The Iguazu falls sits on the boarder between Brazil and Argentina and is the largest water fall system in the world with falls varying from 60m to 82m in height. This alone should be why you want to add it to your wish list, however there is so much more to these falls than it's impressive size, it's a wildlife mecca.
When planning out my South America trip, I came across the falls and seeing that they were on the way between the two cities we were visiting, Buenos Aires and Rio, (and that we love waterfalls) it was decided that it had to be added to our itinerary.
With Brazil having 20% of the falls and Argentina 80%, many reviews recommend the Argentinian side, so we opted to stay in Argentina. We were only going to be here for two, half days and one night, so we were also looking for a place that was close to the falls as the town is a little out and we didn't want to waste our time getting in and out. The falls (in both countries) are within national parks and protected by UNESCO World Heritage, however there is some accommodation within the national parks. On the Argentinian side, the Sheridan is located right on the edge of the river with views of the falls and access straight onto the many trails within the park. While it was the most expensive place we booked on our trip, I am so glad we stayed there, it was definitely worth every penny.
We flew into Iguazu airport and took a short 10min drive into the national park to the Sheridan. On arrival we were greeted by staff dressed in safari outfits, it instantly reminded me of 'Ace Venture: When Nature Calls'! While it made me laugh, this is where it finally clicked for me that we were a far cry from wintry Buenos Aires and now in the sub-tropics, the jungle.
Walking into our room, we had a stunning view of the falls. The amount of spray coming up into the air was incredible, but I think the most beautiful part was the lush grennery that surrounds the falls, it feels like you are a million miles away.
During check in we were told to close and lock the balcony door because monkeys come in and raid the mini bar, well this isn't to build excitement, they are dead serious about this! We were unwinding in our room at sunset and all of the sudden the monkeys came to visit. They came up and opened our fly screen door and tried the glass door, unlucky for them, it was locked! For the next couple of hours they were working as a cordinated special opts team, some on lookout for the hotel workers, others collecting the loot! Unfortunately they cleaned up pretty well, finding all sorts of food from people's rooms. While it is obviously not great seeing monkeys running around with human food, it was great to see these guys up so close and personal.
Sunset also brings all flurry of action in the trees as flocks of birds met up and feed. From our room we saw tons of birds, but most notiably was a flock of Tucans jumping around and making noise. It was so exciting to see these tropical beauties with their huge beaks.
As dawn broke, I was greated with a pair of baby monkeys playing on my balcony while the adults were back at it taking apples from rooms!
The best thing about staying in the park was that we could hit the trails as soon as they opened in the morning, this meant we had a good hour of no one else around. The views were uniteruppeded and the paths peaceful. During this time of the day, before it gets busy - the jungle was rustling with thousands of different types of birds singing and chirping along.
On the Argentina side, there are 3 walks you can do, taking you to different vantage points and different falls. You can go right below and over them. There is also options to walk down to the waters edge and go on little boats! This is where you can see the beautiful rainbow perched above the falls from all the spay and get your postcode-perfect photo!
The biggest fall is called the devils throat, which you will see from almost every vantage point, however you can take a train right out to them and walk to its edge. The train ride is included in your park pass however you still need to get a ticket and wait for the next train - its quite popular so be prepared for waiting and lots of people. From the train it's a flat easy walk across suspended walk ways over the river. Despite all the people it is definitely worth going out to, the sheer amount of water is amazing! All that water creates a lot of wild life, there was a large flock of birds that seem to spend their days at this fall, catching all the fish that fall off the edge, it was magic to watch!
On the trails we more monkeys and also Coatis, which have a long ant eater like snout and a long fluffy ring tail. There are many signs telling you not to feed them, they are very tame, so while they are cute, beware! Over 2,000 species call Iguazu home, and Jaguars are one of them. We were trying to keep our eyes peeled for these beauties but unfortunately didn't see them. If you give yourself more time in the park than we did, you will be sure to see much more wildlife than we did, and we saw a lot!!
If jungles, waterfalls or nature is your thing there is nothing to do but add this place to your list! It was one of those places that far exceeded my expectations and a place I will never forget about.
Check out my Instagram story highlight on Iguazu falls to see videos of this beautiful place and its animals!