The flowing Iguaçu River cuts through the state of Paraná, southern Brazil, east-west and a few kilometers from its mouth on the Paraná River, forms one of the most impactful natural beauties in the world: the Iguassu Falls. With about 2,700m long and 1,700m³/s of flow, this wonder of nature lies in the midst of a feeric setting. The contrast of green, dense vegetation, black basaltic rocks and the whirlwind of water that precipitates from 72m high causes the visitor feelings of dazzle and intense communion with nature. In the clouds formed by the waters fly in acrobatics swifts (Cypseloides senex) and vultures (Coragyps atratus), completing the scenery of this magnificent work of nature. The visits take place through a 1 km long walkway, very adapted to the landscape of the place, with zero degree of difficulty, with spectacular approaches to the various waterfalls.
During this walk there are panoramic views of the Falls and, at the end, a fantastic (wet) approach to devil’s throat and major waterfalls.
It is a completely different tour from the Argentine side and it is recommended to perform both.
The infrastructure of the Iguaçu National Park is very good. It has a Visitor’s Center with exhibition of photos of the Iguassu Falls, panels with maps of the National Park, as well as a large souvenir shop, toilets, medical station, sale of tickets to the Park, bank, etc.
From there to the Falls are 10 km away already within the National Park.
The tour ends at the top of the Iguassu Falls, which is accessed by stairs or panoramic elevator; from there, visitors follow the walkway to the Porto Canoas Space, where there is a pleasant viewpoint overlooking the upper Iguaçu River, restaurant, snack bar, craft shop, toilets and medical station. There awaits the vehicle that will take us back to the hotel.
- Total duration of the tour: 4h (including transfers)
- Operates daily from 9 am to 5 pm
- Visitors in wheelchair: easy access only to 2 viewpoints from where you can see the Iguazu Falls
|The discovery of Iguazu Falls|
The Iguassu Falls were discovered in 1542 by the Spanish adventurer Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca. After spending several years in the south of the present-day United States, the Caribbean region and Mexico, living with the Indians, lost from his native country, Cabeza de Vaca was seconded to rule the newly constituted city of Asunción – Paraguay. Arriving at the coast of Brazil, Santa Catarina, he interned in the jungles where he traveled about 700 km followed by his companions and having some natives as guides. He then decided to continue sailing along the Iguaçu River. In this way, he came across the beautiful Falls, which he named Santa Maria. The current name – Yguazu – of the Guarani language, means Y = water, guazu = large, Big Water. It is worth reading the book of Don Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca “Shipwrecks and commentary” where he recounts his adventures.
|The Legend of the Iguassu Falls|
It is said that the Caigang Indians who inhabited the banks of the Iguaçu River believed that the world was ruled by M’Boy, a god who had the form of a serpent and who was the son of Tupã. The chief of this tribe had a daughter named Naipi, so beautiful that the waters of the river stopped when the young woman took aim at them. Due to her beauty, Naipi was consecrated to the god M’Boy and lived only for her worship. There was, however, among the Caigangues, a young warrior named Tarobá who, upon seeing Naipi, fell in love with her. On the day of the feast of consecration of the beautiful Indian, while the chief and shaman drank cauim and the warriors danced, Tarobá took advantage and fled with the beautiful Naipi in a canoe downstream, swept away by the current. When M’Boy noticed Naipi and Tarobá’s escape, he was furious. It then penetrated the bowels of the earth and, twisting its body, produced a huge crack that formed a gigantic cataract.
Enveloped by the waters, the canoe and the fugitives fell from great height, disappearing forever. Legend has it that Naipi was transformed into a beautiful rainbow and Tarobá into a palm tree overlooking the river gorge. If we look closely, we will notice that the end of the rainbow ends in the canopy of the palm tree and thus the two lovers remain together forever, but under the eternal watch of the vengeful god who hides in a cave under the Devil’s Throat!
Note: This is only a legend created by the imagination of non-Indians when they arrived here, unable to give an adequate explanation for the creation of the majestic Iguassu Falls and its mystical forests.