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Thursday, August 9, 2012

THE IGUAZU FALLS - THE HISTORY

The Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls
The Iguazu Falls are the second biggest falls of the world. The first being the Victoria Falls in South Africa.

The Iguazu Falls (in Spanish) or Iguaçu Falls (in Portoguese) are situated exactly at the border between Argentina and Brasil and they have a wonderful history. 

Although many advise the opposite, it is an absolute mistake to decide to visit just one side of the waterfalls. 

Both the Brasilian side and the Argentinian side are extremely interesting, they are both worth your visit and they offer completely different views. 

We published two different posts about the Brasilian Side and the Argentinian side.


The name "Iguazu" comes from the Guarani or Tupi words "water" and "big".

On November 11 of 2011, Iguazu Falls was announced as one of the seven winners of the New Seven Wonders of Nature by the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation. 

It is fascinating to think about the waterfalls throughout time. I can imagine the amazement of the first European explorer discovering Iguazu Falls. Attracted by a high column of drizzle, looking like smoke on a distance, the Spanish navigator Cabeza de Vaca took the first sight of this amazing natural wonder in the XVI century. 

The movie "The Mission," starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons, will certainly come to mind many times during the visit. It easy to imagine the Conquerors meeting here for the first time, in front of such a natural beauty, the local Guarani. You can imagine the Spanish soldiers exploring the area with terror and amazement, surrounded by venomous snakes, hundreds of different birds and the dangerous caimans hidden in the nearby swamps. These animals still are there today to be seen, including the catfish and huge turtles, and they are a great part of the visit!

The Brasilian side of the falls
The falls on the Brasilian side are part of the Iguaçu National Park, created in 1939, with a total area of 185,262.5 hectares and a length of about 420 km, 300 km of which are natural borders by bodies of water and the Brazilian and Argentinean sides together comprise around 225 thousand hectares. 

The Iguazu falls are a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Click on the links to read about some useful tips to visit the Argentinian side and some more tips to visit the Brasilian side of the falls.

You might want to read how and what to visit at the Iguazu Falls.
Because the Falls are situated at the border between Argentina and Brasil, we published two posts: one about the Argentinian side of the falls and another one about the Brasilian side.

We highly recommend you to visit both sides of the falls!