Thursday, January 2, 2014

Puerto Iguazú, Argentina

On December 29 we arranged for a car to take us across the border to Argentina. The immigration process to cross into Argentina was quite simple. Our driver took our passports and got us stamped out of Brazil, drove to the Argentina border crossing and got us stamped in. No luggage check or anything. We just had to provide proof of paying the reciprocity fee of $160USD (which is good for 10 years so we are hoping to return before 2024 to make the fee worth it). 

Crossing Rio Iguazú into Argentina - hello, country #25


Mustache Kitty at border patrol

We were able to check into our hotel room at Jardin de Iguazú and it was quite a nice place with friendly and helpful reception staff (as compared the place we stayed at in Foz). Since crossing the border meant we gained an hour, we got an early start to the Iguazú falls from the Argentina side. The hotel manager/owner was nice enough to explain where we can catch the bus to the falls and the cost.

[A side note to those who plan to travel to Argentina- there are two exchange rates - an official one (when you use your ATM card and credit card) and an "unofficial" one (when you can exchange USD or any other currency). When we were booking our accommodations for Buenos Aires, the contact there shed some light into this strange practice. Basically, you can get more pesos if you exchange it on the black market! For example, the official rate is $1= 6.50 pesos but we were able to get $1=8 pesos. There is a website you can check for the current black market rate. It was at $1=9.99 pesos when we checked but we weren't really in a position to negotiate considering 8 pesos to the dollar was still better than the "official" exchange rate.]

We headed to the bus company, Rio Uruguay (which was just around the corner and up the street from the hotel) to get our tickets - 70 pesos each for a roundtrip bus ride. After just being on the Brazil side of the waterfalls, I wasn't sure how much better it could be but I'm really glad we went because I liked the Argentina side better. First off, there seemed to be a lot less people than in Brazil. Maybe it was because it was a Sunday, I don't know. It was nice to not be waiting in line for an hour to get tickets and then wait to get on a bus. The park was built more like an amusement park with larger pathways and railings that made it easy to see the falls. There was a lot more walking but it was a lot more tolerable.

Inside the park - no lines and people climbing over each other!

We made a quick stop before buying boat tickets

That's a big ant!

Nice (and empty) on the Green Trail

Don't mess with the monkeys or coatis

Walking along

Dos aves

Salto Lanusse - first of many waterfalls

The boat ride we got tickets to took us to this waterfall

Salto San Martin

Getting ready for our boat ride

Rockin' the life jackets and trying to prepare to get wet

Approaching EXTREME wetness

Check out this video of us getting up close and personal to these waterfalls.

Drenched!

Paul can't even open his eyes

But we had a good time

From right to left: Salto Adan y Eva, Salto Gpque Bernabe Mendez and Salto Mbigua

Panoramic - including Salto Bossetti

Salto Bossetti

Salto Chico

Milky looking Dos Hermanas

Dos Hermanas again but with a faster shutter speed

Iguana with his tongue out

You can see how its tongue splits!

Close up

Dirty coatis 

Also known as Freddy Kruger Coatis in the cartoon world

It was nice that the sun came out for a bit to give us some blue skies

Damselfly

Different than dragonflies - eyes protrude and bodies are thinner/smaller

Pretty cool to be able to see the pattern on its wing

Salto Bossetti - looking down - can you see the faint rainbow?

You can see a couple other viewing balconies

The pictures really don't do it justice

It was really amazing

Really glad we made the trip to see the falls from the Argentina side

Monkeying around

Poor butterfly doesn't have a chance against that spider

We then took a train to Devil's Throat

AKA Garganta del Diablo

It was about another 15 minute walk

Zig zagging

Pretty butterfly

It was hot

Approaching Garganta del Diablo

Yes, we are in Argentina

Panoramic of Garganta del Diablo

Another shot of Devil's Throat

Looking down towards Rio Iguazu Inferior

Rainbow! 

We had just dried off from the wet boat ride...got wet again standing so close

So pretty!

Waterfalls everywhere

Double rainbow!

Mustache Kitty got wet

Walking back we saw a catfish

A long day but totally worth it. We even had a nice dinner at Aqva - a restaurant recommended by the hotel manager/owner. The only regret I have is not ordering the dessert that he recommended. We were too full so skipped. I should have just tried it! The next day we were off to Buenos Aires to ring in the new year.

25 comments:

  1. Where else in South America are you going? : D
    Naomi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Naomi! In Argentina, we also visited Buenos Aires and Ushuaia. We are heading to Chile tonight and our last stop before we head back to SF is Peru. Hope you are well!

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