Falling for Iguazu *Videos*

Iguazu Falls is one of the mightiest waterfalls in the world. Serving as the boundary between Brazil and Argentina, it’s name literally translates as “big water” – and big it is! Here’s a peek at the enormity of the falls (I’m in shadow, but the falls are nicely highlighted in the background):

Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Erin at Iguazu

Iguazu by the Numbers

Iguazu Falls is considered the widest waterfall in the world, comprising 275 distinct waterfalls to form its curtain of water. Victoria Falls, which separates Zambia and Zimbabwe, is actually the largest continuous curtain of water in the world.

Here’s how Iguazu compares with its rivals Victoria Falls and New York’s Niagara Falls:

  • Victoria – Height: 328 feet; Width: 5,249 feet – Widest continuous curtain of water.
  • Iguazu – Height: 269 feet; Width: 1.7 miles – Widest in the world.
  • Niagara – Height: 165 feet; Width: 2,201 feet – Greatest water flow in the world.

A God & Devil’s Revenge

Flowing through Brazil most of the way, Iguazu Falls cuts off the lower and upper Iguazu River. Legend has it that the falls were created by a God who wanted to marry a beautiful woman, but she ran away with her lover across the Iguazu River. In a jealous rage, the angry God cut the river in half to damn the couple to eternal falls. That’s some vengeance!

The famous Devil’s Throat section is the highest and deepest of all the 275 falls. It has water pouring into on all 3 sides, causing mist to rise nearly 500 feet in the air. Here’s an up-close look of Devil’s Throat:

Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Iguazu’s Devil’s Throat

A Day at the Falls

I visited the falls from the Argentinean side, spending more than 6 hours at Iguazu National Park. There’s a lot to do! You can explore the falls by bridge, boat and train:

By Bridge: The entire park is covered by bridges and walkways that provide spectacular views of the falls. In fact, at one point, you are surrounded by the falls on 260 degrees = magnificent!

By Boat: My favorite way to see the falls – right up underneath! For a hefty fee, you can ride a speed boat directly into the spray. I was tipped off beforehand to wear your bathing suit (and only a bathing suit) since you get soaked on the ride. I grabbed the front seat and so experienced the full force of the deluge = fun!

By Train: Officially called the Rainforest Ecological Train, this toy train takes you right up to the edge of the falls, so you can see (and feel) the Devil’s Throat up close.

Here’s a panorama of the falls:

Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Iguazu Panorama

Natural Beauty Abounds

In addition to the all that rushing water, the park offers a heap of biodiversity, including jaguars and a plethora of butterflies – so many beauties with colors and markings I had never seen before.

Iguazu Falls is a pretty magical place, but all this natural beauty doesn’t come cheap. Foreigners pay 3 x what local Argentinean residents pay for park admission. On the Brazilian side, foreigners only pay twice as much as Brazilian residents, but Americans need to pay a $160 visa fee to get into the country. Ouch!

Interested in more about more natural wonders? Check out these posts:

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2012 and is filed under South America.

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