We were excited that we got to sit together on the plane! We learned that in July many South American schools have off, so it is high season for traveling. We lucked out that we just missed it! We had an evening flight, but the babies did pretty well. We flew into Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) then drove to our B&B in Puerto Iguazú (Argentina). We were greeted with appetizers, caipirinhas, and a sweet old dog. The next morning we sat on the deck watching hummingbirds, while we ate a breakfast of fruit salad and toast with lots of jam options.
On our first day, we decided to go to Argentine side, which offers close up views of the waterfalls. We decided to start our day with a 2 hour round trip hike to a little waterfall. We didn’t see anyone on the way there, and Naomi talked the whole walk back to scare off any jaguars or bobcats. Then we took the train to the Garganta del Diablo. After walking 20 minutes on a catwalk over the river, we arrived at a spectacular view of Garganta del Diablo. Derek and I were astounded by the view. He said it was one of the few times that a tourist attraction has outdone his expectations. Next the babies took a nap while we walked the Circuito Superior (above the falls) and Circuito Inferior (at the base of the falls). We just missed getting to go on a ferry to visit Isla San Martín, so in retrospect, we should have changed the order of some of our activities. Afterwards, we were quite hungry and quite tired from our 12+ miles of walking in the sunny 80 degree temperature, so we were really looking forward to some empanadas in downtown Puerto Iguazú. However, we were sad to learn that this town takes its siesta seriously, and all of the restaurants close between 3 or 4 until 7 or 8.
On our second day we visited the Itaipu Dam, Parque das Aves, and Brazil side of the waterfall. The dam was fairly boring, but it was pretty incredible how much energy it generates for Paraguay and Brazil. We next visited the bird park, and we didn’t have high hopes, but the toucan and macaw exhibits made it worth it. In both, we walked into a large exhibit where birds were flying above us and landing next to us. I had never seen a toucan in person before! The parrots were beautiful and quite loud. It was amazing to watch them fly and hear them talk. The girls loved this exhibit! The waterfall experience on the Brazil side was very different from the Argentine side. After buying our tickets, we had to take a bus into the park. Immediately after getting off the bus, there was an incredible panoramic view of Isla San Martín and the falls surrounding it. As we walked along the trail, there continued to be spectacular views which showed just how big the falls really are. Finally, at the end of the trail, we walked out on a metal walkway to view Salto Floriano, which sprays a ton of water. It was incredible to see the pure joy on the girls’ faces as they got soaked! After we got back to our B&B, we ordered empanadas from a local restaurant for the second evening in a row.