When you travel to South America, you expect to be wowed, surprised, and even flabbergasted, whether it be from culture shock, the change in climate, or the sheer variety of landscapes this amazing continent houses. What you don’t expect to find something familiar, a site that mirrors a great wonder of North America. For many, Niagara Falls is the penultimate waterfall, a romantic experience like no other. But for South America, the Iguazu Falls overshadows its twin to the north, mixing the majesty of Niagara Falls with the beauty of the South American jungles.
Selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Iguazu stands three times higher than Niagara Falls and twice as wide. With nearly 275 falls spanning 1.7 miles, the Iguazu forms an elongated J-shape with a series of small breaks for plant covered islands. The size and fury of the falls is testament to the sheer power of the Iguazu River. This energy pours through the Devil’s Throat, the largest of the falls, and continues downstream along the border of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina to the Itaipu Dam, the second largest hydroelectric dam in the world. The strength of the falls as well as its location in the tropical jungle has designated it a World Heritage Site, garnering a variety of tours to Iguazu Falls from Peru, Brazil, Argentina.
Much like the romantic Niagara Falls, the Iguazu Falls is split between Brazil and Argentina, together creating a spectacle of thunderous white waves crashing over green cliffs. This divide runs through the Devil’s Throat where the Iguazu River converges, with the majority of the falls resting on the Argentinian side. However a tour of Brazil requires a journey to Iguazu, and travelers can enjoy a stay at the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguazu. Those traveling through Argentina can enjoy a private tour of Iguazu from the neighboring city of Puerto Iguazu.
Since 1876 efforts have been made to protect the falls and surrounding wildlife, and both the Brazilian and Argentinian government have worked tirelessly to preserve the nature beauty of the region while allowing anyone to see the glory of the falls. As a result, each side offers a variety of trails to see the cascading falls up close and personal. From Brazil you can enter the mouth of the falls and traveling along the canyon walls to the Devil’s Throat. Visitors from Puerto Iguazu have the chance to ride the Rainforest Ecological Train directly to the entrance of the Devil’s Throat, and from there visitors can enjoy the stunning view of the falls from the upper and lower trails.
But if you wish to experience the falls in all their glory, a tour of Brazil and Argentina is a must. Direct flights from Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro to Puerto Iguazu’s and Foz do Iguazu’s respective international airports grant you easy access to the cities. Both cities are based around protecting the natural elegance of the falls and catering to the growing tourist industry, making a tour to Iguazu a pleasant and authentic stay for all hoping to witness the thunderous roar of Iguazu.