After a 15 hour bus journey we made it to Iguassa falls, at around 9am in the morning. I had actually managed to sleep a bit so didn’t feel awful, although the bus was freezing! As we were only staying one night in Iguassa we had quite a bit to fit in over the two days, so there was no time to rest. So, we dropped our bags and headed out to see what we had come all this way for – the falls.
We arrived at the National Park and took a bus up to the top of the falls. On the way up we were warned against feeding the Coati’s (Quati in Brazil). Coati’s are the little animal we saw on top of Pico do Tijuca.
We had some food in our bags, so this little guy would not stop following us. We ended up having to run away. At the top there was a 1km trail that led to the bottom of the waterfalls.
These are some of the smaller waterfalls along the way.
We followed the trail round, and made it to the main event. And the waterfall was spectacular.
The place where all the people are standing in the above picture is called the Devil’s throat, where you are right by the waterfalls. When stood there you get soaked with the spray, and it also didn’t help that it was raining.
The view was so amazing, it really made the 15 hour bus journey seem worth it. After we’d soaked up as much of the falls as we could handle, we stopped for some lunch, where the naughty coati’s kept trying to steal people’s food, and even jumped on a table and ate someone’s burger. We understood the warnings of not feeding them!
After the falls, we headed to the complete opposite end of the town and went to the Itaipu Dam, which had been recommended in our guide book.
Itaipu is a dam owned by both Brazil and Paraguay. The Dam produces 80% of Paraguay’s electicity and 15% of Brazil’s, which is a pretty impressive statistic.
It’s flow is equal to 40x the natural flow of Iguassa Falls!
We also technically crossed into Paraguay on our tour round, which I guess counts as us visiting another country…. (Not really!)
To be honest, I don’t really know anything about dam’s or energy production, so a lot of that went over my head, but it was really cool to see how huge this structure was, and what it meant for electricity production for two countries.
Today we had planned to go to the Argentinian side of Iguassa Falls, as it is possible to do both, and gives you a slightly different experience. However, from talking to the staff in our hostel, it seemed like it was going to be a lot of effort and money to do so, so instead we decided to head to the bird sanctuary.
There were so many different species of bird, and the sanctuary worked to learn about all of them and help them to prosper. They did things like, swapping eggs with wooden ones, if the bird mother was incapable. The sanctuary would then look after the egg itself, and then just before it hatches, swap it back with the wooden egg so it would imprint on its own mother. Very clever.
Here’s a selection of some of the best pictures I managed to get. There were a lot of macaws at the sanctuary as they are an endagered species, due to trafficking and hunting. Macaw’s mate for life, and when one of the macaw’s dies, the other does too shortly after because it misses the other ones… so CUTE.
My favourite was the blue macaw.
Some of the enclosures you could actually walk through, so you had loads of birds flying over your head. I tried to get a good picture but wasn’t quick enough 😦 At the end, we even got to have a picture with the macaws – say cheese!
The last stop after the bird sanctuary was the point where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay met. By this point it was getting quite late in the day and we had a bus already booked to Campo Grande. The bus that would take us to the 3 points took AGES to arrive, and I was pretty nervy the whole journey that we were going to be late back for the bus. Luckily the bus we took, stopped at the point for around 20 minutes so we hopped back on in time!
The Brazilian point – as you can tell from the colours of the flag. I assume that both Argentina and Paraguay have something similar.
So, on the left is Argentina and on the right is Paraguay! It was really cool to be able to see 2 other countries, and be standing in a third. Something you obviously don’t really get in the UK.
We hopped back on the bus and made our way to the Rodoviaria (the main bus stop) to catch our bus to Campo Grande to start the next part of our Brazilian journey.