We arrived in Iguazu Falls in the middle of a rainstorm, not knowing that the worst of it was yet to come. That night I saw biggest thunderstorm I have ever seen. The storm cells circled the town for hours on end, flashing lightning, crashing thunder loud enough to shake the house, and dropping rain harder than I thought possible. I’m from the West Coast of Canada so I’m used to rain, but this was like the skies just opened up and poured out what they had. I was mesmerized and, like a little girl, kept running to the window to have a look.
The next day dawned calm, although overcast. We made our way to the falls easily on the local bus and set about a plan to view them from all possible angles.
We started with the Upper Walkway which would give us a view of the falls from above. The first view of the falls was stunning but, literally, every footstep revealed even more falls and an even better view. The water level was high resulting in even better waterfall viewing than expected, and was a reddish brown color due to the storm runoff picking up the richly colored soil as it made it’s way to the falls.
The catwalk walkway wound it’s way over several of the falls allowing views down to the tumble of water below. From here I could also see the lower walkways and how close they got to the falls from the bottom – that looked like even more fun!
The Lower Walkway was way more fun! The largest waterfall had a walkway almost to the base – I pulled my raincoat tightly to me, tugged on the hood strings and made my out. The wind created from force of the water whipped around me. The sound was deafening and the spray got heavier and heavier as I got closer to the base. Once there I stared straight up at it, amazed at how much power was there. I got soaked but had a huge smile on my face!
The Devils Throat is the main attraction at the falls. A catwalk more than a kilometer long reaches out over the river to get to the lip of this tight horseshoe shaped behemoth. It is stunning and awe-inspiring. We couldn’t even see to the other side of the horseshoe as the spray was so thick. Needless to say, there are no close up pictures and yes, we got soaked. But happy again.
There is a border that runs directly down the middle of the Iguazu River and the falls themselves. On one side Argentina, and on the other, Brazil. It was an easy day trip to get to the Brazilian side.
The difference between the Argentinean side and the Brazilian side were described to us by some fellow Canadians as being like Niagara Falls…Canada owns the falls, but the States has a better view. I don’t know if I would say Brazil’s view is better, but it certainly is more panoramic. From here we were able to see the full majesty of the falls on the other side.
They too have a catwalk and it pushed out across a fast moving section of the river, in front of a wall of water cascading from above and ending at the edge of the fall as it made its final descent. The wind and spray were like being in the middle of a storm and, as I reached the end of the catwalk I gasped at the view of the water plunging over the edge. So much water, moving so quickly right under my feet…truly, a fine display of natures power.
It’s impossible to decide whether the Argentinean or Brazilian side of the falls are better. The Argentinean side will forever be remembered for the first amazing views, but it was the Brazilian side that literally took my breath away.