Iguazú National Park jungle roads lead to a unique site in the world: where birds sing to the beauty of the landscape and nature vibrates with the thunder of the water
Iguazú National Park is located in the northwest of the province of Misiones, at 11 miles from Puerto Iguazú. Its preserved ecosystem belongs to the Paraná Jungle eco region that covers almost all the provincial territory. The natural treasure being hosted are the Iguazú Waterfalls: 275 waterfalls that reach an altitude of almost 260 feet. They were declared one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in the World and, also, Mankind Natural Heritage.
The visit to Iguazú National Park requires, at least, a complete day. Among the recreational proposals, it is worth mentioning: the Yvirá Retá Interpretation Center, the Lower Walk (4,600 ft of walkways with stairs); the Upper Walk (4,200 ft of walkways without stairs); the crossing to San Martín Island; and Macuco and Yacaratiá Pathways. There are alternative tours to discover the Park and get close to the Waterfalls by means of full of adrenaline activities.
One of the newest proposals consists in enjoying the Waterfalls under the moonlight, during full moon clear nights. Visitors only need to go to the Park at sunset, take the little train that crosses the jungle and get into the dark. The silence is only interrupted by the sounds of night animals: a new world awakes at the depth of the jungle. When getting off the train, it is necessary to take the same pathway that reaches the Devil’s Throat: in the evenings it is more mysterious and even more charming. The roar of the jungle increases step by step. And, finally, the Devil’s Throat amazes and moves evening visitors. Illuminated by a giant and silver moon, it is even more breathtaking. A unique landscape and an unforgettable experience.
IMPORTANT: Iguazú National Park provides varied services to tourists. Among them, a 5 stars hotel, restaurants, fast food stores and drugstores. Architectonic barriers were eliminated thus generating a proposal available for everyone. Due to the Park’s extension, if visitors want to make the visit in two days, they should keep the entrance ticket and present it the second day and they will get a 50% discount.
Puerto Iguazú is a city with varied accommodation and tourist services, as well as regular bus services to the Park during the whole day.
More to see
Mankind Cultural Heritage The Guarani Jesuit Missions were witness of the encounter of Spanish and Guarani cultures. In the province of Misiones settled down 11 of the 15 towns founded by the Jesuits in the current Argentine territory between the years 1609 and 1818. This was a unique experience in the region that reflected the particular relationship between the Spanish and Guarani cultures. Currently, it is possible to visit four sites: San Ignacio Miní, Nuestra Señora de Loreto, Santa María La Mayor and Santa Ana. The first two were founded in 1610, while the other two were founded in 1626 and 1633, respectively. The Guarani Jesuit Missions, declared Mankind Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 1984, are located at a few miles from Posadas; there are tours to visit them that take the whole day. Those arriving to the province to visit the Iguazú Waterfalls should not miss visiting the missions, at 144 miles from Puerto Iguazú. The ochre color of the walls contrasts with the green colors of the rainforest. The crucifixes rise among the vegetation. A particular spiritual atmosphere is breathed in the area. In the silence of the environment it is possible to imagine the life of those that inhabited this place hundreds of years ago, while picturing the region’s history.
Deep in the jungle
The jungle is the ideal scenario for adventurers. Among huge water courses, adrenaline reaches unexpected levels. In the province of Misiones, terrain slopes combined with huge water courses offer countless falls and cascades. Towards the West, the Uruguay river escorts, proudly, the Moconá Falls and the Yabotí Reservation, where adrenaline knows no boundaries. El Soberbio town, at 152 miles from Puerto Iguazú and 129 miles from Posadas is the departure point for two unmissable tourist destinations: Moconá Provincial Park –sheltering the Moconá Falls- and the Yabotí Biosphere Reservation. At Moconá Falls, the beautiful landscape stages the falls that accompany the river. There, adventurers soak up with challenging kayaking and rafting. Navigation in the Uruguay river is an activity obliged from those willing to capture the best images of the falls. At the Yabotí Reservation, the courses of the Yabotí, Guazú and Yabotí Miní rivers cross the field getting deep in the jungle. To crown this adventure, there is no better postcard than the sunset. The golden light is reflected on the water mirrors while, with the birds’ songs, the day says goodbye to daylight, full of promises. Moconá Falls originated in a geological fault line, unique in the world, that gathers the Yabotí, Pepirí Guazú, Uruguay, Serapio and Calixto rivers, forming a basin of 1,5 miles of continuous water falls running parallel to the river course. This particular geography is ideal for the practice of diverse adventure activities like rafting, motorboat sailing, kayaking horseback riding and trekking. Yabotí Biosphere Reservation combines a preserved natural environment with communities inhabiting such lands. Adventure activities take place in the middle of a land dominated by terrain slopes that create rapids and water falls at the Yabotí Guazú and Yabotí Miní rivers. It is an ideal scenario for aquatic adventure activities, horseback riding and trekking. The whole area provides an accommodation offer according to the environment, mostly jungle lodges that create a very interesting experience.
