I will tell you a short story, but I’m sure, you won’t believe it. You might say, “aw man, please be more credible!” Because it’s like a fairytale. Maybe this is the moral: every fairytale was based on a true story.
Travelling to the Iguazu Falls
So once upon a time, I’ve decided to get my backpack, and spend my Easter at one of the most beautiful parts of my country, because travelling alone is my passion, and because I had missed so much my “backpacker life”, and because Argentina is beautiful. So, I choose the Iguazu-falls, which are beautiful, enormous waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. They consist of 270 waterfalls and cataracts varying between 60 to 82 meters. And all in the arms of wonderful subtropical jungles: shared by the Iguazú National Park (Argentina) and Iguaçu National Park (Brazil). The two parks were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. So, I am excited, it should be awesome!
I’ve started my journey from Paraná (Entre Ríos Province, Argentina), so it’s 17 hours trip by bus. But don’t worry, because the buses in this country are more than just comfortable: “totalcama” means that you have a perfect bed on the vehicle, warm dinner, wine, movies, kiss, paradise. Plus, if you are the only passenger at all at the last 7 hours, and made a good friendship with the steward, he will bring you all the food and coffee from the bus that he found to a romantic breakfast at the panorama window. But for this, luck isn’t enough. Sorry. You have to be me.
Arrived at the morning to the city of Puerto Iguazu, the land of the red soil, bright blue sky, and unexpectable green colours. From here, you have to catch another bus to the National Park. If you had believed you can visit all the spectacles with one entrance, you were wrong. You should decide which side will be the first, get the transport ticket, and travel to the entrance. For me, the brazil part was the first. After crossing the border, what took about 40 minutes, we are arriving at the Iguaçu National Park. You can pay with credit card, or peso, dollar, and it’s not so expensive: 60-65 Brazilian Real. They raised the price. Of course, they did. My sweethearts. Bus again, safari transport to the waterfalls, and the pure magic.
As my first step, I crashed with a coati (really cute South-American animal), which had been begging for some food like the cat from Shrek. But I am not allowed to do it, it’s like a first rule in the National Park, more important than the “What’s not allowed when meeting a jaguar”. Yes, I totally agree with you. They should rethink it. And then, you can start your discovery. With an incredible crowd of other tourists in a small path, but you know, it had a cool feeling. I don’t know exactly, how can I better describe it for you, so you would feel just a little bit of my enthusiasm. 32 degree, 80% of humidity, so you are sweating off all your body with little, sweet pearls, and the fragrance of “flora and fauna”. Tiny insects everywhere, coatis are running under your legs, a million of butterflies are flattering you, and you never meet with two similar. Endless green landscapes everywhere you look, can’t decide how deep, and how high are they. And the water between the green world, some screams from the argentine side, and more and more hubble-bubble. You are coming closer and closer for the culmination with delayed gratification…
Garganta del Diablo
Garganta del Diablo! The Devil’s Throat! A huge U-shaped chasm with 82 by 150 by 700 meters, in my view, got the perfect name. You might get really close, so standing in front of the endless deep, totally wet, you might feel, that it can sniff you in, like the gravitation. And here comes my miracle. Please tell me, what are the odds for this to happen? At the Iguazu-falls, which is visited by thousands of tourists and travellers every day, I am standing in front of the Union (the longest waterfall), and suddenly somebody in the vicinity takes a Hungarian flag out from her backpack. I’ve just couldn’t believe it. You know. It’s just impossible. And I had shouted to her extremely loudly, “Holy God, are you Hungarian?!” Ops, she was a friend from Paraguay. I really frightened her. But the girl next to her shouted back, “Jesus, it’s been 8 months!” I replied that it’s been 6 months for me. So, two strangers from different parts of Hungary became long lost sisters for a while. Things are happening when you are from a small nation. I have been living in Argentina for more than 6 months. It was magic.
When you get back to the terminal, you have to buy a new ticket for the other side, but I think one day isn’t enough for both, you should rest a little in a cute hostel at the city. There are really nice places, restaurants with original “bife de chorizo” (Argentinian steak), charming streets to walk. The next day let’s go to the Iguazú National Park, the Argentinian side. I think, the difference between the two sides is, that in Argentina there’s the 80% of the waterfalls, so it’s longer, you can walk a bit more in nature, and if you want, you can go under the waterfall with boats. Ok, well, not under, but quite close. It’s enough for a good selfie or a loud scream.
On the way back home I had the luck to admire a beautiful tropical storm too, it’s not so rare in Misiones (the province near the waterfalls), so wish you luck too! Unbelievable, awesome trip, and most extraordinary Easter in my life. I felt really close to God in the Devil’s Throat.
Other tips for your journey:
- Travelling by bus in Argentina is always the best choice! Cheap and comfortable 🙂
- If you have time (and money) you should visit the Parque das Aves Foz do Iguaçu too, it’s full of beautiful animals, true paradise
- You should taste the bife de chorizo!
- I think it’s better if you learn some Spanish words before the trip. At the National Park you can communicate in English, but in the cities, you won’t understand anything.
- There’s an opportunity for you to admire the landscape with a helicopter. If you have a chance to do it, please don’t miss out!
- Please read something about the legends! Beautiful, and to think about that in the parks, so mystic.
- If you have any other questions in English, Hungarian, or Spanish, find me! 😉
Wish you all the best for your trip!