By Oliver Hartman
It was worth the 17-hour, overnight bus ride from Buenos Aires because when I arrived at Iguazú Falls I was blown away. Here, 270 cascades have formed a spectacular horseshoe of falling tributaries and sheets of water. Straddling the border between Brazil and Argentina, the National park also boasts 2000 species of flora, 80 species of mammals (you’ll definitely run into a Coati or two – a long-nosed coonish, aardvark), and 450 species of birds, but let’s be honest: the falls are the main attraction.
The three things you have to do – a walk along the upper and lower trail systems; a visit to the largest individual cascade, Garganta del Diablo or “The Devil’s Throat “; and a ride in a speed boat that skirts you into the spray of some of the more dramatic falls. All of these can be done in one day. But, if you want to spend a second day you can easily explore more of the park, such as the 4.5 mile Macuco Nature Trail, or the park on Brazil’s side.
Lastly, if possible, coordinate your trip with a full moon because the park organizes a night tour that combines a ride on the park’s small ecological railroad with a stroll along elevated walkways that traverse the rivers to the silver-flecked spray of The Devil’s Throat. My trip was thoroughly unplanned, but I arrived the day of a full moon and found the experience eerie but incredible.
From Buenos Aires, Iguazú is a short 90 minute flight or a sluggish 17 hour bus ride.