Friday, July 13, 2007


Cataratas de Iguazu

The Cataratas de Iguazú competes with Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls for the title of "world's largest waterfall". Actually all three have legitimate claims: Niagara has the most water, Victoria is the highest, and Iguazú is the widest.

Iguazú is in Northern Argentina bordering Brasil and very close to Paraguay. It's a 2 hour flight from Buenos Aires or a 20-some hour bus ride.

The falls are impressive! They're much harder to photograph than Niagara because there are so many individual falls that it's impossible to get them all in the same frame. Brasil and Argentina each have national parks around the falls, creating a large natural area. The selva is sub-tropical forest full of palm trees, philodendrons, vines-- very different from Uruguay's rangeland. Walking through the jungle to see the falls is much more interesting than crossing Niagara's asphalt.

The weather wasn't the greatest this week-- cloudy and cool-- but it beats their summer heat of 45 degrees C. We got soaking wet on the "grand adventure" boatride under the falls & that was really cold. But, the rain held off until we were on our way to the airport for the trip back to Montevideo. (And we missed Buenos Aires' first snow in 89 years by a couple of hours.)

We didn't visit the Brazilian side because the visa cost was $144 per person. I heard the views were great, but the price seemed awfully steep for one afternoon. I later heard that it's easy to cross illegally into Brazil by taxi or city bus. (But not with a tour company since they face a penalty of 4000 reales if you're caught.) In any case, we didn't have time to try being illegal aliens and we found plenty to entertain us on the Argentinian side.

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Hi there,
I just found your site and I am having a blast exploring Montevideo through your blogs.
My best friend will be working as a volunteer in Montevideo for the next five weeks. I have not been able to talk to her all I know is she is staying in a community called Las Flores in West Montevideo.
What, if anything, do you know about that neighborhood? Do you have any pictures of that part of town? Thanks and keep up the good work:)
That sounds like a great experience. I'm not familiar with Las Flores.
I so want to visit the Cataratas de Iguazu...
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