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Do you know about the wonderful Iguazu falls in Brazil and Argentina?
This grand spectacle of cascading water is worthy of being on your travel bucket list. So, save it a spot whenever you are on your way to Brazil and Argentina.
Iguaza Falls (also known as Iguazú Falls) are definitely not the largest or even the tallest waterfalls of the world for that matter. Those titles are held by the Victoria Falls and Angel Falls in Zambia and Venezuela respectively. However, these falls are a breathtaking natural wonder of the world. In this article, we will look at why Iguazú Falls are so special, how they were formed and the kind of fauna you will find there if you decide to visit. Keep reading if you are curious about Iguazú Falls!
Afterward, also check fun facts about Brazil and harbor of Rio De Janeiro Brazil.
The Iguazu Falls are waterfalls of the River Iguazu. They are found on the border of Parana, a Brazilian state, and the Argentinian province of Misiones. It is bordered by Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The Iguazu river is divided by the falls into the upper circuit and lower circuit.
The river rises near the city of Curitiba. Although most of the falls are on the Argentinian side for most of its course the Iguazu river flows through Brazil. The Iguazu falls of South America are among the most monumental waterfalls in the world. They are without a doubt the most visited place in Misiones. When we think about waterfalls Niagara falls come to mind almost instantly but Iguaza falls are so tremendously magnificent that when the former U.S. first lady Eleanor Roosevelt first visited it she exclaimed, 'Poor Niagara'! The water produces a thunder-like sound at about 264 ft (80.4 m) canyon in the Devil’s Throat.
It is here that the several falls combine and hurtle down together down a steep drop subsequently draining into the Parana River. The ancient tribes of Brazil were always aware of its existence but it came to be known worldwide after it was discovered by the European explorer Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541. The easy access makes the fall a special destination for tourists. The walkways that extend out along many falls on both the sides of its borders, allow visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the spell bounding views of these ‘great waters.
Interestingly, during the rainy season, mainly from November to March, the rate of flow of the falls can rise to a maximum of 450,000 cubic ft (12,742.5 cubic m) per second. However, a minimum flow occurs from August to October as it is the dry season. The mean annual rate of flow is about 62,000 cubic ft (1,755.6 cubic m) per second.
Taller than Niagara Falls and wider than the Victoria falls, the Iguazú Falls was formed due to a volcanic eruption that resulted in a large crack in the earth. To understand the formation of these falls we have to rewind more than 130 million years to the early Cretaceous.
At that point in time, the landmass of earth consisted of one very large continent named Pangaea. Due to the forces created by currents in the mantle this continent started breaking apart. This rifting phase is responsible for creating the continents we have today. Minor upliftment and thinning of the continental crust occurred first and the extensional forces began to tear this huge landmass apart. Approximately at the exact time volcanoes and fissures erupted as they had formed alongside the rifting zones. This led to the massive outpouring of lava.
The early phases of subsidence were filled up by the flood basalts. This took place alongside the southernmost part of the South American Plate and the falls are found there today. Huge potential for oil development was created by this rifting phase on both of the sides of the Atlantic margins. Due to faulting the flat-lying basalt flows slowly and gradually got uplifted and erosion then began the process of creating the falls that we admire today.
There is often a debate happening over which country is better to visit the Iguazu Falls, the Argentinian side or the Brazilian side?
The Argentinian side provides a bird’s eye view of the falls. So ‘feeling’ the magnitude of the falls from a fight is something you are interested in then this is for you. Two-thirds of the Iguazu falls are within Argentinian territory. This site has two viewing circuits: an upper path and a lower path. Exhilarating panoramic views are provided by the upper side from various vantage points, which makes up an unforgettable experience.
You can walk along bridges to get a spectacular view of the falls. The aerial views Argentina offers of the Iguazu falls make it possible to feel the sheer power these enormous falls exude. The lower path on the other hand leads to the base of the falls where you can happily feel the spray moisten you. A boat trip is also offered by this circuit to Isla San Martin. The Argentine side is perfect for seeing splendid rainbows. It is also the popular opinion that this is much more fun! Iguazu Falls are now owned by two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Iguaçu National Park in Brazil and the Iguazú National Park in Argentina.
Brazil on the other hand provides 360-degree views. If you are someone who chases picturesque locations to get the perfect shot then this side of the falls is for you. Astounding multi-dimensional panoramic views are hard to miss on the Brazilian side.
A network of 275 waterfalls spans over an expanse of about 1.86 mi (3 km) providing incredible views of the falls from every angle. If a helicopter ride over the magnanimous falls is something you dig then the Brazilian side is the way to go. It is sure to take your breath away. The Brazilian side is much cheaper overall as well. This site has one main trail contrary to Argentina’s numerous trails and routes.
This trail will get you wet and provide amazing views as well. It can also help you save a few bucks for the boat ride if you are short on budget. The trailed path from the cliffed edge overlooks the river and provides a closer look at the falls. From there the Garganta do Diabo (Devil’s Throat in Portuguese) is also visible. This can only be viewed from a height on the Argentine side.
The two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Iguazu National Park in Argentina and the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil own the Iguazú falls today.
There is an abundance of flora and fauna in the surrounding tropical forests of the falls in South America. These falls are also known as Iguassu Falls and Iguaçu Falls. The Iguazu National Park boasts more than 2,000 species of animals and plants. In the Iguazu falls there are more than 450 species of birds, a variety of insects, mammals, and reptiles.
The bird species include magpies, parrots, toucans, and terms. A bird species exclusive to this area are the waterfall swifts. It is a native bird that flies in between in the water columns of the Iguazu falls. Even though the park has a variety of insects what the most people see are beautiful butterflies. Many of them have yellow tones paired with black spots and are usually visible where there are puddles of water. Insects like ants, dragonflies, and beetles are also found here.
The park acts as a refuge for many endangered animals and although they can’t be seen near the waterfalls you may stumble across them in the surrounding trails. Spotting jaguars, pumas are not common in this area but if you are lucky you can come across these big cats. It is extremely common to see climbing animals like honey bears, monkeys, or weasels in the park. Coatis are the most common animals here you will definitely see one.
Although they might appear friendly, they can harm you. The giant anteater and the harpy eagle are some of the rarest species that reside at Iguazu falls. These are the few important things you need to know before planning your vacation to the Iguazu falls. If you have a U.S. passport you will require a visa to visit the Iguazú falls. It is recommended to spend at least two full days (and three nights) visiting Iguazu Falls and taking a walk along the Macuco trail. Look for accommodation in Puerto Iguazu as it is the closest town to Iguazu Falls in Argentina. You can also opt for hotels in the national park but they are quite expensive. Flights are available from Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
Getting a yellow fever vaccination is not necessary for visiting the fall on both sides but it is recommended by the authorities as this fever circulates in the monkeys and mosquitoes of the forest. It usually takes a full day to cover both the Argentine side and the Brazilian side to visit, if not more. There are also guided tours that take you to both sides all in one day. The Iguazu National Park in Argentina is open every day. The timings for park entrance are from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. However, visitors are only allowed to enter the park until 4:30 PM.
The tickets can be bought directly at the park. Getting to Iguazu Falls from Puerto Iguazu, Argentina is very simple. To go to Iguazu National Park buses leave regularly from the bus station, a taxi is also an alternative. Going to the Brazilian side is also very easy if you want to experience the fall from both sides as buses depart from the primary bus station in Puerto Iguazu to take you across the border.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Brazil Iguazu Falls then why not take a look at Brazil museum, or Brazil soccer facts.
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