I took a morning bus from Asunción to Ciudad del Este, second largest city in Paraguay. The main attraction of that city is its function as a trade and contraband centre on the border with Brazil and Argentina. Its main streets are a giant market, full of visitors from the neighbouring countries trying to snatch cheap electronics and clothes. Apart from that couple of kilometres upriver there is a huge dam, which was in fact the largest in the world before the Three Gorges Dam in China was finalised. My objective however was the town of Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, from which the Brazilian side of the falls can be visited. To get there I took a taxi from Ciudad del Este. The taxi took me to the Paraguayan immigration, then over the Friendship Bridge (which apparently it is too dangerous to cross on foot due to robberies) and then to the Brazilian immigration and to my hotel. All the while I had the impression that collecting border crossing stamps was personal hobby, as the traffic by the immigration posts went mostly uninterrupted. Apparently if you only go to the neighbouring country for the day, you need not bother to get a stamp. Everybody is very relaxed about it here.
I visited both sides of the falls. And I found both impressive in the highest degree. Iguaçu falls can be approximately subdivided into 270 small falls. Most of them, about 80%, are on the Argentinean side. As a result, the Brazilian side offers a more complete and impressive overview. On the other hand on the Argentinean side one can approach the falls much better and get a more intimate view (and even get into a waterfall, which will be described in the next post).
Just like in Machu Picchu though, it is difficult to perceive the full grandiosity of this 3D spectacle just looking at the pictures.
The first view from the Brazilian side:
This mirador you cannot visit – it is falling apart.
Lots of coatis roam the viewpoints. They are not afraid of people and the workers chase them with loud voices, as coatis tend to bother tourists asking for food. I was struck at first by their exotic appearance and their daring.
Then one of them almost got into my rucksack as I was photographing the other, and I concluded that they are quite daring indeed.
This is a viewing path in front of the Devil’s Throat, the largest concentration of falling water in Iguaçu.
The Devil’s Throat is behind this cloud of water. The water falls there from three sides. When you walk this path, there is such an amount of water in the air that in just a few minutes you are completely soaked. The Japanese tourists buy plastic waterproof coats at the entrance.
The view downstream
Devil’s Throat and a rainbow
The same path from above. There is a lift on the Brazilian side where you can go up and observe the overview of the falls
You can also look at the falls through an iron grid. Honestly, you knees are shaking as you walk there and look to the abyss below!