Friday, April 23, 2010

IGUAZU FALLS - STEP BY STEP BY RAFA - YOUR GUIDE - AN EXPLOSION OF WATERS AND LOTS OF JUNGLE ADVENTURES

Most of my guests who come to Rio, they are also travelling to many other parts of Brazil, and the big majority go to Iguazu Falls, well I am also a tour guide there and you are all very free to hire my tours in this area, but I also wrote how you can get there and the places you should see, so you know exactly what to do, what do eat and also where to stay, so here it is a sort of a STEP BY STEP GUIDE that I want to write especially for you!

This is not only Rafa the tour guide writing, this is also Rafa, a friend, writing to you. If you want to go to the Iguazu Falls, do it as soon as possible, because you can get good deals way before the trip and internal flights in Brazil are not so cheap, so we always buy those tickets in advance.

For your information…it takes two hours to get to the Falls from here..two companies fly to Foz do Iguaçu (that is the name of the city where the Falls are located), these companies are TAM and GOL.

Between the two companies, GOL has more deals…You should ask your travel agent to research the price and if they get a good one, buy it…

Or we can try to go to a local travel agency here and see if we get better prices…but don’t worry, Brazil will turn an addiction for you. You two will love so much Rio that you will be willing to come here over and over again.

FOR THE RECORD, I THINK YOU SHOULD KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT TO DO IN THE FALLS AREA…AND I AM TELLING YOU..THE ARGENTINEAN SIDE IS WAY BETTER THAN IN THE BRAZILIAN SIDE…IT HURTS BE BECAUSE I AM VERY BRAZILIAN, BUT MY TASK HERE IS TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH.


SO THINGS TO DO THERE:

WALKING IN THE TRAILS

FIND THE BOAT TOUR TO GO TO THE FALLS

THERE WILL BE ALSO A BOAT THAT CROSS TO SAN MARTIN ISLAND (ISLA SAN MARTIN), take this boat, the trails in the island are amazing and it provides an unique views of the falls, and right close to the pier there is a small beach that if the water level is not that huge, you can swim!!!

Actually you really need to get informed with anyone in the park about how you can book this ride…I would say this is one of the best attraction in the nature reserve! They have a wonderful structure!

First things that you have to do while you are in the park, once you are in the Argentinean Park


WALKING IN THE TRAILS, it is very easy and it leads you to the best views of the Falls.

There is one specifically that you have to take a train and then you go to the Garganta del Diablo…DO TAKE THIS TRAIN…something you cannot miss!!!!

There you will walk in pedestrians bridge that we will take you to the cliffs, WOW!!!! There will be also many other possibilities for you to explore the area, one of them that I do like is another boat you can take to see the jungle, the river where you will see lovely birds and lots of different animals, and if you are lucky you can see the alligators.

Not so far from where the train stops, there will be a counter where you can take the boat that goes through the Forest in the river…It is a unique chance to see lots of birds with great possibilities to see the toucans, it is a rubber boat, I think this is also an incredible thing to do, and it goes very close to the falls as well, in the upper part of the falls!!!

FIND THE SPEED BOAT TOUR TO GO TO THE FALLS, you will be soaked even in your underwears, but I can tell you…IT DOES REALLY WORTH THE SACRIFICE, so it is better for you to take a waterproof camera and take the most amazing pictures of your life!!!! THE BOAT TOUR IN THE ARGENTINEAN SIDE IS WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY BETTER THAN THE BRAZILIAN SIDE!!!!!

THERE WILL BE ALSO A BOAT THAT CROSS TO SAN MARTIN ISLAND (ISLA SAN MARTIN), take this boat, the trails in the island are amazing and it provides an unique views of the falls, and right close to the pier there is a small beach that if the water level is not that huge, you can swim!!!

IN THE CITY AT PUERTO IGUAZU

The main street is called Avenida Aguirre, there are some nice souvenir shops there, cool grocery stores and a casino where I liked to drink QUILMES BEER. I recommend a short walk in this avenue for you to feel the vibe of the small town!!!

Either for lunch or dinner ( I prefer DINNER) you simply CANNOT MISS a barbecue place called EL QUINCHO DEL TIO QUERIDO, Bompland 110 (str.)

