Straddling the border of Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu Falls (meaning “Big Water” in Guaraní) is one of the planet’s most jaw dropping sights: stretching across nearly three kilometres, in a semicircle, hundreds of waterfalls thunder down an 80-metre-high cliff, with a mighty roar and even bigger clouds of mist. The exhilaration of staring over the steep precipice while getting sprayed by the pounding waters is hard to beat. It’s easy to see why Iguazu has been voted one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
An added bonus is the spectacular setting: Iguazu Falls is surrounded by lush rainforest which is protected by two national parks on either side. Home to more than 2000 species of plants (including 80 species of tree), more than 400 bird species (including the highly sought after harpy eagle) and a rich variety of wildlife (although mostly elusive in the dense forests) from jaguars and caimans to ocelots, howler monkeys, tapirs and giant anteaters – the forest is a destination draw in its own right.
For many travellers, the lure of puma tracking brings them to this spectacular corner of South America, but there’s so much more to enjoy in Torres del Paine, from world-class hiking in the valleys and mountains on day-long routes and multi-day treks to kayaking among icebergs, fly-fishing, horse riding and ice hiking on glaciers.
Each country provides different views and perspectives. In Brazil you’re in for wide panoramas and a boardwalk that takes you close to a view of the falls between two dramatic cliff edges, while Argentina offers a more intimate experience of the falls, with walking paths that take you close to the roaring cataracts and the soaking spray.
WHY WE LOVE IGUAZU FALLS
Witness one of the planet’s most awe-inspiring natural sights, Iguazu Falls is arguably the most scenic waterfall in the world and is the most voluminous
Rich biodiversity of plants and animals in the Atlantic Rainforest which clads the impressive waterfall system
Excellent bird watching, with around 400 species
Photographing the falls from a helicopter
If you would like to see this world wonder with us please pop us a mail – we would love to help you plan your South American adventure
On the Brazilian side of the falls, the Belmond Hotel is the only hotel in the Iguaçu National Park, and offers a spectacular setting a short stroll from the thundering waterfalls. Staying in the park means guests have exclusive access before the park gates open and after they close.
Located just 20 minutes from the Iguazu Falls in Argentina, Awasi’s new 14-room lodge is situated on the banks of the River Iguazu, surrounded by the Atlantic Rainforest. Each villa is assigned with a private guide and 4WD, allowing guests to explore at their own pace, visiting where they want, in their own time.
Photo credits: Top and bottom photos of Iguazu Falls by Marcos Amend; Belmond Hotel by Simon Bellingham, Awasi Iguazu by supplier.