Navigating the Paraná River
In Misiones, a two hours’ trip on board of a catamaran to (re)discover the beauty of Litoral landscapes. Misiones, the province of the marvelous Iguazu Waterfalls, invites to sail through the waters of the intense Paraná River on board of catamarans with capacity for 160 people. During daytime, these boat tours illustrate passengers with stories and anecdotes of the region. From the river, it is possible to observe Posadas City and its new coastal areas: Balneario El Brete, Posadas Coast, the Heller Peninsula and the International Bridge San Roque González de Santa Cruz that joins the provincial capital with the Paraguayan city of Encarnación. In the evenings, sailing is accompanied by elegant cocktails and delicious dinners with meals based on the province’s fusion cuisine. These evening trips always finish with lovely parties on board with DJs music. Navigation by the Paraná on board of catamarans equipped with excellent services and technology is also available for business meetings and social or business events.
Dishes with Guarani influence, based on fresh fish and the most exotic and tasteful fruits. Nature chose the Litoral region to exhibit its highness. Fresh waters, green fields, red soils and its flora and fauna live in perfect harmony. Flavors join this scenario and show the area’s cultural richness. In the morning, mate is a ritual. Accompanied by some local herbs or orange peels, this infusion is a symbol of the country and a reason for the meeting of family and friends. The round starts. Everyone drink from the same mate while they eat a delicious “chipá”. Sharing is the essence. In the Northern Litoral region, Guarani influence in gastronomy is very clear. Regional typical dishes are elaborated with fresh and seasonal raw materials. They are based on mandioca (boiled, fried or roasted), in the flour derived from it -chipa, mbeyú, caburé, reviro- and in corn: pororó, yopará, chipa guazú. River fish are also an important ingredient, the most tasteful being: boga, surubi, pacu, ray-finned fish, catfish and other harvest-varieties like tilapia and African catfish. Garnish generally includes vegetables, mandioca and seasonal products. In the elaboration of desserts, regional tropical fruits are used: papaya, orange, tangerine, pineapple, avocado, mango, guayaba and passion fruit. Chefs enhance the flavors and textures of these fruits. The novelties here are the famous “wood candies” together with mandioca flour alfajores and yerba mate and passion fruit ice-creams.
Other things not to miss
Relaz in the jungle. A healthy and pleasant experience, with a mixture of science and mysticism at enchanting spas built in beautiful jungle environment.
The Yerba Mate Route Yerba Mate is cultivated in the provinces of Corrientes and Misiones, at the country's Northeast, where nature is generous and heat is intense. Crossing green landscapes and amicable towns, this road leads travelers towards the origins of one of the oldest and most typical Argentine usages.
Best time to go The best times to visit are October to December and April to June.
How to get there Most people traveling to Iguazu Falls stop off in Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires before heading to the falls, either by bus or air. If you don’t want to deal with the airport twice you could also fly straight into Iguazu, although you will still touch down in Buenos Aires or Rio on your way.
There are two airports within five miles of the falls — Foz do Iguaçu Airport (IGU) on the Brazilian side and Cataratas del Iguazú (IGR) on the Argentine side. Keep in mind that even if you start your trip at Iguazú, you will still mostly likely make a stop in Buenos Aires or Rio anyway.
Language Spanish is the official language of the Argentine Republic.
Currency The legal tender of course is the Argentine Peso. Iguazú is an international point of tourism, so, is possible to make payments in US Dollars (US $) or Euros in almost all shops, there are those who accept traveler's checks at bank rate and in some cases Chilean currency is also accepted.
Electricity The current in Argentina is 220-240v
Visas To enter Argentina a passport is required and it must be valid for the duration of the stay (for touristic stays of up to 90 days). A visa for Argentina is not required by: Estados Unidos, Alemania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Bélgica, Bolivia, Brasil, Bulgaria, Canadá, Colombia, República de Corea, Costa Rica, Croacia, Chile, Chipre, República Checa, Dinamarca, Ecuador, El Salvador, República Eslovaca, Eslovenia, España, Estonia, Finlandia, Francia, Grecia, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungría, Irlanda, Islandia, Israel, Italia, Kazakhstan, Japón, Letonia, Liechtenstein, Lituania, Luxemburgo, Macedonia, Malta, México, Mónaco, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Noruega, Nueva Zelandia, Países Bajos, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Polonia, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte, Rumania, Federación rusa, San Cristobal y Nieves, San Marino, Santa Lucía, Santa Sede, San Vicente y las Granadinas, Serbia, Singapur, Sudáfrica, Suecia, Suiza, Suriname, Tailandia, República de Trinidad y Tobago, Turquía, Ucrania y Uruguay.
Mobile Iguazú has domestic and international calls, sending and receiving fax and Internet access in times of 08: 00hs to 24: 00hs every day. Public telephones work with legal tender coins or $ 0.05; $ 0.10; $ 0.25, $ 0.50 and $ 1,- both nickel and bronze. It is also possible to use Cellular telephony providers such as Claro, Personal and Movistar.
Wifi In some places (hotels, hostels, bars and restaurants) you'd probably find free wi-fi.
More info and tips for plan your trip in www.argentina.travel/iguazu-waterfalls-wonder-of-nature