Puerto Iguazu is also a very handy place to get Brazilian Visas. Treeny, being an Australian sheila unfortunately has to bare the brunt of the reciprocal visa arrangements that some South American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay) have in place as payback for Australia demanding their citizens to pay up to visit our sunburnt shores. Where as Iain, being British, from the country where everyone is welcome, has no visa requirements anywhere!
Getting a visa for Brazil on the road is notoriously tricky and can only be acquired within three months of your entry, so for Treeny acquiring one back in Sydney was always out of the question. We opted against applying in Buenos Aires after hearing it is a time consuming process taking up to a week if you are lucky. We had heard many horror stories of people getting turned back at the Brazilian Consulate in Puerto Iguazu and we were fearful of this occurring as it would blow all our plans being denied entry to Brazil. After sending a few enquiry emails directly to the consulate we were reassured all would be okay so ran to submit Treeny’s visa application as soon as we jumped off the bus. Thankfully the process was quick and painless; the staff were pleasant and helpful, and completed the application in 24 hours. Wasn’t so scary after all!
The Devils Throat is furthest from the park entry and is shared by Brazil. After jumping off the train a boardwalk leads you over the river to the very edge of the dramatic 80m high U-shaped drop. Approximately half the water flow of the river falls down this vertical face creating enormous plumes of water vapour and a thunderous noise. The view from above is impressive to say the least.
A network of long boardwalks run around the rest of the falls which are much wider than the Devils Throat section, suspending people above the edge as the gently moving mass of water turns into a falling torrent, while also bringing people to the foot of the falls, soaking everything and everyone. Not only is the park overflowing with water there is a constant stream of people moving about. The queues were long and sometimes to get a front row viewing spot we had to wait, luckily we were wearing our patient pants. You can visit both sides of the falls, so long as you have your visa in order to go to Brazil. After a day of wandering around in the heat we felt more than satisfied observing from just the Argentine side, which has a more extensive network of view points due to owning the majority of the falls.
At the far end of town in Puerto Igauzu on the river bank, is the “Triple Frontier” where the countries of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet. The frontier is divided by the joining of two powerful rivers; the Iguazu River between Brazil and Argentina and the Rio Parana running along the border with Paraguay. Each country has a large pyramid shaped column proudly standing on the river bank painted in the countries colours as a marking of their territory.
Next stop shop, shop, sop till you drop in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay…
Check out our Iguazu Falls photos here.