The spectacular South American Iguazu Falls, which are located along the border of Brazil and Argentina, are considered a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. These falls are much taller (or longer, however you want to look at it) than Niagara Falls and are nearly four times as wide, with an impressive 275 different cascades and individual waterfalls plunging about 270 feet into the gorge below. The falls stretch out along a vast, crescent-shaped cliff for two and a half miles along the Iguazu River.
If you visit Iguazu Falls—which formed from a volcanic eruption leaving a massive crack in the earth—during South America's rainy season (between November and March), you'll be lucky enough to watch the water flowing over the falls at a rate of up to a whopping 450,000 cubic feet per second; that's a lot of water flowing down very quickly! Normally, the water plummets downward at a rate slightly above 550 cubic feet per second, which is still a sight awe-inspiring and stunning to behold.
However, this description and these details really do nothing to encapsulate the amazing vision, sound, and experience of actually visiting the famous Iguazu Falls for yourself. As mentioned, there are nearly 300 different cascades and waterfalls separated by several 'islands' that comprise Iguazu Falls, most notably Gargantua del Diablo, known as the Devil's Throat, best viewed from the Brazilian side of the falls, which features a very high, 100-foot spray continuously shooting up over its falls, along with a striking rainbow. Other very popular falls within Iguazu Falls include Bernabe Mendez, Bossetti, and San Martin, among many others.
Indiana Jones Filming Location Scene
The breathtaking waterfall scene with Harrison Ford, Shia LeBeouf, and Cate Blanchett in the latest Indiana Jones movie, The Kingdom of Crystal Skull, directed by Steven Spielberg, has been made with film shots of the Iguazu Falls.
The Most Majestic Waterfalls
If you think the Niagara Falls, which borders both the United States (in New York) and Canada (in Ontario), are magnificent (and they are), wait until you capture the breathtaking essence of the Iguazu Falls—you will likely be rendered both speechless and breathless. In fact, Iguazu Falls are famous for being visited by Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who, upon gazing on these falls for the first time, reportedly remarked, 'Poor Niagara.'
Poor Niagara, indeed. If you ever get the amazing opportunity to visit South America, particularly the exciting, tropical countries of and Brazil, a nice, lengthy stop at the fantastic Iguazu Waterfalls, situated right on the Argentinean-Brazilian border, is a must. Not only is the sight of these beautiful and strong falls a vision to behold, but you can actually hear the thundering roar and pounding from miles away!
As vast and immense as these awesome falls are, they are actually a part of something much larger: a unique and largely unspoiled jungle ecosystem surrounded by the protection of national parks—both Brazilian and Argentinean—on all sides of the falls. For example, on Argentina's side, which holds two-thirds of Iguazu Falls, you'll find the sensational Iguazu National Park, which offers unparalleled beauty, scenery, and landscapes, which a vast assortment of jungle hiking trails, bird-watching opportunities and trails, and a plethora of wildlife plants, flowers, vegetation, and animals. In fact, you can easily spend one entire day of your Argentinean vacation checking out a full two-thirds of the splendor of Iguazu Falls and also spending time in the great Iguazu National Park.
There is so much to see and do that it's highly recommended that you dedicate a minimum of a full day to this experience—you won't regret it. If you check out the remainder of the falls on the Brazilian side, you most certainly will not be disappointed. Although the Brazilian side of Iguazu Waterfalls only comprises one-third of the entire falls, you'll find the view from this side to be much more panoramic than the view from the Argentinean side. Further, you can actually catch an exciting helicopter ride to view the falls from on high, accessed from Brazil's famous Foz do Iguazu.