Day 1: Frequent Flyer
I swear I feel like I live on Aerolineas Argentinas. I’ve been on so many of their flights touring all over Argentina that I need like a VIP membership! Today, I was going from the most Southern city in the world to the Northeast part of Argentina and it was going to be a long day of flying. I had to first fly into Buenos Aires, then had a 3 hour layover there and then take a flight from there to Puerto Iguazu. By the time I got in, it was almost 10pm and I was exhausted! The good thing about hiring a travel agency is the fact that I’ll always have a driver ready to pick me up and bring me to my hotel which helped a lot, especially since I hate those shady cab drivers! The driver was very nice and we drove through the main street of Iguazu and it reminded me of a bad beach city (kinda like Costa Rica). I finally arrived to my hotel, Saint George and couldn’t wait to sleep and enjoy my full day tomorrow at Iguazu Falls!
Day 2: Poor Niagara!
Oh man the weather is HUMID! It’s like I’m in Southeast Asia all over again and totally missing the layered cold weather of Southern Argentina. Today the itinerary is to spend a full day at Iguazu Falls and Diego, my tour guide was ready to pick my up bright and early. I was expecting to be in a van or bus with other people, but then realized I was the only one on the tour that day! I do like being in a group with other travelers, but maybe it would be cool to get a guide to myself for the day. We head over to Iguazu National Park (which is in a jungle) bright and early to get our tickets to enter the park. Diego asked me whether I wanted to take the train or walk over to the first location. I wanted to walk to get the exercise in and Diego said its a good choice because we can beat the other tourists on the train to see the Devil’s Throat falls!
OK, I already mentioned it but it was HAWT! How did I magically go back into time and end up in Bali again? On the walk over, Diego spotted some toucans and parrots on the trees which was cool. Apparently there are jaguars but they are deep in the jungle and don’t come out near the falls. After sweating it out, we arrive and beat the train! We saw 2 other guys leaving, so we dash over and I hear the crashing sounds of the water and can’t contain my excitement any longer. Upon arriving, no one else was there and WOW!!!! I was at the top of Devil’s Throat and I was taken back, just spectacular! Diego mentioned when Eleanor Roosevelt first saw the falls, her reaction was “Poor Niagara!” I’ve been to Niagara (the Canada side) and could not agree more! From a distance, I can see the Brazilian side which does not compare to the Argentinian side. Brazil gets more of a panoramic view whereas Argentina get more of an up close and personal view (and also distanced views).
It was awesome having my own personal guide because he was able to take photos of me! No selfie stick required. After admiring Devil’s Throat, we took the train over to see the other falls. All were beautiful and impressive, but I think San Martin is my favorite waterfall in Iguazu. It’s wide and pouring down to an island with majestic rainbows from a distance. That’s the cool part with your photos– you’ll always catch a beautiful rainbow with the waterfall. Another fairytale moment are the butterflies. They are attracted to salt on your skin and will stick on to you during your journey seeing the falls. I had 2 butterfly hitchhikers attach to me the whole day I was there! Diego mentioned that I’m a good client because I get to all the points fast and don’t lag around! haha On one of the trails, I saw a ton of Coati’s which kind of look like raccoons but uglier and scarier! I did not want them going near me and there were signs everywhere not to touch them with pictures of someone’s bloody scratched up hands. UGH I’d rather be around the monkey’s because at least they are cute!
Oh and I realized I lost my deodorant back in Buenos Aires and it was HUMID as heck out there. Thanks goodness I wasn’t in a group tour and didn’t subject a pour victim of my body odor! After walking through the 210 square mile reserve and sweating in the humidity to look at all the falls, Diego asked if I wanted to do the “Gran Aventura” which is a boat ride that goes right underneath the falls! I lightly sniffed myself and thought that I totally needed to shower since the car ride back might be rough so I signed up for the adventure! There were 2 options– one of just the boat ride itself and another with the boat ride and a 4×4 ride through the jungle. I figured I might as well do the jungle tour too!
So Diego guided me over to where the Gran Adventura is and told me that he would meet me at the end of my adventure. I wanted to change into my water shorts and the staff told me to go climb up that small mountain and change up there since its remote. I grabbed my bags and headed up and noticed another lady changing and another girl up there as well. The girl kept following me, but I told her that I was going to change here and if she can back up a bit! Not quite sure what kinda view she was looking for, but the moon ain’t full out tonight sista! So I was able to change and get a life vest strapped up for my adventure!
We all boarded a larger speed boat that was able to fit a good amount (maybe 20) people. I was able to snag a side view and away we went! I had brought my sony action cam and I guess I didn’t charge it correctly last night bc it died out on me! I was so BUMMED bc it would have been so bad ass to take video right under the falls. Ok and away we go and YES you get WET, more like soaked from head to toe! I had to lift my arms up to make sure I got a shower for my armpits! It really was invigorating and a thrill, but damn it was short! I think the program mentioned like 30 minutes and I swear it felt like 15 minutes haha After we were done showering under the waterfall, it was time to go on the 4×4. The 4×4 was just a large truck that fit a ton of people and a tour guide talking about the wildlife. We did see a wild boar, run across the road but that was it. Overall, I felt I should have just done the boat ride and nixed out the 4×4.
Diego was waiting for me at the drop off and we walked over to the park entrance and left for the day. He was cool overall and I learned he was named after the famous Argentinian soccer player Diego Maradona (like most guys with that name in Argentina!) After being dropped off at the hotel, I went to get some dinner over at Aqva across the street. Everyone told me to try their local river fish, but I found it to be a little too flakey and fishy as I was still dreaming about the buttery sea bass in Ushuaia! I did have some flan which was super yummy. Overall, I had a great day and since I couldn’t get a Brazilian visa in time I didn’t make a trip over to the Brazilian side of the falls the next day. I just took a plane over to my next destination– the Northwest side of Argentina.