Waterfalls Foz de Iguazú – Trips and hikes
America’s largest waterfalls are fed by the river Iguazú, which forms the border between Argentina and Brazil. Depending on the season, about 1500 m3 – 7000 m3 of water per second thunders over 20 large and 250 smaller falls into the depths.
At 80 %, by far the largest proportion of waterfalls are on the Argentinean side, but they are better visible from Brazil. A good example is the Garganta del Diablo – the Devil’s Mouth. Great photos are taken here from Brazil but the violence of the water can only be felt very close to the abyss of the Argentinean side. With little time one can visit both sides in one day, both differently and both worthwhile. Then of course there is hardly time for one of the rewarding hikes through the surrounding rainforest.
The Iguazú waterfalls, like the Perito Moreno glacier or Machu Picchu, belong to the big scenes of the South American continent. More than 1 million visitors make a pilgrimage along the bridges and platforms along the Iguazú River every year. The 2 x 3.5 km “Sendero Macuco” hiking trail to Salto Arrechea, on the other hand, is relatively quiet. Here you don’t need much luck to spot some of the local fauna. Above all, of course, the Macucos, the cute Capuchin monkeys. In the green jungle live 450 bird species, 80 mammals and about 2000 plant species. The forest thriving here belongs to the Selva Paranaense, on the Brazilian side it is also called Mata atlantica. Most of the forest has been cleared, in Argentina only about 7% of the former stock remains, in Brazil even less.
Best travel time Foz de Iguazú
High season with a big crowd is between November and March. January and February are also school holidays in Argentina, particularly busy and at the same time the hottest months of the year. From March to June it is super quiet and good climate. In the winter months until August it can get quite cool and it rains more often. During these months not all restaurants and hotels are open.
Argentine side of the Cataratas del Iguazú
From the place Puerto Iguazú one reaches the park entrance by car in approximately half an hour. Here, one pays the entrance fee and gets an overview map with the paths, attractions and the facilities within the park. Those who want to enjoy the peace before the crowds start early in the morning. From the entrance, the 1700 m long walk “Circuito Superior” leads to Salto Mbiguá with a view to the island San Martin. On the “Circuito Inferior” we get over wooden bridges to the Saltos Ramírez and to the huge scenery of the Saltos Bossetti. At the break areas and at the kiosk, coatis are waiting to be attacked by careless tourists at the picnic. This is no joke now, they are to underestimate. With a small train one reaches the 1000 m long footbridge to the devil’s throat “Garganta del Diablo”.
Be careful with your camera, the strong spray is more like a shower!!!!
Brazilian side Foz do Iguaçu
From the park entrance on the Brazilian side, a 1.5 km long path leads to the Floriano waterfall from where you have access to the road again. On the way there are viewpoints, toilets and restaurants. In the high season it is often a single long queue of people that pushes its way along the road. However, the views are the best and one likes to line up. At the rocks soot sailers cling to the night and breed, in the trees sit different kinds of toucans. Who wants to exercise a little should go to the 1.6 km long Trilhas das Bananeiras or ride the route by bike…
Amethyst Mines of Argentina – Wanda and Santa Catalina in Misiones
About 50 km south of Puerto Iguazú there are the amethyst mines of Wanda and Santa Catalina. Some huge geodes with quartz and amethyst can be found in the basalt cover. The name derives from the Greek and promises immunity against the after-effects of excessive wine consumption. Well then cheers. In addition there is a big restaurant and of course a shop which offers minerals and jewellery. The mine Santa Catalina is a few kilometers closer to Puerto Iguazú. Santa Catalina is smaller, but the visit is less touristy. Unfortunately, the drive over kilometers of track is also more complicated.
Guarani Village – Aldea Fortin M´Bororé
Guarani Communidades settle in the outskirts of Puerto Iguazú. They are no longer allowed to pursue their traditional hunting methods here in the National Park area. It is also not easy for them to gain a foothold in tourism. Guaranis can usually only be seen along the roads or selling their handicrafts. Almost 300 families live in the Aldea Fortin M’Bororé, they try to find connection to the tourism. Which is certainly not an easy task. They show former hunting methods, cook traditional food with manioc, corn cakes and fish ( cena tematica) and explain the effects of natural medicine.
Accommodation Foz de Iguazú
The hotel “El Pueblito” for 70 USD the double room offers the guests a lot of hummingbirds, a butterfly house, a big exhibition with local snake species but of course also restaurant and pool. For travellers with more time, the Yacutinga Lodge is the ideal place to stay amidst the rainforest on the banks of the Rio Iguazú.
List of animals and plants at the waterfall Foz de Iguazú
Capuchin monkey, Mono Caí, Cebus apella nigritus
Sooty Swift, Vencejo de cascada, Cypseloides senex
Whiskered Peakari, pecarí barbiblanco, Tayassu pecari
Raccoon crab, Mapache cangrejero, Procyon cancrivorus
South American otter, Lobito del rio, Lontra longicaudis
Lowland tapir, tapir, terrestrial tapirus
Jaguar, Yaguareté, Panthera onca
coati, coati, nasua nasua
howler monkey, Mono Aullador Rojo, Red Howler monkey, Alouatta guriba
Southern Tamandua, Oso melero, Lesser Anteater
Spectacled caiman, Yacare caiman, Caiman yacare
Pindo palm, Palmera pindó, Syagrus romanzoffiana