The Cataratas de Iguazú, Iguazú Falls, is an incredible and unforgettable experience. Having visited Victoria, Niagra and Iguazú [twice], Iguazú is definitely my favorite. Victoria is a stunning setting – the broad, almost tranquil flowing river and the deep, narrow gorge is incredible. Since the gorge is so narrow, it's difficult to get good panoramic views that show the sheer size of Victoria. This is why so many photos of Victoria are from above, in the air. Also, the constant mist, while magical, obscures the view like a thin curtain. Niagara is impressive but can’t compare to Iguazú or Victoria. What sets Iguazú Falls apart is not just the awe-inspiring size [almost 2 miles wide with over 275 falls] but the experience itself. This is the most up-close and personal I have ever been to a force of nature like this.
The falls can be viewed from both Argentina and Brazil and seeing them from both sides is a must. The Argentinian side will take a full but comfortable day to hike all the trails. They wander through surrounding jungle, over and across the river, and right up to the edge of many of the falls. It’s amazing to experience as you feel you can reach out and touch the water and sometimes the spray reaches out and touches you. It is exhilarating and breath-taking. The Brazilian side is much shorter and the entire trip from Argentina can be done in half a day. While significantly shorter, the Brazilian side provides phenomenal panoramic views not available from the other side. It allows you to appreciate how massive and grand the falls truly are. At the end of the trail, you can walk right out into base of one of the larger falls where you can experience the rush, the thunder, the smell, and the wetness of it all.
The town of Puerto Iguazú in Argentina is quaint and well stocked to serve tourists while still feeling quite rural. Many of the roads are dirt and the town is spread out. Most of the lodges are a good half mile or more from the center of town. At most of them, you would likely keep to the lodge except for tours. We stayed in town and as a result were able to check out some of the local restaurants. The food and service were good at Aqva and A Piacere. We skipped Ristorante La Toscana where the hostess and manager were so snotty that even though they offered us a table we declined and ate somewhere else.
We were here in early July, which is winter and the drier season. Trust me, there is no shortage of water and the temperatures were perfect for hiking. It wasn’t crowded at the falls or in town. I can’t imagine being there in high season when throngs are jostling and lingering while taking selfies. With less people, it was easy to be enthralled by the majestic setting and power of the falls.