Iguazu Falls, Parque Nacional Iguazu
Description of Iguazu Falls; tour packages, suggested itinerary and helicopter ride.

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Iguazu Falls picture take from Lower Circuit on the Argentinean Side

Iguazu Falls Legend

Iguazu Falls Tour and Vacation Packages Advantages and Disadvantages

Suggested Itinerary of Iguazu Falls

Helicopter Ride over Iguazu Falls

As I walked down the long boardwalk across the Iguazú River, I imagined a spectacular white sheet of water curving into a horse-shoe shape – my imagination didn’t even come close to the amazing sight of Devil’s Throat at Iguazú Falls.

Devil’s Throat is the most impressive part of Iguazú Falls.  It is the U shaped cliff at the center of nearly two miles of waterfalls.  From the Argentinean side, you walk across a wooden footpath over the Iguazú River for about 15 minutes before arriving at the top of this 270 feet high waterfall.  At this point the roar of the water is so loud you have to shout to the person next to you.  The water sprays up over the boardwalk soaking all of the spectators, and the sight is so spectacular, it becomes a permanent picture in your mind.

The falls had been know to the indigenous people of South America for years before the first Spanish explorer discovered them in 1542.  The Spaniard, Alvar Núnez Cabeza de Vaca attempted to name the falls “Saltos de Santa Maria”, the Virgin who was to protect his expedition, but it was the original name given by the Guarany people that stuck – I-Guazú, which translates into ‘great water’.

The Iguazú River runs over a plateau that was formed by volcanic activity during the Mesozic Era more than 135 million years ago.  The falls was formed about 200,000 years ago when a shift in a geological fault transformed the mouth of the Iguazú River into a crescent shaped cliff.  A fault is break in the rocks that make up the earth’s crust.  When these faults move it usually results in an earthquake, and depending on the amount of movement and type of fault, a cliff will be formed.

Another factor in creating the falls was the erosion of the plateau of the Iguazú River.  This plateau that makes the top of the falls consists of many interleaved layers of sandstone and basalt.  These layers erode at different rates and many times the bottom layer will erode before the upper layer, causing the top layer to fall off the top of the falls in large sheets of rock.  This erosion not only influenced the shape and size of Iguazu Falls, but it is also moving the falls.  Upon formation Iguazu Falls was located about 30 miles downstream at the Triple Frontier, the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, but erosion has and will continue to move the falls upstream.

Iguazu Falls is often compared to Victoria Falls, Angel Falls, and Niagara Falls.  I don’t think Niagara Falls is even in the same league, as Iguazu is about three times the size.  Victoria Falls is the world’s largest falls, at 300 feet high and 1 mile wide, but Iguazu Falls consist of 270 different waterfalls over nearly two miles.  Angel Falls is the world's tallest falls at 807 feet, but it is a very small waterfall.  During the dry season Angel Falls can dry up into nothing more than a trickle.

One advantage of Iguazu Falls is a variety of viewpoints, ranging from an amazing overlook of the Devil’s Throat to standing at the base of
Álvar Nuñez.

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