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- Visiting South America
The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World: Las Cataratas del Iguazú
If you ever find yourself in the southern half of South America, I highly recommend making an effort to visit Iguazú Falls. At the point where Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina all come together is a series of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. I have been fortunate enough to visit these falls twice, and I would gladly go to view them numerous more times. It is definitely a sight to behold, and one that will never get old.
For those of you who have been to Niagra Falls, they aren’t even in the same category. I have seen both, and Iguazú would laugh in the face of Niagra. Yes, Niagra is impressive (if compared to your bathroom shower). Okay so I may be exaggerating and blowing things out of proportion a little bit, but Iguazú is simply amazing. Unlike other famous, large waterfalls, Iguazú is not one, individual fall. It is a series of around 275 waterfalls that span the distance of over a mile and a half.
Mere words will never do justice to the incredible display of water that can be seen when actually visiting the Iguazú Falls. Since the falls are at the border of where three countries come together, they are shared. The beautiful part about this is that they can be viewed from the Brazilian side or the Argentinian side. While I have only seen the falls from the Brazilian side, it is a unique opportunity to be able to view Iguazú from multiple angles.
When viewing the falls from the Brazilian side, there is a pathway that leads along the side of the falls. Besides the intense beauty of the water, you are also immersed in the other nature: trees, flowers, butterflies, etc. The scenery is captivating. The pathway along the falls starts out at a higher elevation, which provides a large-scale view of the falls. Over the mile and a half, the path changes elevation to help provide the best views of the falls. There are catwalks that lead out over some of the falls, and you can hear the roar of the water as it passes beneath the boards you stand on. These are only for the adventurous who do not mind the shower of mist. For the brave, you can actually pay for a boat tour, which will take you out on the river at the bottom of the falls. I have never done this, but it is a possibility on one of my future endeavors.
The uniqueness of Iguazú Falls helps add to the overall beauty. While one massive waterfall is impressive to behold, 275 different falls clustered together is even more incredible. There are waterfalls at Iguazú that appear to be just a small trickle no more than a couple feet wide. There are some that appear to stretch up into the sky because the fall is so high. Other falls are extremely wide and stretch out like a curtain of water. The immense variety is truly breathtaking.