I meant to get these posts out sooner, but I've been studying for an actuarial exam. Priorities!
It was an interesting feeling getting back on a bus to leave Puerto Madryn. It was a city I had my doubts about when I arrived, but I was pleasantly surprised and wished I could have stayed a bit longer. It's not that there was a whole lot to do in Puerto Madryn, other than see the wildlife, but I guess my love for nature wanted to keep me there a little longer. At the same time, I was excited for the next leg of my journey - Iguazu Falls!
Puerto Iguazu was a lot more commercialized than Puerto Madryn. There also seemed to be a lot more people and travelers out and about. Since Iguazu Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, it made sense that there would be a lot more tourists in the area than there were in Puerto Madryn.
I arrived to Puerto Iguazu in the morning around 9am. Since I was only there for one night, I planned to go see the falls that afternoon and then spend the majority of the next day there. I stayed at Marco Polo Inn which was really cheap and convenient as it was located right across from the bus station. They were very helpful and helped me change money (although the rate was definitely better in Buenos Aires), told me how to get a bus to the falls, and were really just friendly all around. Since I arrived before check-in, they took my bag and locked it in their storage so I didn't have to bring it to the falls. They also allowed me to sit and charge my phone and camera for a while before I left. I definitely recommend the place!
When I left my Habitat team in Buenos Aires, I thought that it was goodbye for good, or at least until we meet again someday in the United States. When discussing travel plans for after the build, it didn't seem that anyone else had plans that overlapped with mine. So when I saw one of the women from my team after I walked into the Iguazu Falls National Park, we were both taken a back. It was funny in a way - it had only been about 5 days since we last saw each other, but we both just stared as if we weren't certain we knew each other. It was crazy, but awesome! It went along with the whole concept surrounding our build - everything happens for a reason and what's meant to be will be. If I had been on one bus earlier or one bus later, we never would've seen each other. Especially after my incident in Buenos Aires, I was SO happy to see a friendly face! But seriously though, what a SMALL world! The odds of us running into each other like that were incredibly slim, but it happened! We ended up getting together that night for dinner and shared our stories from the days prior, it was so unexpected and so nice!
Iguazu Falls Wildlife!
If you're a nature lover, you need to get to Iguazu Falls at some stage in your life. It was just breathtaking. The falls were beautiful, but I was also surrounded by new animals I've never seen before, including tons of lizards and coatis. These animals, although interesting, were nothing compared to the millions of beautiful butterflies! Purple, blue, yellow, red, you name it - there were butterflies of all sorts of colors! It was magical to be surrounded by so many of them. The best part was that you could just be walking or sitting and you'd have one or two land on you.
I'll never forget getting on the train in the park to go to Devil's Throat. The entire trip, butterflies were flying next to us. It was unforgettable and perfect. Countless numbers flew by and crowded around the puddles on the dirt road that ran next to the train tracks. From what I was told, the reason why there are so many near the falls is because of all of the salt!
Iguazu Falls were breathtaking. If you're in South America, this is a must. I could've easily spent a couple more days here to hike the longer trails and have more time to just take it all in.
I did the Lower Circuit, Upper Circuit and Devil's Throat the first afternoon I spent at the falls. The weather was perfect and sunny, so there wasn't too much mist and there were rainbows everywhere!
The next day I planned on doing the longer trails and going to the island, but when I woke up, it was pouring rain, so I didn't end up going back to the falls until later in the morning. Since I didn't have much time, I just walked the Upper Circuit again and went to Devil's Throat. It was definitely nicer the day before - all of the rain made it a lot more misty and the visibility was a lot less than it was before!
Devil's Throat - Garganta Del Diablo
Devil's Throat was definitely a highlight. It was amazing being at the top of the falls, hearing and seeing the water rush down below. It was so loud and every so often the mist would come up and soak everyone. If you're traveling to Iguazu Falls, MAKE SURE you bring a ziploc bag to put your phone and camera in. If I didn't have my camera in a bag, it would've been ruined. Also, I suggest bringing an extra pair of clothes - if you go to Devil's Throat you will definitely get wet!
Pictures don't do Devil's Throat justice - it's a place you really need to see for yourself to get the full effect. It's a place you'll always remember. The first day I went, there was a huge rainbow spanning below the viewing platform, with birds flying in and out of the mist. That's something you can see in very few places and it was incredible! I can still hear the roaring sound of the water beneath me.
Check out more pics from Devil's Throat below!
Upper and Lower Circuits - Paseo Superior y Paseo Inferio
The upper trail definitely had better views of all of the falls, but I saw a lot of wildlife on the lower trail. Both trails were definitely worth walking! On the lower circuit, you are able to walk along a platform almost right up to the base of one of the waterfalls. It was a great way to cool off after all of the walking in the sun!
More pics below!
If you're into nature, animals and walking, Iguazu Falls is really the place to visit! It's also not too expensive if you stay at a hostel in Puerto Iguazu and just go to the park! If you plan on going two days in a row, make sure to get your ticket stamped at the end of the first day because you will get in the second day half-off!
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