We just survived a terrific 14-hour trip from Sao Paulo to Foz de Iguaçu by bus because we absolutely had to see the popular waterfalls. “You can’t miss them”, they told us. “It’s a unique sight.” So there we were.
Of course, they didn’t lie, you can check by yourself on the photos. But every time I visit a world renown highlight I always end up with mixed feelings, from stunned to unsatisfied. There is no glory in exploring a marvel everyone knows about, and the expectations growing while nearing it mitigate the joy felt in front of it.
On the bus the air condition blew the temperature to freezing limits and we arrived cold and tired. The tour operators threw themselves against us the instant we got out of the coach, but we decided to have a first trip to the Brazilian side of the waterfalls on our own, allowing us to think about going to the Argentinian side with guide and boat trip the next day. Sadly, when we got back from our first visit we were sure there wouldn’t have been others.
The site was crowded with thousands of loud and annoying tourists. There wasn’t a path or a track or a bridge we could pass without crashing against an horde of other visitors. We couldn’t find a spot for a cool pictures without being surrounded by emulators. Exhausted, my travel companion lost interest in the waterfalls and started roaming around, discovering a huge spider in a bush. Four seconds later the poor beast was surrounded by a bunch of fanatic arachno-paparazzi who probably served him a tumour with their flashes.
The river Iguazu’s waterfalls are enclosed in two Iguazu National Parks, one in Argentina and the other in Brazil. The Argentinian park offers the most extensive sight, since it covers 80 per cent of the whole site.
The 275 falls are lined over almost three kilometres and reach a maximum hight of 70 metres. The closest towns are Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil and Puerto Iguazú in Argentina.