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    EXPLORE

    On a sunny day, a small footbridge winds along the foot of impressive waterfalls in the heart of a lush forest.
    Take a walk on the footbridge at the foot of the impressive Garganta do Diabo and you’ll understand why the vegetation here is so lush!

    A wonder of the world | Iguazú National Park

    Named after the indigenous word for “great water”, the Iguazú River rises in the coastal mountains of Paraná. It winds its way through this Brazilian state for 1,320 km westwards to the confluence with the Paraná River, which marks the triple border between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. In its final kilometres, the Iguazú River plunges into impressive cataracts. Over a width of around three kilometres, there are more than 250 waterfalls, the highest measuring 80 metres! Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, the park is divided in two between Parque Nacional do Iguaçu in Brazil and Parque Nacional Iguazú in Argentina.

    Brazilian Park

    Nowadays in Brazil, this patch of subtropical rainforest (Mata Atlanticá) is a rare jewel. In the past, this forest type covered more than 1.3 million km2 in 17 Brazilian states. Now, less than 10% of it remains. In fact, much of the park’s 1,700 km2 remains inaccessible to tourists. The most popular trail, the Trilha das Cataratas, offers many breathtaking views. For the first time in two months, we have to squeeze between the tourists. And we can hear English and French being spoken fluently. Despite the crowds, this enchanting place leaves no one indifferent or totally dry! Take a walk on the footbridge at the base of the impressive Garganta do Diabo and you’ll understand why the vegetation here is so lush! If you can, visit the Brazilian park in the morning, when the sun’s rays are more interesting for photos and videos.

    Argentinian Park

    Smaller than its Brazilian neighbour (677 km2), there are more trails to admire the countless falls. According to UNESCO, the Iguazú Falls area contains over 2,000 species of vascular plants and is home to the region’s typical fauna. We could have spotted tapirs, giant anteaters, howler monkeys, ocelots, jaguars and caimans. Instead, nothing but coatis desperate for food! Despite their strong insistence, these small mammals close to the raccoon family are charming and fascinating to observe.

    In one afternoon, we had time to cover most of the park’s trails: Sendero verde, Paseo Inferior, Paseo Superior and, of course, the impressive Paseo Garganta del Diablo. A real beauty! Another busy day with our 35 km bike ride in the morning, a two-hour guided tour, a six-kilometre walk over four hours and then a return to the town of Foz d’Iguaçu with another 35 km on two wheels. You need to be in good shape to explore this magical corner of our little planet!

    To learn more: visit the UNESCO World Heritage site.

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