The river runs lazily along the border

Obelisk at the Argentina side of the triple frontier

Mist rises from the waterfall

The lesser falls and Isla San Martin on the Argentine side

Arrays of waterfalls cascading down the cliffs

Arrays of waterfalls cascading down the cliffs

Another close-up of the falls

A colorful bird perched in a tree

Looking down the valley from the Devil´s Throat

The Devil´s Throat and a rainbow

Panorama of Iguazu Falls

The Devil´s Throat under the full moon

Devil´s Throat under the moonlight

Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

A Spectacular Waterfall

May 18, 2008

Waterfall, nothing can harm me at all

My worries seem so very small

With my waterfall

I can see my rainbow calling me

Through the misty breeze

Of my waterfall.

- Jimi Hendrix

Iguazu Falls is located about 20km east of the triple frontier between Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. The triple frontier lies at the confluence of the Iguazu and Alto Parana Rivers with colored markers on each of the steeply sloping riverbanks, although the Brazilian one is located behind a large pagoda and can´t be seen from the Argentine side. To travel between the countries there is a bridge from Puerto Iguazu in Argentina to Foz do Iguacu in Brazil and then another bridge from Foz do Iguacu to Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. Except for the Argentine border crossing, none of the buses stop and wait for passengers to go through immigration so if you have to get an exit or entry stamp you have to disembark and then wait for the next bus to come by, a real pain. However, if you are just crossing the border for the day you don´t need to get Brazilian or Paraguayan stamps, making it very convenient.

From the Argentine side you are able to get a much closer view of the falls. The Argentine side also has much more to offer with 3-4 different trails that provide different perspectives of the falls and the 1km walkway to a viewpoint right near the Devil´s Throat is undoubtedly the highlight. The Lower Circuit trail leads down to a boat dock where you can take a free boat over to the island in the middle of the river that has good views over the lesser falls and one super tiny swimming area with a rocky beach. The Upper Circuit traverses the top ridge of the lesser falls and is short but pretty. To get from those trails to the path to the Devil´s Throat you take an old train that runs every half hour and brings you to the start of the walkway. Unfortunately, the park is only open until 6pm, with the last return train at 5:30pm so you don´t get to stay and see the sunset at the falls, but even at 5:30pm the light was starting to change altering the excellent scenery. The river itself was actually flowing quite slowly and seemed to be only about several feet deep. The Devil´s Throat was truly amazing, with a semi-circle of waterfalls pouring into a basin and the resulting mist being carried upwards by the wind creating an endless supply of rainbows.

For the few days every month around the full moon they also offer nighttime viewing of the Devil´s Throat. This doesn’t permit you to remain in the park until darkness rather you are forced to exit the park and the wait until it re-opens in the early evening. Nevertheless it seemed like an opportunity worth taking advantage of since my visit just happened to coincide with the full moon. Under the moonlight, and without as much noise or other people around it was very beautiful and serene on the walkway and at the viewpoint. The park rangers claimed that sometimes you can see rainbows at night but I was not able to see any and I am not sure how there could be enough light to make a rainbow visible in the darkness.