Travel Journal

Iguacu Falls

(Tuesday 22 March 2011) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 222-224 3/16-18/11
It was a 22 hour ride on the bus to Foz do Iguacu and I had plenty of time to think so I jotted down a short story idea which I will work on later. . . there is only so much Sudoku and reading you can do on a bus ride and there were no English speakers on the bus.
I arrived in town around six in the morning and flagged down a local bus from the terminal into town. I must have visited about five places before settling on a hotel to stay at that took credit cards and had internet access at a reasonable price. Since there was plenty of time, I put off seeing the falls until the next day and searched for a laundry place (unsuccessful) and got caught up on the internet for the rest of the day.
The hotel had a good spread for breakfast and I caught a bus to the Parc National where the falls were located. There were plenty of tourists there and so I waited for my ticket and caught the bus into the park. While the park is big, there really isn’t much you can see. There are limited trails which lead to the spectacular views of the waterfall but the other two trails are if you are going to take optional tours which are rather expensive. I considered taking the speedboat up to the falls like in the Amazing Race, but didn’t want to spend the extra dollars. The falls are massive and I don’t think you can avoid a comparison with Victoria Falls if you’ve been there so here goes. While not as massive and concentrated as VF, the falls here are spread out and have their individual characteristics while VF is one long, breathtaking panorama. I enjoyed going to the devil’s throat which places you nearer to the falls than the lookout out VF but surprisingly is not as wet.
I had heard that the Brazilian side gives a good overview of the falls but the Argentinean side brings you to a closer view so I was eager to compare the two. On the way out, I saw the local creatures, the quati, which looks like cross between a raccoon and anteater. I was rather disappointed that there was no other fauna I could see in the area.
I returned to the hotel and got ready for my short trip out of Brazil and into Argentina. I was a bit concerned because I did not have my immigration card. Usually you fill it out on arrival, immigration takes one half and you have to present the other half when you leave. If not, they can really give you a hard time. I have heard cases of travelers missing planes and having to backtrack to the Brazilian national bank to pay a penalty of 85 USD. I know I kept my card the last visit I had to Brazil, but I do not remember getting one this trip and a complete upheaval of my backpack turned up nothing. I already have limited cash reserve and I hope this will not take a bite out of what I have.

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