More Than One Wonderfall Experience
If you are anything like me, you are looking for the slightly understated bucket list of wonders; something that is special, not just because someone else says so, but because you can feel it in every bone rattling through you. To think about grand wonders, particularly natural, I could only think of one type of ‘structure’. Waterfalls have always drawn my attention; how important to life water has and always will be and the magnificence of its cascading waters gushing with immensity.
Now you may think about the grand scales of Victoria and Niagara; but with sparse locations to breathe in the magnificence, the delivery of expectation oft meets an unanticipated end. Personally, I feel some people are simply unable to absorb the singular capture upon their eyes. This isn’t to say they’re not marvels to behold; only that they are more difficult to contextualise; a journey to view the largest waterfalls possible almost seems too easy with one trip and one sparse set of view-points.
Iguazu is a waterfall with a difference; it isn’t a singular waterfall; it isn’t one massive drop from the top; it’s a collection of waterfalls that spans a huge 2.7 kilometres in width. This width allows for a diversity of view-points and experiences that few places except true wonders can produce where can you surround yourself with 260 degrees of water at the Devil’s Throat; the name in itself wreaks power and wonder in accordance to its view.
The Iguazu (Iguaçu) Falls has been superseded in history by the waterfalls of Niagara and Victoria Falls for too long; if you ask someone what they know about Iguazu Falls, they ask “Where?” First seen by European eyes in 5141, it is legend that a god once planned to marry a woman until she fled with her mortal-lover down the Iguazu River. “In rage, the god sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall” (Wikipedia, Iguazu Falls).
With 275 separate drops, 1756m3 of water passes over Iguazu Falls every second; to put that into further context, 1 cubic metre is equal to 1000 litres of liquid. With such force and velocity, I argue that there is no other wonder as unrivalled for the integration of both power and beauty; it is little wonder why legend has a god involved with its formation.
With Iguazu meaning “Big Water”, there is no understatement to these set of cascading falls being both powerful and harmonic; the surrounding areas were soon recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, yet the waters have been found to be receding approximately 3mm per year.
Sitting on the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, there are three unique places you are able to pass through to get to Iguazu Falls; the Paraguayan town of Ciudad del Este is potentially the most adventurous, with a so-called centre for contraband and cheap electronic goods, it’s a location that contrasts the idyllic Falls compared to the small town of Puerto Iguazu in Argentina and the city of Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil.
Cruise excursions from the Iguazu River has become ever more popular with European and US tourists; travelling through Brazil with full amenities and comfort, many people have found it to be more relaxing and less stressful – and with Devil’s Throat being on the Brazilian border, the apparent best views for this announced New Wonder means visits to this isolated area has become ever-more accessible and encouraged. Furthermore, excursions are often on the cruise visa, making the overall experience easy and without worry.
However, depending on which country and way you choose to explore from, you will receive your own unique travel experiences and culture to enhance your overall experience at the Iguazu Falls; whether because it’s on your bucket list or because you simply want to see the magnificence of nature, this is what I can only call, a Wonderfall.