Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 South America Adventures: At Opposite Ends, Iguazu Falls and Perito Moreno Glacier

To break up my high octane city experiences in Buenos Aires, I have planned two very different but amazing overnight (3 nights) day trips. 

Located near the border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, Iguazu Falls (or Cataratas del Iguazu in Spanish) is taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide with 275 separate waterfalls spread out over two miles. It is said that when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt first saw Iguazu Falls, she reportedly said "Poor Niagara!" I found this story very amusing and just had to share it here.

The falls lie on the Argentina-Brazil border and are a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Iguazu is divided into the upper (Brazil side) and lower (Argentina side) falls and since I'll be visiting in November, which is Spring time in Argentina, the falls could reach 450,000 cubic feet per second. Awesome!

I'll be staying inside of the Iguazu National Park (Sheraton Hotel) after taking a short 1.5 hour flight from Buenos Aires. The hotel is apparently within close walking distance to the falls and you can actually see them from the rooms. Cool!

Iguazu falls are set in a jungle environment with lots of green vegetation, flowers, colorful butterflies, birds and these furry racoon like animals called Coatis.  I would love to see some of the pretty butterflies and birds that make their home in the jungle and I probably won't mind crashing into the Coatis, but the people around me could hear a "shriek" if a jungle snake or big lizard makes an appearance on my path! 

In my short three days, I want to explore the area and take every opportunity to photograph Iguazu Falls from as many different angles as possible during my stay. I’ve been really practicing my photography skills for the past few months and I hope that I will be able to do these magnificent falls justice in my photos.

On my must see and do list: I definitely want to get up to Devil's Throat (or Gargantua del Diablo) to witness the full power of the falls. Devil's Throat (scary name) is U-shaped, 269 feet high, 49 feet wide and half a mile long.  Check out this very cool blog that I found HERE.  From what I have read, I might get a tad wet, however, not as wet as when I take this really cool Zodiac boat ride to get up close and personal with the mighty Iguazu. Whoo hoo! This will be the highlight for my entire trip. I even purchased a new waterproof Nikon camera which can be submerged in 33 feet of water. Trust me I don’t plan on entering the river down to 33 feet, but from the videos I’ve seen there’s going to be some serious soaking going on. My plan is to do the boat ride upon my arrival. I’ll already be doped up on Dramamine and it will give time for my clothes to dry before I fly back to Buenos Aires.

I think that visiting the Iguazu National Park and seeing the Iguazu falls will be an unforgettable experience and I can't wait to get there. A great punctuation for my trip to South America.

My next 3-night day trip will be to Patogonia to visit the Los Glaciares National Park to see the Perito Moreno Glacier located near to the small town of El Calafate.  This region is shared between the countries of Chile and Argentina and boasts a dramatic natural landscape.  The Argentine side of Patagonia includes the province of Santa Cruz which is where this Glacier can be found.  Of all the places to choose from in Patagonia, I decided to visit this region because it is just so different from anything else I have ever seen. 

The Perito Moreno Glacier is an ice formation that is 19 miles long, 240 feet high and 556 feet deep.  It is one of three Patagonian glaciers that is growing.  The glacier periodically advances over Lago Argentino which forms a natural dam separating the lake.  The pressure of this produces these periodic ruptures which is quite spectacular.  Here's an amazing video of one such rupture.     

I will catch a 3.5 hour flight from Buenos Aires to the town of El Calafate and from there will be whisked off (by a tour I have booked) by bus on a journey 48 miles away to see this incredible natural wonder.  I told you that Argentina is a big and diverse country. 

I cannot wait for my big adventures in both Iguazu Falls and here at the edge of this amazing ice glacier.

I have one more pre-trip post to write and then it's all about the packing! :)

Stay tuned . . .


  1. Wow, this looks like an amazing - and beautiful - adventure! I can just imagine the stunning photos you'll get around Iguazu falls! Be careful in that zodiac.

    1. Hi Sandra, thanks so much for your comments. I'm really looking forward to taking lots of photos. And I'll be definitely be very careful on that zodiac ride. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Both the falls and the glacier sound so interesting and dramatic! I can't wait to see your photos.

    1. Hi Annie, I'm dramatic is a perfect description. I'm looking forward to photographing both wonders of our awesome nature.

      Thanks so much for your comments. Have aa great week.


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.