Iguazu Falls, Cataratas do Igauçu or Cataratas del Iguazu. These magnificent falls are the reason we’ve come here. A great big expanse of rumbling water. Its the reason we’ve come here.
And today we’re heading over to the Brazillian side of the falls. Its what every guidebook/blogger/tourist suggests to do. But for some countries its not always possible (as Australians and US citizens need a visa to venture here). I was lucky enough to have one. So I had no reason to really worry about immigration or getting across.
To get to the National Park, you ultimately have to catch 2 buses. The first bus takes us from Puerto Iguazu bus station and soon has us piling out to get stamped out of Argentina (all protocol stuff). The bus waits, and its not long til we are thumping across the Rio Iguazu to Brasil!
Then on the horizon we spot the Immigration control for Brazil. I automatically get my passport out, ready to get it stamped and dated. But nope, the bus keeps hurtling by and straight into Brazil. Without being admitted. Quite Strange. And then dropped off about 500m from the border. Where we wait for another bus.
It takes us straight to the Entrance of Parque Nacional do Iguaçu. And immediately into a line that snaked back and forth. Then the long waiting game comes. For a country that is meant to be ‘ahead of the game’ and with a Park Center as modern as this, you’d think they’d be able to punch out tickets quickly. Oh so wrong there.
After being ripped off at the ticket office (entry is 40 reais but they made me pay 140 Argentine Pesos when it should of been about 90-100). We get onboard a giant turistico bus that takes us out to the falls. Stopping at several stops if you want to do some of the activities. Everyone stays on board as those activities are quite ridiculously priced.
Stepping off just outside the Pink Hotel das Cataratas we set off down to the Trilhas das Cataratas. And then you are meet by a thunderous roar of the Falls bucketing down. Your first sight of the falls from here is a Panorama and it just mesmerizes you by its sheer size and volume.
The Trilhas das Cataratas gives a wide angled view of the falls. It goes for about 1km and then starts to makes its way down to the floor.
It’s here where we walk out across the rushing water, and get sprayed by the waterfalls as we head out into the centre of the walkway that gives us a straight up look into the the Garganta del Diablo.
There’s something exhilirating for hearing the natural roar of water rushing down steep faces and covered in the mist. Even surrounded by the massive crowd of people trying to get photos and enjoy the moment.
We bid farewell and take the ‘scenic elevator’ its not much of an elevator – take the stairs. And then head on out and try to get back to Argentina.
Though this doesn’t go as smoothly, the bus actually stops at the Brazil Border. I immediately think “Oh shit they aren’t going to let us back in a few days” but the bus driver just quietly said ‘If you need a stamp get out’.
Its then onto the Argentine Border – where everyone gets out and goes through customs/bag check. Its a bit unnerving at first, but my passport is given the all clear and I’m back in the country.
Back in Argentina, I celebrate with a beer and a swim in the pool before having a few drinks with the other people at the hostel. I’m just impressed that I entered a country like that, but I have no doubt they allow it as it is a massive tourist and cash cow for their economy.