Poor Niagara

Last week during my visit to Ciudad del Este, I had an opportunity to visit Iguazú Falls (known as Foz do Iguaçu on the Brazilian side or Cataratas de Iguazú on the Argentine side). It was about an hour’s drive from CDE across the Paraná River to the Brazilian falls.

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The falls are an overwhelming and impressive sight, so stunning in fact that when Eleanor Roosevelt saw the falls, she said, “Poor Niagara!”

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The falls are huge – tall, wide and numerous. They range in height from about 200 to 400 feet (in comparison, poor Niagara is 165 feet tall), are 1.7 miles wide and consist of approximately 275 separate waterfalls.

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On the Brazil side of the falls, there is a paved path over a mile long that provides gorgeous views of the falls from many angles and heights. There are so many levels and twists and turns in the river and the falls that it is impossible to see the entirety of the falls while standing in one place. The walkways do allow for great access though – at one point a visitor can see 260 degrees of waterfalls.

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The most dramatic feature of the falls is known as Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo), where water pours down from above on three sides. This is the highest point in the falls and the deepest point in the river. (Look in the center of the photo below, somewhat obscured by mist).

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On the walkway in front of Devil’s Throat, lovers have chained lockets to the fence. According to tradition, they attach the locket to the fence and then each one throws a key into the falls.

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I can’t wait to return to the falls with Brian and boys! The day I visited, the weather was horrible – pouring rain all day. I was cold and drenched by the time I left the falls. I’ll hope for better weather next time!

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