going there and jumped off a couple of blocks away. My first pick was full but suggested a place next door which I checked in but it was a fifty dollar hit to the cash reserve as they did not take credit cards. The room wasn’t ready yet so I pulled my dirty clothes from the backpack, left that with the hostel, dropped off the clothes at the laundry, and tried to find a cambio to exchange Reals to Pesos. I got a few pesos from the hotel at a bad exchange rate but found an exchange after a bit and traded in my wad of Reals to Pesos at a better rate. I then went directly to the bus station and caught a bus to the falls.
The falls are a bit further out of town than the falls on the Brazilian side. The ticket office wouldn’t take a credit card so another chip off the cash bank. I must say the infrastructure of the park in Argentina is better than in Brazil. There are information centers spread through the park, a free train you can take from the entrance to the center and far trail, and the trails are modern and clean. The only problem is that the maps they provide does not match the actual trails and the signs on the trails are placed in hard to see locations. Regardless, I hit the major points and got great views of many of the individual falls and ran into many quati on the paths. I would say there are five times the trails that are in Brazil, but, besides the green trail that takes you to the cliffs, there really isn’t much to see besides other tourists huffing and puffing up the path.

I spent about five hours at the park and probably could have spent more if I wished to take the boat to an island out in the river. If you do visit the falls, visit both side because I really can’t recommend one over the other.
After checking in when I got back, I walked around town where the cool breezes had picked up with the sun going down. I got a cold beer and some food at a sidewalk café and watched the backpackers and locals go by. There definitely are more travelers on this side of the border. I picked up my laundry and was glad to get my clothes machine washed. My socks were definitely getting some serious funk on. I crashed in my hotel room debating what time I should leave the next day.
I've also given up on trying to grow a beard. Not enough of the male Knight hormones I'm afraid.

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