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Posted by on Sep 5, 2011 in Argentina, South America

Iguazu Falls: When Aardvark’s Attack

Coatis: Aardvark

Members of the raccoon family and native to South and Central America. With its cute point noses and stripey tail – do not be deceived – they are sneaky thieves!

Innocent ol me, just entering Iguazu National Park in Northern Argentina – Bright eyed and excited on a gorgeous 30+ degree day to see Iguazu Falls; I was ready to be inspired.

Since Iguazu Falls has overpriced food, to remain on budget, Cleo, Adrien, and I had planned ahead and brought lunch with us – of course – it being Argentina – I brought Medialunas (Croissants) for lunch.

We enter the park – after dropping 20 pesos ($5) for the bus from the city Puerto Iguazu to the National Park  and then another 100 Pesos ($25) for entrance fee – we have two options: take the train around the park or walk the paths. Since it is a natural park and we sat on the bus for 20 hours to arrive there – the path was the best option to experience all the park has to offer.

So we set off down the Green Path. We are walking and laughing enjoying the weather and the outdoors, as I begin to recant my experience in Thailand when I ran into Alligators, when we spot a beautiful birdy. So Cleo busts out her camera and we start to take photos, excited at our first Iguazu animal sighting.

As we are taking our pretty bird photos, a group of highschoolers on a guided tour stop about 10 metres behind us. I look up as I hear rustling in the bushes, and I spot the coatis. I point it out for Cleo and Adrien, and then I see 3 coatis….then 7 coatis…..then 10….running….at me….I scream like a little girl (as I am female this is acceptable) and I hold out my arm – which in my hand I hold my bag of Medialunas (croissants). The coatis ATTACK my bag of food and 20 more coatis attack the bag and I see my lunch being devoured by the sneaky fuzzy rats. Of course, every single person, Cleo, Adrian, the group of highschool students, all burst out laughing. I join in the laughter and slowly walk away with tears in my eyes – I cant be true if it was from laughing or being scared. haha

After the attack, we make our way to the actual waterfalls. “An unforgetable experience and a spectacle of nature, the falls are considered a wonder of the world. They originated 200 thousand years ago in the place that is known today as “the 3 frontiers” marked with stone pillars, where the Iguassu river and the Paraná river meet – and is a border between Argentina and Brazil. A geological fault produced on the Paraná river made the outlet of the Iguassu river become an abrupt cascade approximately 80 meters high. From that point, where the falls originate to where the Devil’s Throat is located today, covers 23 kilometers. Depending on the water level, you can see anywhere between 160 a 260 falls, that on average flow at a rate of 1500 cubic meters of water per second.” (Iguazu Argentina)

Map of the Falls:

We start off taking the Upper Circuit to view the falls from the top. We then walked the Lower Circuit to get more close and personal with the falls and feel the mist. Since we wanted to really experience the falls – the 3 of us booked the Falls Passport which took us on a boat under the falls for a nice shower and on an ecological tour to explore above the falls animals and flora. It was great fun.

The boat tour through the falls was deceiving. They took us very near the falls and said take out your cameras and take photos. So we did, then we moved to the other falls and took pictures there. Never entering the falls. We were very disappointed as we wanted to get wet! We were feeling riped-off – but they deceived us, as after going to both falls and remaining dry, they returned to the Devil’s Throat and put us right near the falls and we got SOAKED. It was great fun! Problem is – being THAT close to the falls – the water is very strongly hitting you – so you really get NO visual sight of the falls as you are trying to wipe all the water off your eyes only to have more splash at you. haha.

Both San Martin Island and the Devil’s Throat path were closed because the water levels were too high. That was unfortunate, but we walked all other paths in the park and tried to avoid further unwarranted attacks by coatis. We did watch multiple other people be attacked and have their food stolen and we gave a holler now and then of warned “Watch Out” but there is no defense against the sneaky Coatis!

The Falls – are stunning and awe-inspiring and everything everybody says. But – are they worth the 40 hour bus ride to/from Buenos Aires for 800 Pesos ($200)? Is it worth the 120 Pesos ($25) for the bus and entrance to Iguazu Falls? I say yes it most certainly is. Yes I invested money and time – but it was beautiful – especially when there was a full rainbow across both waterfalls in full view. Stunning.

Photos to come

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