(Rain) Breaking Records – Iguazu Falls

We were welcomed to Iguazu with pouring rain…

As we had only two days in town (Puerto Iguazu) before we had to catch our flight to Buenos Aires, we contemplated what to do over lunch as far as seeing the falls. Iguaza Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River that fall on the border of Argentina and Brazil and form the boundary between the two countries. The falls can be reached from the two main towns on either side of the falls, Puerto Iguazú in Argentina and Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, both providing you different views and experiences of the falls. From the Argentinean side you are able to take a boat tour into the river and see the falls up close while the Brazilian side gives you overall panoramic views from a distance.

Since it was raining on the first day and we figured more time was needed to explore the Argentinean side, we decided on crossing over to the Brazilian side given it stopped raining, which it thankfully did. We were able to catch the last bus that crossed the border at 4 pm and the weather turned out to be really nice… we were not so lucky with the water in the river and the falls. Since it had been raining, the color of the water was brown and the waterfall pressures so powerful that many of the tourists attractions were closed in response, including a walkway known as the Devil’s Throat where some of the best views can be found. The panoramic views from the Brazilian side although still breathtaking were at a distance and we were excited to get up and close to the falls from the Argentinean side. Jaap, Farima, and I decided along with two other guys from our hostel that we would head to the Argentinean side the following morning, crossing our fingers for no more rain.

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We woke up excited like kids on Christmas morning the next day to a cease rain and the sun shining from behind the clouds. The feeling was short-lived as our hostel guy informed us that the falls were closed due to a more than normal high water level as a result of all the rain. Who knew that too much water in a waterfall could close down a national park? Farima and I were really bummed, we had come all the way to Iguazu Falls only to have the park be closed. Weather seems to be a recurring factor in the demise of our travel plans! Since there wasn’t much to do in town, we caught up on some TV shows, did some reading, and posted some blogs.

Later in the afternoon, we headed to the Hito Tres Fronteras, an obelisk overlooking the Iguazu river where the three borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet. Whoever said you can’t be in three places at once?! We even have a picture to prove it!

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We headed back to the hostel after our little adventure and tried to figure out whether or not we should push back our flight one more day to try and do the tour from the Argentinean side. The unfortunate thing was that no one could predict whether the park would open back up the next day or anytime soon for that matter. Since we had the option of changing our flight up until an hour before departure, we agreed to wait till the next morning and make a last minute decision then. If we were lucky and the park was open the next morning, we were to change our flight and stay one more night and if not, we were headed to Buenos Aires as originally planned. We headed to dinner and drinks that same night with a big crew from the hostel, all of us hopeful and positive about what the next morning would bring… a reopened National Park!

The conditions were not in our favor as we find out early the next morning that the tours and the National Park were still closed. Apparently, Iguazu had received an excessive amount of rainfall that week causing the falls to receive high water levels that broke records. The falls remained closed up to a few weeks after we had departed the town, which we learned from fellow travelers who had the same experience weeks down the road. Thankful to have seen and experienced the Brazilian side, we headed to the airport after saying goodbye to our Iguazu crew and boarded our flight to Buenos Aires. Although we were a little disappointed not to be able to get up close and experience the Argentinean side of the falls, it only added to our list of reasons to come back and explore more of everything this amazing country has to offer!

Edited by: Farima Mn.

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