Iguazu Falls: UNESCO World Heritage Site
Iguazu Falls is a popular tourist attraction that are visited by many travelers throughout the year. These falls are located along the border of Brazil and Argentina and are positioned over a mile along the River. Iguazu National Park is split between both Brazil and Argentina. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and both bordering nations are devoted to preserving its beauty. These beautiful falls are known as one of the great natural wonders of the world.
The name "Iguazu" is translated "Great Rivers." According to tribal lore, an enraged God lost his temper and created the falls. In another tale, two lovers are separated on either side of the gorge by a large snake. Other stories of love and rage permeate the culture of local communities
Interesting Facts about Iguazu Falls
- Spaniard Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca discovered Iguazu Falls in 1541.
- There's a total of 275 individual waterfalls. Most of these falls are at least 200 feet high.
- Iguazu is translated in Indian language as 'Big Water.'
- These falls sit on one of the largest underwater fresh water reservoir known as the Guarani Aquifer.
- When Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt first saw the falls she exclaimed 'Poor Niagara,' because of its size and beauty.
- The Falls have appeared in several movies, including Miami Vice, Mr. Magoo, The Mission, Moonraker, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, OSS 117: Rio ne repond plus and Happy Together.
- Without drought, the average water flow is 375,000 gallons of water per second.
- Gustavo Santaolalla wrote a song called Iguazu after the Falls. Several movies, as well as, TV shows have used this song.
- The Falls have become a candidate as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- Iguazu Falls was designated as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Getting to Iguazu
Iguazu Falls is located directly between Argentina and Brazil, and no matter what side of the falls you decide to stay on it will be a vacation you will never forget. From the southern parts of the United States it takes approximately 6-8 hours to reach Brazil or Argentina.
If you are flying into Brazil you will need to take a connecting 90 minute flight from the international airport in Sau Paulo to the local airport Foz do Iguazu.
If you are flying into Argentina you will need to take a connecting 90 minute flight from the international airport in Buenos Aires to the local airport in Puerto Iguazu.
Accommodation and Safety in Iguazu
In either city there are many affordable hotels, and local buses to take you to the falls. From Foz do Iguassu a city bus runs every half hour and the cost is $2.20, the bus company El Practico in Puerto Iquazu runs every half hour also and the cost is $7.00.
There are two hotels that are located within the Iguaza Falls National Park that offer many wonderful vacation packages. The Hotel das Cataras is located on the Brazilian side and offers amenities such as helicopter rides over the falls and spa treatments. It offers both a 5 star restaurant or a grill by the pool. An average is $247.00 a night but many packages are available. The Sheraton Iquazu Resort on the Argentina side has an average rate of $310.00 a night but also offers many great package deals. It also has a 5 star restaurant.
There are many different tours that are offered by foot, air or raft and there is even a complimentary train that runs through the park for more viewing.
For safety and security there is Park Rangers throughout the falls and there is an on-site hospital for emergencies.
An Iguazu tour is highly recommended. Helicopter tours hover directly above the beautiful falls. Tourists see rainbows and breath-taking views from all angles. Boat rides are also a popular way to see this true phenomenon of nature. Tourists wear raincoats on these tours.
The falls are powerful and peaceful. Tourists hear the falls from many nearby hotels and lodges. They enjoy the calming rhythm and the water splashing over cliffs. Iguazu Falls is a protected area in the national parks of Brazil and Argentina. Tropical plants and jungle ecosystems surround the area.