One of the most popular destinations in Argentina and undoubtedly a candidate for the eighth natural wonder of the world, the Iguazú Falls—or Great Waters in the local guaraní dialect—lie on the triple frontier of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and draw visitors from all over the world.
Visiting Iguazu Falls is truly an amazing experience: the deafening roar of water sloping over the lip of the 90-meter Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) and the sight of massive quantities of white froth that defy gravity before hurtling down into distant spray assault your sensory system. One loses all sense of perspective as you crane over the reedy bars of the walkways that hang in mid-air. It’s all larger-than-life-stuff. Go in spring (September, October) as the increasingly hot and dry summers tend to dry them up to a mere trickle at times.
The region formed by Puerto Iguazú in Argentina, Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil and Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, is today known as the Polo Turístico Iguazú. Each city has its own very different resources and attractions which combine to give this part of the world a unique feel. The falls, which are 17 km from Puerto Iguazú, and the tropical rainforest surrounding them are amply protected by the umbrella of the Iguaçú National Park in Brazil and the Argentine Iguazú National Park. Both were created in 1934 and declared a UNESCO National World Heritage site 50 years later.
The city of Puerto Iguazú lies on the banks of the Parana and Iguazú rivers and is a busy and affluent port town that enjoys a close working relationship with the Brazilian Puerto Meira, over the Brazilian border, and the shopper’s paradise of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. The climate is sub-tropical, hot and humid and you need to take plenty of mosquito repellent.
Other not-to-be-missed experiences in the area are the remains of the Jesuit monasteries – remember the movie The Mission? – and the amethyst mines at Wanda.
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