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Iguassu Falls & Wildlife

Iguassu Falls is one of the top eight tourist destinations in South America. Many even classify it as number one. Most travelers who know the world’s most impressive waterfalls agree that Iguassu (=Iguaçu = Iguazú) is the most beautiful of them all.  These deservedly-famous falls are an impressive 2,700 meters wide, more than twice as wide as the famous Niagara Falls.  Furthermore, the average drop at Iguassu Falls is 64 meters, but has one particularly-dramatic drop of 82 meters; the drop at Niagara is only 51 meters.  Finally, Iguassu is surrounded exclusively by the lush, wildlife-rich subtropical rainforest of two large national parks. In comparison, scores of urban hotels ruin nearly every view of Niagara Falls.

 

Iguassu Falls itself is part of the international border between Brazil and Argentina. Thus, it is equally-easy to include the falls in trips to either Argentina or Brazil trip, and the best time of year to visit is any time–year round.  Note that Brazilians spell the falls “Iguaçu”, while Argentinians spell it “Iguazú”. To avoid taking sides, we use “Iguassu”, the accepted, anglicized version.

 

Though in two full days, you can see all the best views of the many different falls that collectively make up Iguassu Falls, it is highly recommended to devote at least a third day to view and photograph under-promoted but spectacular wildlife at Iguassu.

The main species worth seeing at the falls are the very tame, but decidedly-wild Coatis, a cloud of nine species of tame, wild hummingbirds at arm’s length, and two of the most beautiful and iconic of the world’s 43 species of toucans….the Toco and the Red-breasted.  We continually are surprised that many otherwise-well-informed, “DIY” travelers entirely miss the amazing hummingbird blow-out.  Our guides help you line up outstanding, close-up photo ops of alert, hyperactive Coatis foraging in natural settings, an achievement that requires very specific skills and is far from easy. The many hotels at the falls run from very good to outrageously-luxurious.