From Rio de Janeiro we took a 22 hour bus ride to “Foz do Iguacu”, which lies on the Brazilian side of the famous water falls. We passed by landscapes with farmland and very green hills, which reminded us of Germany:
The main difference showed when the rusty-red soil became visible:
When we arrived in the city of Foz do Iguacu it was very hot and stuffy. Almost immediately after leaving the air conditioned bus we were completely sweat-soaked. Due to a pretty severe thunderstorm that evening there was a power outage in the entire city. This meant that there was no air conditioning or even a fan working and we spent the night sleeping in a sauna…
When we woke up the next morning the storm was over and we headed towards the famous “Cataratas do Iguacu”, the gigantic falls in the border region between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. While the majority of the falls are located in Argentina, one has the best overviews from the Brazilian side. Walking along the scenic “Trilha de Cataratas”, leading to Garganta do Diablo (the Devil’s Throat) we finally got the first impressive look of the falls:
The stupendous roar of 275 waterfalls crashing 80 m into the Rio Iguacu is just breathtaking. The falls are taller than Niagara Falls, and twice as wide. Eleanor Roosevelt is said to have exclaimed: “Poor Niagara!” on her first sight of the Iguacu falls.
As we walked along the trails there were also many flowers and plants to discover:
An interesting fact is that the name “Iguazu” comes from the Guarani or Tupi words “y”, meaning “water”, and “ûasú”, meaning “big”. Legend says, that a god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipi. But she fled in a canoe with her mortal lover Taroba. In rage, the god sliced the river and created the waterfalls, condemning the lovers to an eternal fall…
The park is not only habitat to countless plants and flowers, but also to a no less numerous amount of animals. Here some spiders, caterpillars and millepedes that live right next to the falls:
The first European to find the falls was the Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541. In 2011 the Iguazu falls were announced as one of the seven winners of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. In our opinion they really deserve that title:
Almost everywhere you look there fly butterflies in the most unbelievable colours. Have a look at the beautiful blue on the inside of this ones wings:
While Andy tried to take pictures of him, Mr. Bluewings suddenly took off and landed right on Andy’s hand. He stayed there just sitting on Andy’s finger and licking the salty sweat off the skin.
Getting ever closer to the falls:
Mini bees building their home/honeycomb:
And more flowers:
After some walking we arrived at the wooden footbridge leading to the so called Devil’s Throat. Here the broad Rio Iguacu makes its single most dramatic plunge, splitting into dozens of waterfalls:
Expecting damp and wet conditions we had bought some cheap rain ponchos. But with all the wind and water they did not last very last long…
By climbing the visitor tower we ascended from the lower and wet part of the falls to the higher and more dry part:
Until we reached the very top of the tower from which one can even overlook the falls:
After this visit of the Brazilian side of the falls we continued on to visit the nearby “Parque das Aves” (Bird Park) which is home to many colourful parrots:
Fascinating and beautiful tukans:
And the ever restless hummingbirds:
And last but not least more exotic flowers…
As we were to leave to Puerto Iguazu which lies in Argentina the next day, this was our last day in Brazil. In total we spent a little more than two weeks in this beautiful country and for sure, that’s not enough time! There are so many more places we would like to visit, that we are already sure we will have to come back another time. I hope we will still remember some of the Portuguese we picked up … 🙂
Obrigada, especially to Whei-Oh for the great time we had!