The spectacular South American Iguazu Falls, which are often compared to the great North American Niagara Falls, 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 down 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 the months of 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 very impressive 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 Iguazu Falls for yourself. As mentioned, there are nearly 300 different cascades and waterfalls separated by a number of "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.
The breathtaking waterfall scene in the latest Indiana Jones movie, The Kingdom of Crystal Skull, has been made with film shots of the Iguazu Falls.
If you think the Niagara Falls, which borders both the United States (in New York) and Canada (in Ontario), are magnificent (and they are), just 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 to 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.
If you want to see the entire Iguazu Falls (both the Argentinean side and the Brazilian side), you'll enjoy your experience much more if you aim to spend at least two days to soak in all the beauty and enjoy all that Iguazu Falls has to offer you as a tourist, guest, or visitor to the area.
But how do you access the falls to view their majesty and splendor? Iguazu Falls are, fortunately, quite accessible to the public, for both tourists and locals alike. If you're flying to either Brazil or Argentina, check out the flights available that provide connections to the Iguazu Falls. You can also see if you can rent a car from a nearby city or town (depending on where you're staying) and drive up to the falls, park, and hike up to the cliff to behold the spectacular vision. Further, consider taking a helicopter ride over the falls, or even take a thrilling boat ride out to the falls.
The time of year in which you choose to come visit Iguazu Falls is entirely up to you. Many tourists prefer the spring and fall, when it is not too hot and humid (as the summer months are) and when the water levels are not too low (as in winter). Although November through March is the rainy season, it is also the time of year when the falls flow the fastest.
Iguazu Falls makes for a perfect vacation destination for couples on their honeymoons, couples celebrating an anniversary or a romantic getaway, groups of traveling friends and buddies, and entire families—at any time of year. Book your vacation to Iguazu WaterFalls today—you'll certainly enjoy an experience of a lifetime.