So Iguazu did not start out very well for us. After taking a three hour bus ride from El Chalten to El Calafate, we got on an Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Buenos Aires that was supposed to continue on to Iguazu Falls. We arrived in Buenos Aires to find out that our flight to Iguazu had been cancelled. The airline changed our flights to the next morning and put all of us on a bus into the city for the night to stay at a horrible hotel, Hotel Presidente, with an equally horrible meal. The hotel lobby was fairly decent but the rooms were out of a 70s horror movie cruise ship.
We survived and the next morning we made it to Iguazu landing around 11am and took a taxi to our hotel (400 pesos). There was also a bus (that takes longer) from the airport but we didn’t want to waste any time. We splurged and stayed at the Raices Esturion Lodge in our own gated cabana down the street from the main hotel.
IGUAZU NATIONAL PARK
Because our flight was cancelled we lost a day and were only able to see the falls from the Argentinian side. We were able in total a little less than 6 hours at the park. We had a great taxi driver Fabio and paid 600 pesos roundtrip. He came and picked us up when the park closed at 6pm.
When you first enter the park and get your ticket (330 pesos) it is very Disneyland-like with park shops and restaurants. You then get on a mini train that goes to the two trails (1st stop) and Devil’s Throat (2nd stop). You can also walk to the first stop via a trail. There are food vendors at the train stops and at the beginning of the trails if you need to eat while you are there.
Watch out for the Coati and hide your food! They roam freely along the trails of the falls. You can also see monkeys, turtles and butterflies galore.
We started with Devil’s Throat which was a very easy walk along elevated walkways to the edge. There are so many butterflies! They’ll even land on you if you stand still long enough.
INFERIOR & SUPERIOR PATHS
After Devil’s Throat we took the train to the first train stop and had about 2 hours left. We power walked and were able to do the Inferior (lower) and Superior (upper) paths. If you start your day earlier in the morning you should be able to do both paths at a more leisurely pace. You can also take a boat ride closer to the falls but we didn’t have time (warning: you get soaked if you do this). The two paths were a little more strenuous then Devil’s Throat and while there is debate between whether one is better than the other I would say they are just very different paths.
On the Inferior (lower) trail you get to see full views of the waterfalls (there are lots of smaller falls around the main larger fall as you walk the trail). On the Superior (upper) trail you get to walk more on top of the falls so you get to have the feeling of the waterfalls gushing below you and you really feel the strength of the falls.
THE BRAZILIAN SIDE
We didn’t have time but you can also take a taxi to the other side of the falls and view the falls from Brazil.
GUIRA-OGA REHABILITATION CENTER
The morning before we left we stopped by the Güira-oga Rehabilitation Center where they care for and rehabilitate local wildlife. Many of animals are brought to them because they are injured by cars (a problem in town) or are in danger of becoming extinct. Some of the animals will live at the center forever and some will eventually be released back into the wild.
We took a taxi there (200 pesos) and the entrance was 150 pesos. A guide took us through the center on a 2 hour tour introducing us to all the animals at the center. The guide was very knowledgeable and it was great to see some of the animals up close that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
STEAK IN IGUAZU
We were dying for some steak and by our taxi drivers recommendation we went to El Quincho del Tio Querido on Peron Street for dinner. Great steak, and there was music and tango. It was a little bit on the pricier side. If you head to El Centro there are lots of restaurants to choose from. We took a taxi back to our hotel for (90 pesos).