Leaving Buenos Aires behind us, we travelled North up to the Missiones Region which is famed for its Yerba Mate farms (‘mate’ being a herbal tea that everyone in Argentina is obsessed with. And I mean OBSESSED. People carry around their mate cups, straws and hot water thermoses everywhere, even in the blistering heat. It makes Britain’s interest in tea look pretty fairweather) – but what the area is really known for is, of course, Iguazu Falls!
We arrived pretty frazzled after our long bus journey and an enjoyable 45 minutes of walking around in the midday sun looking for our hostel, due to the fact they have multiple roads with the same name in town! Ah, how we laughed with our hostel owners when we arrived. Ha ha! HA!
So we decided to sack off the Brazilian side of the falls, which would have meant boarding another bus for an expensive round trip and a border crossing, just to see the ‘panorama’ overview gleaned from the Brazilian side. So we chilled by the pool of the hostel that day, given that town was basically just a tourist trap with very little to do (we were tempted by 2×1 cocktails but after I nearly had an exhaustion-fuelled nervous breakdown trying to order icecream, we decided to call it off!)
After days of subsisting on meat, carbs and sugar, we were disproportionately excited to find a BIG supermarket selling lots of FRUIT and VEG! So we spent an excitable few hours in the supermarket buying stuff for dinner and packed-lunch stuff for the falls, then went back to the hostel for ravioli dinner, red wine, and a few games of chess.
The falls were pretty awesome, it has to be said. We excitably started the day super early and got the first bus to the park, the when it opened, ran through to the train terminal so we could be the first people at the ‘Devil’s Mouth’ falls (which also involved running down a long walkway over the falls on the other side!) It was utterly epic though, and worth the effort.
Devil’s Mouth falls
The Devil’s Mouth is basically a corner of the falls where some of the most thunderous cascading views are found, so powerful in scale and vision you can barely wrap your head around it!
Rainbows in the falls on the lower trails
The rest of the day involved following various different trails for different vantage points – the ‘high trail’ where you see impressive panoramas and the ‘low trail’ where you can walk up to the falls (and go underneath them… I got pretty close but was choking by that point so didn’t go right under!), and you can see the real detail of the falls, and loads of rainbows as the sunlight hits them in different ways.
And lastly, we walked a 3.5K trek to a waterfall where you can actually stop and swim, which felt amazing after a hot day hiking around the park. We swam under some waterfalls and sunbathed on rocks, then headed back.
The day was brilliant. The only thing I’d say is high season is totally mad, especially in places like Iguazu, and there were LOTS of people. Fighting for photo ops, selfie positions, etc. – so that was a bit hectic. But apparently the park’s like that much of the year. It was pretty funny because there’s tons of coaties that live there, and they kept eating all the stupid tourists’ food and being generally really lairy, which was pretty lol.
Getting under the falls
All in all, a great trip. Then we reluctantly boarded our second long-distance bus… but this was to be no normal 20 hour bus journey, oh no. We booked TWO back to back buses, to get us down the East Coast to Peninsula Valdes, our next stop. Spent the morning chilling by the pool in preparation, then took our seats for our longest bit of travelling thus far…
Chilling at the hostel pool