Iguazu Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and for good reason. The falls themselves are beautiful, powerful, enchanting places. The nature surrounding them is equally beautiful: lush green undergrowth, trees reaching into the sky, and wild animals, birds, and insects fluttering in-between. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the scale and beauty of the place is hard to describe – if you ever get the chance to go, do!
6 Reasons To Visit Iguazu National Park & Waterfalls in Argentina
I visited Iguazu National Park as part of my time in Argentina, with two of my best friends. We weren’t quite sure what to expect – and I’ll be honest, we weren’t overly impressed by the hotel we stayed in. But on the day of our visit to Iguazu, that didn’t matter: the park itself is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here’s six reasons why you should visit, and how to make the most of your time there…
1. Expert Tour Guides
Before I go into the reasons why Iguazu is such a magical place, I have to first write a sincere thank you to our tour guide on the day, called Micaela. She took us around the park, over the course of seven hours, and would capture the wonders of the park for us, in fluent English, spotting hidden birds, butterflies, plants, and histories we would have never known without her. Having worked in the park for 19 years, Micaela became the Queen of Iguazu for us! If you ever get a chance to meet her and tour with her, please take it!
2. Devil’s Throat
There are two walking trails in Iguazu National Park, a high trail and a low trail. We started on the high trail, elevated on metal bridging across much of the jungle and water, ending at Devil’s Throat gorge, where much of the water flows. On our way, we spotted wild turtles, jay birds, hummingbirds, and a rainbow array of butterflies. Getting closer to the gorge, we watched large condors circling on the heat currents rising from the falls. And then at the gorge, we found ourselves being showered by the foaming water, screaming and laughing at the natural wonder. It’s a must-visit.
3. Supporting Conservation
As we returned back on our trail, Micaela shared with us that the park is home to a number of rare species of animals and plants. One in particular is the palmito tree, which is popular due to the ‘heart of palm’ vegetable. The issue: to gain the heart of palm, you have to kill the tree. It’s led to their protection across the park, although poachers are still an issue for these trees as well as exotic animals and birds.
4. Wildlife – In The Wild
One thing that will strike you upon visiting Iguazu is how full of wildlife the place is. Yellow butterflies come together in their hundreds to dance in the sun’s midday rays. Green toucans can be found eating fruit up in the trees. Rounding one corner, we even saw a caiman laying close to a river’s edge. And the best part – was that all this wildlife was still in the wild. It was in its natural home. There was something so powerful about seeing how they all live in harmony, rather than caged in zoos.
5. The Falls
Now, onto the lower trail, you’ll find yourself with some of the best views of Devil’s Throat, as well as the rest of the falls – did you know Iguazu is the largest waterfall system in the world?! It has over 275 individual water falls, including the Dos Hermanas (Two Sisters) and St Martin, the largest fall pictured in the top left photo. Every fall has a different setting, with new plants, flowers, and wildlife around them. At one, we found vultures. Another, lizards. One, bright pink flowers.
6. Guira Oga
Finally, if you enjoy visiting Iguazu National Park, and have extra time in the area, I recommend visiting Guira Oga, a nearby wildlife sanctuary supporting animals harmed in the wild or by poachers. We headed here on the morning of our departure, and spent two hours touring the sanctuary, seeing toucans with broken wings and a blind ocelot.
More Natural Wonders In Argentina
If you’re visiting Argentina, Iguazu is a must-visit in my book. Alongside the incredible biodiversity of the jungle, I’d also recommend seeing the Salinas Grandes salt flats, as well as Andes mountains around Salta, and if you get chance, the urban jungle of Buenos Aires. Buen viajes!