Don’t ignore the Iguacu Falls

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel tips & opinions

Confession time: I very nearly didn’t make it to the Iguacu Falls – being too busy topping up the tan on Rio’s Copacabana Beach, but boy am I glad I did.

The Falls – a short two hour flight from Rio (sit on the left hand side of the plane for the best views), are without a doubt, a sight worth seeing. Make no mistake: the crashing cascades occupying an area more than 80m high and 3km wide have the wow factor and no other water falls in the world can compete. Little wonder then that Eleanor Roosevelt gasped “Poor little Niagara” when she came up close at Iguacu.



The 275 falls (shared between Brazil and Argentina) are so bedazzling that it comes as no surprise to learn that Hollywood covets them for one blockbuster after another  – scenes from Miami Vice, Mr Magoo, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull and The River were all shot here.

While you could just drop in and see the Brazilian side in an afternoon, thanks to the heart stoppingly pretty Hotel das Cataratas – a colonial style pale pink property managed by the Orient Express,who also ownthe Copacabana Palace in Rio – you could spend days in Iguacu. That said you’d need deep pockets: Hotel das Cataratas is by far and away the most handsomest hotel in town, with price tags to match, natch. Hotel das Cataratas is also the only accommodation in Iguacu that offers access to the Falls once the National Park closes (around 6pm).



Yet while the Falls are undeniably thrilling, they’re not the only attraction. Not by far. For adrenaline junkies, there’s rock climbing, rappelling and white water rafting. More sedate options include hiking, boating excursions and the chance to get close to all sorts of wonderful creatures: keep your eyes peeled for parrots, parakeets, toucans, tapirs, raccoons, monkeys and more.



All told the spotlight will inevitably fall on Sao Paulo and Rio when the Olympic flame arrives in 2016, but visitors should add the Iguacu Falls to their  Brazilian itinerary. It’s a cliche I know, but miss it and you really will miss out on one of the world’s natural phenomenons.




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