Have you ever spent hours looking at the scenic beauty of the water falling from the top of the mountain to the river that flows in the bottom? Does it give you the romantic chills and make you go wild about the beauty that the nature has provided to the human eyes? Well, if you have felt all these amazing things in the mercy of the nature, then the Iguazu Falls is one place that you don’t want to miss out on! This waterfalls, falling on the mercy of river Iguazu, is situated in the border between the state of Parana in Brazil and the province of Misiones in Argentina. Though the river flows majorly in the country of Brazil, a major part of the waterfalls lies in the Argentine part of the land demarcation and thus due to its salient feature, it is often used as a physical boundary that separates Brazil from Argentina.
The geography of the waterfalls is as significant as the waterfalls itself. Flowing steadily through a confluence for a distance of about 23 kilometres, the river runs on the Parana River till then after which the Parana Plateau shows up, wherein the river tumbles to form the beautiful waterfalls. The waterfalls vary in height from about 197 ft, which is the lowest to the highest height of about 269 ft. There are a number of waterfalls towards the edge due to the fact that numerous islands form towards the tumbling part of the Parana Plateau which divides the waterlines into different lines. The largest of the division is called the “Devil’s Throat”, because of its typical physical topography, which makes the end long and narrow. Not only there is the Devil’s throat, but also there is the Bossetti Falls, San Martin Falls, Etc. which are some of the other place names that are given to such waterfalls.
Tourism is one of the primary focus when it comes to the Iguazu falls. Two airports, one which falls on the Argentinian government’s land, and the other one which falls on the Brazilian government’s land are the two major airports that lead the tourists to this waterfalls. The two airports are Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport and Foz do Iguaçu International Airport (IGU) respectively. There are facilities for the tourists to visit the Waterfalls right from the airports as well.
It is also a major point to be noted that the waterfalls is located in the common land of two major National Parks, owned and run by the two major countries, namely Argentina and Brazil. Another important fact about these National Parks is that both these National Parks are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Parks that have been mentioned here are the Iguazu National Park and the Iguacu National Park. These National Parks were developed in order to provide a pristine green environment to the future generations as it is believed in the Brazilian culture that forests “are created by God”.
The sightseeing facilities in the waterfalls are great from a tourists’ point of view. The walkway that is provided on the Brazilian side of the waterfalls is an absolute gift to the tourists’ and it provides some of the most breath-taking views of the waterfalls. There are frequent helicopter rides on the Brazilian side of the waterfalls, but it is not the same in the case with the Argentinian side. The government of Argentina keeps helicopter rides aside as it believes in the fact that frequent movement of the helicopters might affect the flora and fauna of the National Park. However, both the governments charge a formidable entrance fees which is aimed to make sure that the place is kept clean so that there is no impact on the environmental point of view. The Brazilian government also provides the tourists with a double-decker bus that has an open upper deck, which gives a great view of the falls even without the tourist getting down from the bus. The bus rides were arranged by the Brazilian government keeping in mind the fact that such rides can reduce the environment impact by a huge margin when compared to individuals travelling to the place in their own vehicles.
The National Park is also home of the rare species of animals as well. Some of the animals that you will find in the forests here are coral snakes, raccoons, yellow breasted caimans, spotted jaguars, Etc. The bus ride through the park gives an insight to the amazing species of animals that the forest is home for.
The waterfalls is also compared to the famous Victoria Falls in South Africa, which separates Zimbabwe and Zambia the same way Iguazu falls separates Brazil and Argentina. However, due to environmental conditions, the waterfalls had a huge draught in the year 2006, which caused the waterfalls to almost dry up, but not completely. It recorded a record low of 300 cubic metres of water during the period. But, no matter what, the Iguazu falls is rather one of the best waterfalls to visit, and it would be apt to say that the words “Poor Niagara!” said by Eleanor Roosevelt is true when you visit a waterfalls of this magnanimity.