Things to Do in Puerto Iguazu
Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfalls system in the world, are truly awe-inspiring to behold, spanning the border between Brazil and Argentina. Though Brazil boasts better views of the falls, Argentina is blessed with about 80 percent of this natural marvel’s 275 separate cascades. Paved trails and catwalks wind their way around the falls—sometimes reaching within an arm’s length of the water—and a free train connects the main trailheads.
With 14 cascades tumbling over 260 feet (80 meters) into a cloudy mist as they hit the frothing water below, Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo) is easily the star of Iguazu Falls. The tallest of Iguazu’s 275 waterfalls, Devil’s Throat is evenly split across the border of Argentina and Brazil, making it easy to visit no matter your starting point.
The dramatic centerpiece of Iguazu Falls is the Devil’s Throat (Garganta do Diabo), the tallest and mightiest of Iguazu’s 275 waterfalls. Made up of 14 cascades, thundering from heights of over 260 feet (80 meters) and stretching across the border of Brazil and Argentina, no trip to Iguazu is complete without a photo by the Devil’s Throat.
The Wanda Mines(Minas de Wanda), located less than 40 miles (60 kilometers) from Puerto Iguazu in the rain forest along the Paraná River, are home to some of the best agate, amethyst, quartz, and topaz found in Argentina. The small-scale mines don’t use heavy explosives and are an excellent place to learn more about the geological processes that form gemstones.
What do you do when you’re in rural Argentina? Feast on churrasco and enjoy a lively dance show, of course. Just across the Brazilian border in Foz do Iguaçu, the Rafain Churrascaria dinner show gives a flamboyant introduction to Central and South American music, dress, and dance, alongside an all-you-can-eat churrasco buffet.
San Ignacio Miní, one of five Jesuit missions that comprise the Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the most complete and impressive ruins site in Argentina. Founded in 1611 to convert indigenous Guaranis to Catholicism, the mission was left to the elements when the Jesuits departed in 1767.
This smallish ecological theme park just outside Puerto Iguazú offers insight into the history, traditions, and natural environment of the indigenous Guarani people, many of whom still speak their native tongue while living in equilibrium with nature. The site includes craft and produce shops, a restaurant, and a juice and ice cream bar.
In the Guarani tongue, güirá oga means “bird house,” and at this rescue center you'll find scores of extravagantly plumed residents—toucans, macaws, parrots, parakeets, owls, eagles, guans, tinamous, and many more—flitting about their spacious jungle enclosures. Birds are brought toGüirá Oga for rehabilitation and possible future release.
One of the best places to pick up gifts and souvenirs in the quiet town of Puerto Iguazú, a base for exploring the Iguazú Falls UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the Puerto Iguazú Arts and Crafts Market. The market specializes in traditional Guaraní crafts, including yerba mate bombillas, woven baskets, ceramics,aho-poi (embroidered linen), and jewelry.
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