The fifth month of this feature takes us back to Latin America (see other Latin America-themed photo entries here and here). Latin America is one of my favorite corners of the globe, not just because of the people, the food, and the architecture, but also because of the stunning nature.
South America is particularly blessed with natural beauty. Two mighty rivers meet near the “Triple Frontier” of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam, which tames the mighty Río Paraná, is one of the premier technological wonders of engineering. Also near here – and splitting the Iguassu River in two – are the majestic, unforgettable Iguassu Falls.
Like similarly-awesome Victoria and Niagara Falls, Iguassu Falls straddles two countries. From the Brazilian side, where the falls are called Cataratas do Iguaçu, you get a panoramic view of the falls, which spread over several kilometers.
A series of viewing platforms on the Brazilian side take you to the base of the main series of cascades, the Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo/Garganta do Diabo). You will get wet!
A visit to the Argentine side, las Cataratas del Iguazú, takes more time, and allows to get up close and personal to numerous smaller cascades, such as the ones pictured above. Tripods are allowed for long-exposure photography; be sure to protect your camera from the elements.
Hundreds of raccoon-like critters known as coatis roam the grounds like captains of industry. Guard your lunch carefully!
I spent three days at the falls, which allowed for plenty of time to experiment with depth-of-field photography such as the above shot. What do you think?
It was sunny when my friend Eric and I visited the Argentine side but pleasantly overcast the next day on the Brazilian side. The “muted” sky brought out more vibrant photographic colors for anything below the horizon line – and it also kept the humid temperature in check.
High-speed, motorized, raft-style boats, sometimes called “shotover boats” after the first of their kind along the Shotover River in New Zealand, ply both sides of the Río Iguazú. A terrible accident involving one of the Argentinean boats during the first day we were there took several lives…but that didn’t stop the Brazilian boats from cruising the very next day…packed to the gills of course.
In addition to the omnipresent coatis, we also spotted deer, monkeys, several butterflies, and this handsome fellow.
Iguassu Falls is comprised of as many as 300 individual falls, with heights of up to 269 feet (82 meters). I was especially taken by this quiet cascade, pouring over the basalt Argentine lip of the falls but only visible from the Brazilian side. Please note that although it’s possible (and worthwhile) to visit both sides of the falls, American and Canadian visitors must secure Brazilian tourist visas in advance.
This introspective bird is the rhea, native to the Americas. I didn’t see him at the falls but at the nearby Bird Park, a worthwhile add-on to your Brazil visit, and directly across from the entrance to Cataratas do Iguaçu.
This panorama of the Devil’s Throat was taken from the Argentine side. A tourist train takes you the considerable distance from the Argentine park entrance to a long series of boardwalks. This is not a great picture, but it is indicative of the *size* of the falls, one of the widest cumulative cascades in the world.
All pictures were taken with a Nikon DSLR camera. All images are the property of GringoPotpourri unless credited otherwise, and should be used with permission only.