Sunday, January 24, 2016

Iguazu Falls

We had 2 full days at Iguazu falls. It rained heavily the first day. As soon as we stepped out of the hotel to walk on the walkways, it started pouring. Went back to the hotel room for a nap hoping the rain would stop and there'll be less crowd. By afternoon, the rain died down a bit but not the crowd. We managed to spend 3 hrs in the afternoon taking pictures of the falls. Unfortunately, the pictures didn't turn out as great as I had hoped even though the falls were just stunning.
Views from the Sheraton Iguazu Resort and Spa inside the park. Our room needed updating but the falls view was unbeatable. Room was not sound proof either, we could pretty much hear everyone and everything. Complimentary breakfast was standard Sheraton fare.
                                            Zoomed in views of the falls and walkways.
                                   Brazilian side Devils's Throat as seen from our room.

Inferior/Lower circuit- This is where we did the boat ride under the falls. The tour operator gave us a waterproof bag each to store our cameras and we walked about 100 meters down to the dock to board the speedboat. Slippery walk because of the rain earlier. My husband was completely soaked with his rain jacket on. I used a rain poncho and wrapped the hood over my face then tightened the drawcord over my mouth, leaving out my nose for breathing. I looked terrible but was dry after the ride. Going under the falls felt like someone poured tonnes of water over you non stop. It was a fun 10 minutes but less thrilling than I had anticipated. Heavy downpour flooded San Martin Island thus we didn't get to embark on the island for a different view of the falls.
                                 Inferior/ Lower circuit- easy walk from Sheraton Resort.
                                                             Superior/Upper circuit.

Endless views of Superior/ Upper circuit. Half an hour before the park closed at 6 pm, the park ranger started escorting us out. We were the last ones to leave.
On the second day, we took the train ride up to the Devil's Throat from the Argentinean side. I was speechless by the grandness of the falls. Gigantic, majestic and enormous. This should be on everyone's bucket list. Wished I had spend more time here but we were in a hurry to visit the Brazilian side as well.
 Another view of Devil's Throat. It literally cuts through the borders between Argentina and Brazil.
Standing on the viewing platform, we were soaked by the waterfall mist. Amazing views as far as the eyes could see.

The magical rainbows. One minute it was there, the next it was gone and then out of the blue, it reappeared. So fun.
Curious bird turning its head every time I clicked my camera shutter.

                            Monster catfish (above) and turtle (below) on the Argentinean side.

Crossing the Argentina and Brazil border was a breeze as long as you have the right documentations- visa and passport. For US citizens, the Brazilian visas must be obtained before arriving in Brazil. 

                                    The iguana greeting us on the Brazilian side.
                                                        Colorful Brazilian ant.

Our remis driver that drove us to Brazil gave us 2 1/2 hours to visit the park but we actually needed 3 1/2 hours taking pictures of the falls, insects, wildlife and plants. The park was crowded too with tourists and locals. Every so often, we stayed back a little just to wait out the crowd so we can take pictures without too many heads in them.


                                     

Bring ponchos as not to be soaked by the waterfall mist. Could not get clear pictures of the waterfall at the boardwalk as my camera lens was constantly showered with water drops. Every time I wiped off the lens, as soon as I point the lens in the water fall direction, the lens would be covered in water spots instantly.

The grand finale. It's so close that I felt I could reach out and touch the water. Gotta have the utmost respect for mother nature.
Tripointe view of Paraguay (left), Brazil (right), and Argentina (forefront) where the Iguazu and Parana Rivers merge.
                              Another view of Tripoint- Hito de Las Tres Fronteras of Brazil.


Did not take any food pictures in Iguazu Falls as I was not impressed with the food that we had there. The first night which happened to be my husband's birthday, we went to the famed De La Fonte restaurant inside a hotel with the same name. Nice decor but service was kinda slow as the tables were spread out among different pavilions of the hotel courtyard. Thus, the wait persons had to run around a lot servicing the patrons. To start off, we had the thin crisp falafel on a stick, squid with pesto foam and tomato sauce which were good but the one that stood out was the homemade Negri pasta with seafood ragout- al dente pasta done just right in a creamy sauce. Surubi fish dish was a disappointment as the pomelo sauce was bitter and tart. The sauce didn't complement the grounded fish at all. Beef tongue was tender but the sauce was too overpowering. Ended the dinner with their tiramisu which just fell flat. By the presentations of the dishes, I can tell that the kitchen staff put in a lot of effort into dissecting each cooking ingredient in trying to bring the dishes to a whole new level but unfortunately, not all the flavors meld together. It was an expensive dinner and I left feeling a little disappointed as the dinner didn't turn out to be as special as it should be.
The next night, we went to Aqva that serves local fish with a friendly service. The place was packed but service was prompt. We ordered stuffed pacu with a sourish pickling sauce and the goldfish dorado done in a seafood creamy sauce. The pacu fish fillet itself was rough and tasteless. I preferred the dorado better as it had more flavor and was tender. After dinner, our remis driver took us to the Iguazu Icebar. The place was small and they made everyone put on their orange parkas that smelled like wet laundry which was not dried for days. We paid 200 pesos entrance fee each and was given an alright alcoholic beverage. Finished the drink and got out of there as there was nothing else to do besides taking pictures of the mediocre ice sculptures on display.
The last night, we had a light dinner at the Restaurant Garganta inside Sheraton. Nice falls views and their food was better than I thought. Surubi ceviche and surubi in curry sauce were both very good. So was their beef empanadas. Service was excellent, too. By then, we were ready for Buenos Aires, our last destination of this trip.















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