Sometimes all of us at some point when watering our gardens or washing our cars, we forget to turn off the hose pipe and the water keeps flowing away. Now imagine you were washing your car on the terrace of your house (somehow) and you had at least a 100 hose pipes that were forgotten to be turned off. Obviously the water would drip everywhere from the terrace all the way to the ground isn’t it?
That’s exactly what I think God forgot to do when creating the Iguazú falls. Or so at least it feels that way. When you see nearly 300 waterfalls all of them within metres of each other dropping from a height of an avg 250ft, the one thought that runs through your mind is “Gods must be crazy”. It feels like all the gods had a competition to see who could create the best waterfall on the planet and decided they will all run them next to each other to see how it looks like together. And with your wildest imaginations if you can visualise how it could possibly look, that’s exactly how Iguazu Falls is.
I went to the Argentine side of the falls first and before going on any of the waterfall trails, I went straight to the Devil’s Throat (Or Garganto del Diablo). You’ve got to take a short train ride within the park and then walk about 20mins on custom built platform, over the Iguazu river. Walking on the platform does not give away anything about what you get to witness at the end of it.
The Iguazu river water flows so calmly below your feet, at places you can see giant fishes swimming with ease and the tiny ones following them around. You reach a couple of points where people use the part of the flowing river as their wishing well and you see a gazillion coins shining in the sunlight. And you still wonder how big of a waterfall it can be.
It’s probably in the last 50mts of the walk you hear the gushing roar of the waterfall and before reaching the end of the platform you see a huge mist of water rising in the air above the platform. Now this is where you get more excited to experience what you are about to witness. The first glimpse of the falls you get as soon as you reach the viewpoint just takes your breath away completely. It sure did for me and I can say with the hands-on-my heart I’ve never ever seen anything such an extraordinarily unimaginable body of water anywhere in my life, anywhere in the world.
The sight of the falls along with the gargantuan roar of the drop makes your soul go numb in disbelief !! I’m not exaggerating at all and even if I did, am sure you would agree when you see it for yourself in person. I bet you wouldn’t have seen any other waterfall of that stature in your life. If you think Niagara Falls is awesome, it surely would look like a baby in front of Iguazu Falls, given that a Niagara Falls is only about a quarter of the size of Iguazu.
After clicking a billion pictures and videos in the first 30mins of watching the falls in awe, the next 30 to 40mins was just about standing still and soaking in the beauty of the falls, admiring its creation. To add to that the mist from below wetting the face was a blessing in disguise considering how hot the day was. It was really hard to leave the place to head back and explore rest of the park.
Upper and Lower Waterfall Trails
While the Devil’s Throat is the main course, the upper and lower waterfall trails easily act as the entre and the dessert. Walking through each of these hour long loop trails takes you through view points where you see the hundreds of falls lined up next to each other. If you don’t want to be underwhelmed by these numerous falls, you should walk these trails first before going to the Devil’s Throat. I did the other way round and walking past these falls made me go “meh” where as if it was else where like the ones I saw for e.g., in Kerikeri NZ, I’d be admiring each of them until the last drop.
But that’s what the big falls does to you. A little bit like life. When you get the best of something that you were least expecting, the good or the better versions of that very same something doesn’t feel too exciting. In tech analogy, it’s like giving you the iPhone Xs, at a time when you didn’t even know what smartphones meant and then a couple of years later it’s taken away from you only to be given the iPhone 4 or 5. You still like it but you’ve already experienced the Xs, so the 4 or 5 feels a bit underwhelming. Either way both the Devils Throat & the Upper/Lower trails are incredibly beautiful.
Brazilian Side of the Iguazú
Now this is a question you come across on a lot of blogs and travel sites. Which side is better to view the Iguazú Falls? Argentinian side or the Brazilian side? I shall write a separate post about it based on my experience, the pros and cons of picking just one side and which one to start at if you are doing both. In short Brazilian side offers you a gran panorama of the main falls and at a much lower level. It’s amazing to walk to the platform here and enjoy the sounds, texture and the view as it makes it a little more intimate and enjoyable in a different way.
For the sake of not making this post any more longer, let me just say that the Argentine side of the falls is like falling in love with a beautiful woman for the first time and you can’t take your eyes of her. While the Brazilian side of the falls is like having a crush on the pretty girl next door. The crush eventually fades away where as the first love always remains for life.
All I can end this post is with this note – Whatever you do n where ever you are, whether you are a traveller or not, the Iguazú Falls is that wonder of nature that you must witness and experience at least once at some point in your life. It is the largest waterfalls on the planet (not the highest), with over 250 falls spread over 2.7kms cliffs of a canyon. It has also been named as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. For me it is right at the top of everything natural that I’ve seen so far in life. I doubt if anything else will take away my breath as much as the Iguazú Falls did.
And when you go to Iguazú, do experience both the Argentinian & the Brazilian sides; you can then decide for yourself which one is your first love and which one is the girl next door 🙂