Tag Archives: Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls: Argentina vs Brazil

27 Mar

A tale of two sides: Iguazu Falls. Iguazu Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and it’s easy to see why. Iguazu is at the intersection of 3 countries: Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Due to its geography, Paraguay got unlucky and none of the views and touristic opportunities fall on its side. Which leaves us with the other two.

Argentina. The Argentines sure know how to develop an area and make the most of it. The Argentine side is crowded, claustrophobic, and concrete. The first thing that came to our minds was Disneyland! There are huge queues of people waiting for the trams and boats, and tons of those photographer people who take your picture and try to sell you the prints. The Argentine side allows hikes right up to the edge of many waterfalls, which gives you a sense of the sheer power and volume these falls contain. Unless you have boundless energy and are immune to the effects of high heat, it’s very difficult to explore everything on this side in one day. As an FYI for anyone interested in visiting, you can get 50% off admission on day 2.
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Garganta del Diablo. Incredible and breathtaking. As Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly said, “Poor Niagara!”

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Tons of people jostling for pictures.

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The Brazilian side is more natural, quieter, and cooler. Less commercialized. You start with a 20-minute open-air bus ride through the forest before you arrive at the falls. From there, you get beautiful panoramic views of falls on both the Brazilian side as well as on the Argentine side. There are less people which gives more opportunities for picture taking and leisurely walks. We like the Brazilian side better and feel waterfalls are best viewed from farther away.

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We are glad we had the chance to visit both sides. Despite personally not enjoying the Argentina side as much as the Brazil side, both have much to offer. It definitely was incredible to be up close and personal with Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) on the Argentina side.

Anyone been to both sides and have a preference?

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To Tour or Not To Tour

15 Feb

image via Cafepress

Many of the vacations I took as a kid were tour-based (6am wake-up call, only 1 hour in a museum that usually takes a solid afternoon to explore, 10 minute pee break or the bus leaves without you, buffets and chains galore).  Tours are a great option for those who like to just show up and leave the planning and itinerary up to someone else.  It’s not really our style to go on such tours, we find many tours to not be at a pace that we like (either way too slow or rushed).  But I know there will be days where I will just want to wake up and let someone show me around for the day.

So in the spirit of trying new things (or giving old things a chance), I’ve researched some tours for South America that I’m pretty excited about!

For Machu Picchu, we booked with Llama Path based on our friends N+M’s recs.
In Santiago, I’m leaning towards the Spicy Chile walking tours, and in Buenos Aires, the Buenos Aires Free Tour has rave reviews.
Hielo y Aventura is a must for Patagonia.

Other places we’ll probably forgo tours are Easter Island and Iguazu Falls.  We’re undecided on whether we’ll go on a favela tour in Rio.  Would you do a favela tour?

So what’s the verdict folks?  Do you love tours for its convenience and ease, stay away cus it’s not your cup of tea, or are you like us and somewhere in between?  Share in the comments or in the poll below!

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