Brazil: Iguazu Falls

While David and Katelyn were with us in Peru, they offered (or maybe John coerced them into it…) to watch the kids for us so we could make a trip to Brazil together.  It was our first time leaving the kids in quite a long time and I was really apprehensive about it.  Thankfully, the kids had a wonderful time with their aunt and uncle and everyone did great!  John really wanted us to go on this trip – he had already been to Brazil few months earlier for a 2 week trip traveling around the country, but he had loved Rio so much he wanted us to go back together.  When it came time to book our tickets, the prices had gone up so much that we didn’t think it was going to work out. I kept looking for options though, and finally realized that if we had a long layover in Iguazu Falls, we could save $100+ per ticket!   This almost covered the price of a hotel in Iguazu (like my money-saving logic? 🙂 ). So we flew in around 6pm and got a taxi to the hotel right at the falls edge.

View of the falls from the hotel

View of the falls from the hotel

The sun had just set when we arrived, but we could hear the water rushing over the falls.  The hotel was amazing.  Definitely a splurge, but totally worth it since we were right there (and only for 18 hours or so).  There weren’t any restaurants around the hotel, so we ate at the hotel’s amazing dinner buffet.  After having lived in Peru for the last 10 months, I was so happy to see some decent beef!  They had every kind of beef you could imagine, including some delicious filet mignon.  The salads and side dishes were also to die for.  We ate dinner on the festively-lit patio overlooking the beautiful pool.  It was such a beautiful place!

The next morning we awoke early to toucans outside our balcony.

Good morning, Toucan

Good morning, Toucan

We were excited to get a head start at the falls, before all the tourists arrived at 9am.  We wouldn’t realize just how much of an advantage that was until about the 10th loaded bus dropped off its’ passengers 6 hours later.  We were on the trail by 7am.

The falls early in the morning

The falls early in the morning

 The birds were loud enough that you could still hear them over the thunderous noise of the water rushing over the edge of the falls.  Iguazu Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on both the Argentinian side and the Brazilian side, and stretches nearly 2 miles across.  That’s twice as wide as Niagra Falls!

On the trail

On the trail

 We were only seeing the Brazilian side, since I didn’t have my Visa for Argentina before the trip.  It worked out fine though, since our time was so limited anyways.

Getting a little wet!

Getting a little wet!

 From the Argentinian side, it looked like you could more look over the falls.  Where as on the Brazilian side you got an amazing front view of the falls.

Rainbow over the falls

Rainbow over the falls

 The wildlife was amazing too.  We’ve never seen so many butterflies as we did that day.  There were literally hundreds in all different sizes and colors flitting every which way.  Most of the birds we saw were toucans, but there were also some large black and white birds that reminded me of magpies.  We saw these funny little mammals, too, called a South American Coati, or a Quati in Portuguese.

South American Coati

South American Coati

 A whole family of them….just out for a morning walk.  They were pretty used to people.  And for Olivia, we caught this picture of one of her favorite bugs – the snail.

Mr. Snail

Mr. Snail

 When we got near the end of the trail, we realized there was a walkway out into the middle of the falls – so we decided to do it.

Looking closely you can see the bridge into the falls

Looking closely you can see the bridge we walked

 We hadn’t brought rain ponchos, but hey, you only get to do something like this once!  We got soaked, but we ran all the way out to the edge and stood under the beautiful rainbow that stretched from side to side.

Getting wet!

Getting wet!

 Before we headed back we took the elevator up to an observatory deck and got a picture of us all soaking wet from the waterfalls spray!

Wet and happy

Wet and happy

 By then we were ready for breakfast, so we walked back to the hotel for an amazing buffet breakfast.

The Belmond Hotel

The Belmond Hotel tower

 We had a few more hours before we needed to be to the airport for our flight to Rio, so after breakfast we grabbed our suits and hit the pool for some reading and relaxation and a game of ping-pong.

Enjoying the morning at the pool

Enjoying the morning at the pool

 Despite the limited time, it was a wonderful stay!  We had just enough time to grab lunch and check out the hotel’s tower before catching our cab back to the airport!

In the hotel tower

In the hotel tower

In the hotel tower

In the hotel tower

 I was really liking what I’d seen of Brazil so far – I couldn’t wait to get to Rio!

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