Iguazu is a border town from where we could see Brazil and Paraguay at the same time. My cell provider was so confused to where I was, that they welcomed me into all three counties (third is Argentina). Besides bordering each other, these counties also share the largest waterfall system in the world, called Iguazu falls.
To be fair, the Paraguayan side doesn’t have access to the falling water mass but share dam with Brazil. Brazil is good for the large scheme view and Argentina, which hosts the longest chain of falls, is better for the feel of the thundering water as you can get close up and personal.
Devil’s Throat, the U-shaped cluster of falls, invaded my bubble the most. So much that eventually I had a hard time seeing! The strong wind carried the splashes across the air. The drops then densely settled on me and my glasses. Definitely a rain coat worthy spot if you happen to have one, but not harming enough to buy a plastic one sold on sight.
Besides listening to the intimidating roar of Devil’s Throat from right above, we also walked around the vast park to look at lonely cascades. Many enjoyable hours were spent here strolling and even sighting wild coati. The only problem with the Argentinean side is that we didn’t get the epiphany of the size of this massive chain of falls, only snippets. If this view is desired, one must go to the Brazilian side. Not worth the park fee for us to go to both. If you want to go to only one side, contemplate on if you want to get the big picture or the individual feel. I was happy with what I witnessed, but others have stated that Brazil is slightly better for understanding purposes. You decide. Oh, and on an unrelated side note: We bought oranges for five cents!
Argentina has a lot of pretty things to show off, great nature, amazing architecture variety in Buenos Aires, culture, etc. Unfortunately, we caught the country at a bad time. Massive inflation plus extraordinary bus ticket prices pushed our wallet limit. The south had public transportation to attractions shut down due to the low season, hence requiring tour options instead, which pushed the sum charge over our budget and past the rate we considered reasonable for the activity. So we skipped a lot. This is shown in the map track. We only visited three destinations in Argentina. Much of the center and north was ignored by us because the long distance busses were crazy expensive in our view too (keep in mind we shoot for an average budget of $30 a day).
If the transportation fee is a hurdle for you, I would recommend to stick to Buenos Aires and stopping by Iguazu on your way in/out. The glacier in Calafate was stunning and I’m sure Mt. Fitz Roy is also, but we paid $200 for transportation from Calafate to Buenos Aires; the bus and plane cost the same.
During our trip we have met other backpackers who had the same disgust of the pricing and just wanted to get the heck out of Argentina. Personally I wish I would have visited before the inflation hit. I would have loved to discover more of this beautiful country. The positive is that we did get better quality overall than in the Ecuador, Peru, or Chile, but I’d rather get the lower quality for the more reasonable fee. Overall I loved what I saw, but maybe I’ll come back when I have more spending money.
Cost breakdown of Iguazu (2 days with total cost of $139.14. Average daily cost is $69.57.)
- Hostel: $20 (2 nights which incl. breakfast)
- Transportation: $80.67 (Busses. $72 for initial transportation to the city)
- Food: $16.47
- Meals: $15.87 (3 meals)
- Groceries: $0.60
- Activity: $22 (Iguazu Falls Park Entry Fee)