We arrive at the mighty Iguassu Falls and our “honeymoon treat” of a few days at the Hotel Las Cateratas (thanks for the recommendation).
The hotel is located inside the national park on the Brazilian side and is probably the most luxurious hotel either of us has ever stayed in – not sure we have got “in to” the travelling thing just yet 😉
The terrace of the hotel overlooks Iguassu Falls themselves and you can hear the roar of the water from the bedrooms (we thought it was the air-con at first!). Having arrived at night this morning gave us our first opportunity to see one of the wonders of the natural world and arguably the most impressive waterfalls anywhere on the planet.
As guests of the hotel one massive advantage is that you can access the park at anytime which means that we were up and out an hour before the masses could arrive and in essence got the entire trail and viewing platforms to ourselves. It is an amazing place and I doubt whether the many photographs and videos we took will do the place justice – but we have put a few of the best shots from today in the blog.
There is a walkway built out into the river that allows you to witness the falls – an area known as Devil’s throat – at close quarters. Great for feeling the power of the display and great for getting soaked through. But as temperatures were around 32 degrees you dry out quickly.
Some good friends bought us a couple of “experiences” as wedding gifts – the first of which was a boat trip at the falls. About 20 of us donned lifejackets and boarded a large rubber speedboat and set off up the river. You are warned that you may get wet and advised to put all belongings into lockers.
However I decided to risk it and put my phone in a sealed plastic bag and we set off – however as we spot the crew are in full head to foot rubber fisherman clothing I start to question the wisdom of this decision.
Even the start of the ride great, as you power up the river with forest on either side and the boat bouncing over the wakes of passing boats and the increasingly dynamic rapids. The river is huge – at full flow the River Thames would equate 0.5% of its flow – and we felt as though we could have been in an Indiana Jones film.
Then the fun part begins as the driver manoeuvres the boat UNDER the edge of one of the falls -there are 275 individual falls in total It is difficult to describe the feeling as thousands of gallons of freezing cold water cascade down on you – it literally takes your breath away. In the case of Niki it also took her contact lenses away briefly as well. In case you were not wet enough after one pass, he does another 2 for good measure. You couldn’t be wetter if you jumped fully clothed in to a pool. We’ve added a short bit of video (from the patented ‘phone in bag’ technique) to give some sense of the experience!
Thankfully the warm weather means you dry off very quickly – and we then returned to the hotel for lunch and an idyllic afternoon by the pool. Having swum a few lengths I decide I deserve a cocktail as a reward and ask Niki to order one – I then make a personal mental commitment to keep swimming lengths until the cocktail is ready.
Blimey these chaps are not the fastest cocktail makers in the world! I manage about another 20 lengths before it arrives! Lucky for him it just so happened to be THE best Caipriniha I have had (tried both traditional lime and a more exotic passion fruit version).
The hotel has an al a carte restaurant and Brazilian BBQ option – we decide to go for the latter and are not disappointed. A wonderful selection of food – including BBQ pineapple to accompany the belly pork and ribs – and as it is our honeymoon a free bottle of champagne! As Niki doesn’t really drink I took (and failed) the challenge of drinking the bottle, but I did alright. With full belles we retire for the night.
|No idea what type of bird this was – but brilliant facial expressions & mohican!|
|Coati at work – adept at bin entry and exit manoeuvres!|
|Our first view of Iguazu Falls – from Brasil|
|Fantastic – if slightly damp – viewing platform!|
|Thanks to Oli for the loan of an ND filter – very helpful!|
|The falls from the Brasilian side|