Telephone number: 420151 (if you need the entrance codes are 3757)

http://www.eltioquerido.com/

I had a blast there...their live music is absolutely spectacular and the food is a real orgasm!!!

Ask any one in the hotel to take you there or simply take a taxi because all taxi drivers know how to get there!!! Or it does not hurt if you phone them and ask if they can arrange transportation to take you there, but something is for sure, do not miss this REAL ARGENTINEAN FOOD PARADISE!!!


TO EXPLORE THE LITTLE VILLAGE WITH AN EYE OF A TRAVELLER:

But there are more to do in the surroundings YOU HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE PUERTO IGUAZU

Visit the indigenous tribe BORORÉ, so you can follow all the activities of a native guarani indian tribe, the scenery is simply magical. My friend Michael always know where the Indians are, and spending some time with a genuine guarani tribe will be remarkable in your trip!!!

You can also visit La Aripuca - It is a very interesting art craft souvenir places in a nature reserve..the construction is made with huge pieces of very old woods!!!



I would also suggest you to visit the Bird Park in Argentinean Side - Guira Oga, wonderful preservation center that shows the rich variety of Birds in the surrounding jungles in the Falls Area…it is a fantastic place WAY BETTER THAN THE BRAZILIAN SIDE!!!!

Have a look at their website -
http://guiraoga.fundacionazara.org.ar/

A visit there will make you understand a lot about South American Wilderness!!!!



It is also very interesting an aquarium called Montecarlo (I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THE CASINO, EH?) - The ideal place to discover the fauna ichthyic of the many rivers and streams in the province, is a theme park attraction that is a replica of the Paraná River basin, for a chance to witness the inter-animal and plants relationship. You can see from the smallest fish to the "Colossus of Paraná" the famous Dorado. NEVER MISS IT!!!!

Their website is
http://www.aquariummontecarlo.com.ar/ They are distant from Puerto Iguazu in about 1 hour and a half, to be precise 117km away from the Falls.

It really worth a visit, I strongly recommend you to visit this area, it is another interesting green area on the botton of Paraná River.

There my friend Michael which is also a popular tour guide will do the honors…he is very knowledgeable about the eco system of the place and will make your visit to Montecarlo a fantastic time.
You can only do this if you have more than 2 days in the Falls Region, because you really have to see the Brazilian Side!!!




NOW FOR THE BRAZILIAN SIDE!!!

Go to the National Park, the buses to the Falls are right in the main entrance of the park. The views from there are breathtaking and from the brazilian side you see all over the Falls in Iguazu. Just follow the trails and you will find some wonderful spots for pictures, take the lift and reach the bridges that goes to the lovely and dramatic abyss in the Falls!

Actually Hotel das Cataratas is IN THE PARK!!!! If you have time it deserves a visit.

Do not miss the lunch at PORTO DAS CANOAS!!!!! THIS IS ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT, not only because the food is AN ORGASM but the vistas are simply marvelous and you eat with the company of fantastic colorful birds, the GRALHAS!!!!! This place offers such an exquisite buffet with the best of our brazilian food...their fruit juices are simply marvelous!!!


IMPORTANT – Once you visited the BIRD PARK in Argentina, there is no use to visit the Brazilian Bird Park, I do not recommend anyone to go there!

And to save your time, Foz do Iguaçu is not an interesting city to see, so forget about seeing the city, people will also offer you to see the huge dam that we call it as HIDRELETRICA DE ITAIPU, only if you like these enormous engineers projects, but a tour there is really boring!
We can do much more in Iguazu Area if you want, I can join you in this trip and make everything easier for you. I can meet you either in Buenos Aires, Rio or in the Falls Area itself and we will make a real trip in the wilderness of Iguazu and many places in the Province of Missiones! Or I can get you in touch with my contacts there.
All I want you to do is to have a fun and fantastic trip in South America and when you think about Iguazu, Misiones and Jungle Activities you will always remember me.
Thank you very much, happy travels....
Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner
All the people you saw in the pictures are my wonderful british guests Clair and Ian who gave me the honor to plan their honeymoon trip and my friend Marcia who is one of my associates in the Falls area. Thank you Folks

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