1 Day at Iguazu Falls, 2019

So the title is a lie. I was actually in Iguazu for 2 days. The first day I spent recovering from my nightmare of a plane ride that sent me to Buenos Aires after not being able to land in Puerto Iguazu. You can listen to my podcast about Iguazu Falls to hear more about that. But since I spent a day recovering, that left me with only 1 full day to explore the falls. I only toured the Argentine side because I didn't get a visa for Brasil. I don't feel like I missed anything by not going to the Brasil side, honestly. Here's what I did:

1. I splurged and stayed at the Gran Melia Iguazu. It is the only hotel on the Argentina side of the falls that is in the Iguazu Falls national park. There is a view of the falls right from the hotel. Honestly if you wanted to be the laziest tourist ever, you could just go to the hotel and see the falls. You wouldn't even have to go outside! One funny note about the hotel: I was told on arrival that I must make sure my windows were closed and locked because monkeys can open the windows and will come into the rooms to raid the minibar. Can you imagine walking into your room to find a monkey with a tiny bottle of whiskey and some Pringles chilling on your bed? The hotel was really nice and the staff is great. It was definitely worth the money for me to have direct access to the falls since I was only there for 2 days.

The view from the hotel lobby.

2. On the Argentina side there are a few walking paths you can take to access different areas of the falls. There are guided tours available, but the paths are well marked and you definitely don't need a guide to get around. I chose to do the path called the Upper Circuit. The walk is about 30 minutes or so walking at a leisurely pace. It will take longer to stop and look at things. The paths mostly consist of a grated metal walkway that are wide enough for 2 people to walk side by side. So there tends to be lots of stopping and traffic jams when people stop to take photos. Just something to be aware of before you go. There is a Lower Circuit that is a longer walk, but I decided to skip it and enjoy my view from the hotel.

3. Devil's Throat- This is the part of the falls you see in most pictures. You catch a small train (the train is free) out to a walkway where you take a 10-15 minute walk out to the Devil's Throat. The walk is on a metal catwalk over open water, something to be aware of if you have a thing about heights or bridges. On the walk over, there are some stopping points to rest or look at wildlife in the area. When you get to the Devil's Throat, there is a large platform over the water that gives a spectacular view of the falls. It is also crowded AF (see video above). You basically have to fight to get to a rail to see the view. Also, the spray from the falls will definitely land on you so be prepared to get a little wet. The day I was there it was just a fine mist, just enough to provide some coolness from the sun. The view of Devil's Throat is the whole reason to come to Iguazu and must not be missed!

4. Wildlife- Iguazu is full of critters. I saw a crocodile, birds, fish, and, most adorably- Coati. They are like a friendlier version of a raccoon. They are all over the place but especially at the train station, where they will steal food directly from people's bags. They are not at all scared of people, and they are sort of friendly. However, they have claws and teeth and are still wild animals, so it is best to just admire them with your eyes not your hands. I saw a fight between 2 larger Coati over a bag of stolen cookies and it was loud and aggressive. They are cute and fun to watch!

Have you been to Iguazu Falls? Did I miss anything by not going to the Brazil side?

 

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