As I was planning my South American adventure, I spoke with many of my friends whom I consider “real travelers.” When I told some that I would be in Argentina and Brazil, their instant followup was that I should definitely add Iguazu/Iguassu Falls to my itinerary. I checked into it and agreed that they were correct. So I altered my trip a little to add this stop. The falls are in the corner of Argentina that touches Paraguay and Brazil. I decided to stay at the Sheraton on the Argentina side: every review said it was the best way to absorb the actual nature of the whole area.
I grabbed the quick flight from Buenos Aires to the Iguazu Falls airport. It was easy. The cab ride was somewhat annoying: the company kept lying to me telling me that they didn’t accept credit cards, even though their sign said they did. Finally they ran the card, and I was off to the hotel. The hotel is inside the national park, so I had to purchase an entry ticket, but I was okay with that. The annoying part is that there are limited ATMs in the city and there are few places that accept credit card.
The hotel was quite amazing. It seemed old, but I loved the location. My room had a perfect view of the falls. If you are SPG or Marriott platinum, you should stay here. They upgrade you, and it is worth it.
I unpacked and immediately grabbed the train to venture out to the Devil’s Throat walkway. I am very glad I did. The walk is long, but the views are spectacular. It was cool to see all the people with their mate kits.
After my adventure, I came back to the hotel and hit the pool. I met some cool folks and got some sun. Then I made plans to hit a local restaurant, The Argentine Experience. I was given no information about this place, except that they give you a mix of local food and flavour. I was running late, but I didn’t really get what that meant. Turns out, this place is like a guided tour of the food. It is a hands-on experience teaching the ways and cooking methods. It is awesome. I loved it. I met some awesome people, drank some delicious wine, and ate some scrumptious food.
I had set up a full-day tour extravaganza for my full day. It started with a safari through the woods, then had a boat ride under the falls, then a trip through the Parque de Aves, and finally a helicopter ride over the falls. All of this was on the Brasil side. What I didn’t realize is the commercial nature of the falls. I felt like I was in Disneyland. It was nauseating. So many people… everywhere… with their selfie sticks and souvenir outfits. I think I have become a travel snob. This atmosphere hurt my soul. My tour group was basically 40 Brasilian speakers and me. We met up with another group, and it turned out that the Latvian couple, was the guy that was on the boat with us when we did the sunset drinks at Victoria Falls back in April. It really is a small world.
The Boat tour was absolutely worth it. Getting sprayed under the falls was amazing. Even if I couldn’t understand what anyone said, I loved every second. I was hosed. Luckily my clothes dried quickly.
The Bird sanctuary was spectacular. I loved the birds and the colours. Sadly, by the time I got through the park, my tour guide found me, and apparently I wasn’t going to be able to take the helicopter ride I had paid for. You have to have three people. I was extremely disappointed by the tour group all day. This was the final straw. I cannot disapprove of Gray Line tours any more. They are horrendous. I am still trying to get my refund. Helisul was always beyond rude how they handled it.
I came back to the hotel, and planned a nice dinner at El Quincho del Tio Querido to help forget about the debacle. Steak, beer, Tango, live music, and atmosphere made the evening better.
I am so happy I added Iguazu to my trip. It is so magical. Just spend as little time on the Brasil side as possible. The nature in Argentina is well-worth it.