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South American Paradise

Words cannot begin to describe the paradise that is Iguazu falls. I was fortunate to be able to visit both Brazilian and Argentinian sides to gain as much perspective as possible. From my experience, I don’t think anyone could cover the complete scope of the falls with one shot. If that is what you are after, I suggest taking a video from a helicopter tour.

Let’s be clear, Iguazu falls isn’t just one, two or three waterfalls such as Niagara. It is made up of many varying in different heights and widths. And because of its astonishing geological features, it was named one of the natural New Seven Wonders of the world in 2011. I think what makes Iguazu so spectacular is just how much fresh water is pouring over the huge cliffs. As you can see from my photos, the landscape looks like curtains of white rapids hanging in the air.

There are differences between the two sides of the falls however. From what I experienced, the Brazilian side “Foz do Iguacu” features nice buses that take visitors from the entrance of the national park right to the falls with a moderate amount of walking on level terrain. On the other hand, the Argentinean side “Puerto Iguazu”, does not have air conditioned tour buses, but features a lot more advanced walking and hiking trails. Don’t get me wrong, but sides offer absolutely stunning views and when you think about it, to see the Brazilian side of the falls you have to be standing on the Argentinean side and vice versa. Thus, I would recommend exploring both sides of the falls for the full experience.

If you happen to be traveling as a family with young children or seniors, I would suggest visiting the Brazilian side for sure or just the superior circuit of the Argentinean side.

As I mentioned, the Argentinean side features a lot more walking in the form of different levels such as the superior and inferior circuits. The inferior one takes you right up and close of the mighty waterfalls and you will definitely get soaked and exhausted when the day is over. For some reason, I decided to even go the extra mile and venture onto San Martin island, which is a short boat ride to a rock formation in the middle of the falls. Warning, the climb up is extremely steep and it is not for the faint of heart. I admit that I am not the fittest fellow you will meet, but I recall being extremely tired as I have never walked or sweat so much in my entire life. But was it worth it? Y-E-S.

Photographer’s Note: I captured most of these shots of Iguazu falls with the Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8. Either leave this baby on all the time or bring a secondary body and telephoto lens. Trust me, you do not want to be switching lenses in this kind of environment. 

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