Time and Time again, I have heard praise about the great Niagara Falls. But, before my visit to Niagara, I went to Iguazu Falls, in South America. Truth is, I had never heard about the Iguazu Falls, and my professor in Argentina raved about it. She called it “Las Cataratas del Iguazu” and explained that Cataratas is a term used to described a fall that is enormous.
Iguazu was so much more than I anticipated. I heard its roars from miles away. You will see many different falls when walking through the luscious forest on the Argentine side. I would say that the experience walking through Iguazu Argentina can be compared to a hike through a rain forest, which it is. They make it easier for you with the trains that take you closer to the different levels of the falls. You can also choose to do the day long hike where you would see even more animal life on your way to view the falls. Possibly a jaguar, but definitely the cunning and thieving coati, haha. The coati’s lurk around the food concessions areas, so they can steal food away from guests.
|Classmates in Argentina|
The Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls put the entire majesty of the falls into perspective. If you visited the Argentine side first you would be surprised at how grand it is when you look at it from Brazil. This visit can be very quick since on the Brazilian side it is less of a hike. Usually, guests board a bus that takes you to the first overlook and then you can either walk to the top or go directly there via bus. But if you are going to make the trip to Iguazu complete, a view of both sides must be had. Also, I recommend doing the boat tour, which you can get from either side. It takes you up the rapids and right underneath the falls. This will be money well spent!
|Boat Tour, Argentina|
Armani and Part of Iguazu Brazil in the Back
Niagara is very beautiful, however, it pales in comparison to Iguazu. At Niagara, the American side of the falls lacks the panoramic view that the Canadian side has. You do not get the close views of the falls like you get at Iguazu in Argentina. Visitors stand to the side of the falls at Niagara, rather than right in front, like at Iguazu. Iguazu leaves you in suspense of what you will see while you walk through. Niagara does not because from the moment you drive into the parking areas, you will see all that there is to see. Also, other than the mist that may come your way from time to time at Niagara fall, be prepared to get drenched if you get close to Iguazu falls, especially in Brazil, which brings you the closest without doing the boat tour.
Niagara is great as a short scenic stop before venturing off to other regions, or if you want to spend time at the casinos, etc., around the region. However, do plan a major trip so you can see Iguazu in its entity. One full day in Argentina, and then the next in Brazil. Also, getting to the Brazilian side of the falls from Argentina, is not a long trip at all. You can simply take the public bus which is extremely cheap. The public bus cost under $5 one way, compared to the tourist bus which is upwards of $50. The public bus gets you around immigration on the Brazilain side, so you definitely would not need a Brazilian visa.
With that said, see both falls, but I highly recommend Iguazu.