Thursday, December 6, 2012

Iguazu Falls and Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

From Puerto Iguazu it was a short ride to Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls is considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world. So I thought that it was worth a visit.
I rode my moto to the entrance of the Parque Nacional Iguazu. Bought an admission ticket for 130 Pesos and walked in.
The Iguazu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of Brazilian State Paraná and Argentine Province Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu.
The park is a major tourist destination and had this little train to carry visitors to the upper falls.
The name "Iguazu" comes from the Guarani or Tupi words "y", meaning "water", and "ûasú ", meaning "big". Legend has it that a god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In rage, the god sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall. The first European to find the falls was the Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541.
After debarking from the train, I walked along an elevated walkway.
Iguazu Falls is located where the Iguazu River tumbles over the edge of the Paraná Plateau, 23 kilometres (14 mi) upriver from the Iguazu's confluence with the Paraná River. 
Numerous islands along the 2.7-kilometre-long (1.7 mi) edge divide the falls into numerous separate waterfalls and cataracts, varying between 60 to 82 metres (197 to 269 ft) high. 
The number of these smaller waterfalls fluctuates from 150 to 300, depending on the water level.
About half of the river's flow falls into a long and narrow chasm called the Devil's Throat (Garganta del Diablo in Spanish or Garganta do Diabo in Portuguese).
The Devil's Throat is U-shaped, 82 meters high, 150 m wide, and 700 m long (269×490×2,300 ft). Mist rises between 30 and 150 metres (100 and 490 ft) from Iguazu's Devil's Throat.
The Iguazu Falls are arranged in a way that seems like a reverse letter "J". 
The border between Brazil and Argentina runs through the Devil's Throat. On the left bank is the Brazilian territory, which has just over 20% of the jumps of these falls, and the right side jumps are Argentines, which make up almost 80% of the falls.
Here is a comparison of waterfalls from around the world. The lengths are in meters.
Iguazu is also often compared with Southern Africa's Victoria Falls which separates Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Iguazu is wider because it is split into about 275 discrete falls and large islands.
The only wider falls are extremely large rapid-like falls such as the Boyoma Falls. 
Upon seeing Iguazu, the United States' First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly exclaimed "Poor Niagara!"(which, at 50 m or 165 feet, are a third shorter).
The Devil's Throat in Argentina has water pouring into it from three sides. At one point a person can stand and be surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfalls. 
Here's a short 1 minute video of the Devil's Throat.
I was not alone at the falls. Like I said, it is a major tourist attraction and there were some areas that were elbow to elbow in tourists.
I decided that I wanted a little more space, so I walked on.
Along the path I came across some butterflies drinking water puddles.
Place names have been given to many of the other smaller falls, such as San Martin Falls, Bossetti Falls and many others.
Water
Rainbow
Chasm
Flora
Fuana
Twin Sisters
Drinking it up.
Fall
After fall
After fall
This is little animal is a coati. It is a relative of the raccoon. They are a bit of a pest and will still items of food or clothing if left unattended.
This industrious group of coatis was working together. One coati climbed the tree and shook the palm. The fruit fell down and the others dined.
I spent the entire day walking around the trails of the park.
Iguazu Falls... one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

3 comments:

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