Iguazu Falls

07 Apr, 2009

The “Great Water” that is the Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Waterfalls are sure to attract tourists and visitors. Perhaps this is because the unusual form of this natural wonder and how the water flows from the rock formation. The sight of waterfalls is truly worth all the trouble of the travel. Waterfalls aren’t exactly rare, since most countries have their own waterfalls, but very few countries have famed and popular ones. Among the most famed waterfalls in the world include the Angel Falls in Venezuela (at 3212 feet, it is the world’s highest waterfalls), the Cautley Spout in England (although not exactly overwhelming, at only 580 feet, it is the highest in England), and the Hannoki Falls (at 1,640 feet, it is the tallest in Asia). Then there are the more unusual waterfalls—for instance Singapore has the world’s tallest artificial waterfall, the Jurong Falls.

Another one of the world’s most popular waterfalls is the Iguazu Falls, located at the border of Argentina and Brazil. This attraction is famed for its overwhelming size. Not only is it one of the tallest (one of its falls has a height of more than 2,000 feet); the Iguazu or Iguacu Falls are considered as among the widest. The Iguazu Falls are actually composed of 275 falls, two thirds of which are found in Argentina. Between Brazil’s Parana and Argentina’s Misiones, the Iguazu Falls are part of the Iguazu River—the falls actually divide it into the lower Iguazu and the upper Iguazu.

The Iguazu Falls (as it is known in Brazil; in Argentina, it is called the Iguacu Falls) are renowned obviously because of its overwhelming size. There are very few waterfalls like it. Of course, while it is a thousand feet short of becoming the world’s tallest falls, the size and its overall appearance are something that makes it a wonder to behold, a wonder that tourists will not only find in travel guide materials or online travel sites. The Iguazu Falls can be considered as an attraction unlike any other. Not even more popular falls such as the Niagara Falls can compare to the majesty that it exudes.

History and attractions

The falls, not surprisingly, have a very interesting myth regarding its origin. According to the legends, a god created the falls when he sliced the Iguazu River into two, which in turn created the falls. This is an attempt to foil the love of Naipi, the beautiful native the god fell in love with, and Taroba, who the girl chose over the god. The fall was an attempt to condemn the two lovers, making them suffer an eternal fall. This “eternal fall” may refer to the falls highest peak—the Devil’s Throat. The name of the falls mean “great water” in Argentina—a fitting name to a great natural wonder.

In any case, the Iguazu Falls are located in two major attractions in Brazil and Argentina—the Iguazu National Park and the Iguacu National Park. Since these are national parks, these obviously give the tourists a good view of the majestic falls. The Iguacu National Park has a long walkway that extends to the Devil’s Throat’s lower base. Meanwhile, the Iguazu National Park offers access to the various parts of the falls by way of the Rainforest Ecological Train.

The Rainforest Ecological Train is perhaps one of the more sought-after attractions connected to the Iguazu Falls. The train runs through the premises of the Iguazu National Park, holding around 120 passengers. Although it is not what one would call a state of the art train, it is actually environmentally friendly to further preserve the national park and the famed falls in Brazil and Argentina. The Rainforest Ecological Train has three stops: the central station that serves as the main terminal, with commercial areas and other facilities for tourists; the waterfalls station that leads to the pathways to the upper and lower parts of the falls; the Devil’s Throat station. This facility of the national park is certainly a boon to all tourists who travel simply to see the beauty of the Devil’s Throat, as it gives one a close view of this unbelievable natural wonder. Meanwhile, the Iguacu National Park’s walkway may not be as extensive, but it still offers the same luxury.

Needless to say, anyone who already exerted the effort to travel to the Iguazu Falls should also visit the two national parks where the falls is located. For instance, the Iguacu National Park is considered as one of the country’s more famed natural wonders, even without the benefit of the Iguazu Falls. Created in 1934, the park boasts of an amazingly diverse flora and fauna. For instance, the park actually is home to a number of endangered species, including the jaguar, the anteater, the jungle eagle, and the Yacare Caiman. Also, the park is known for being home to a number of butterflies. This is truly proof that the forests of this national park are truly marvelous, as pristine and virginal as an untouched forest. Both national parks in Brazil and Argentina are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Most of the recreation that is connected with the falls can be done in the national parks. As aforementioned, the parks organize tours to give tourists a view of the falls as well as the other areas near the vicinity. The Iguazu National Park in Argentina is open from April to September, with park hours from eight in the morning to six in the evening. It is open from seven thirty in the morning to six thirty in the evening from October to March.

The beauty of the falls is world renowned, to say the least. The Iguazu Falls served as a backdrop to many movies, most recently the hit film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The Iguaza Falls actually served as the background for one of the main fights of the film, although the fight scene itself was shot in the movie studios. Other films that used the Iguazu Falls include Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together and the 1970s James Bond film Moonraker.

The Iguazu Falls are often compared to numerous falls all over the world. But needless to say, the Iguazu Falls are unlike any other. Some may say that it is a poor copy of other more prominent falls, but seeing the actual beauty of it (instead of a picture from a travel guide, for instance) will reveal that Iguazu Falls truly deserve the meaning of its name.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

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