Iguazu – Niagara on Viagra

We arrived in Iguazu and our driver was waiting. As we drove up to the Secret Garden, John (the owner) jumped into our cab and had the driver give us a quick tour of the city. When we got back he arranged for us to get to the falls and off we went and for the next two days we explored one of God’s masterpieces….Iguazu.

I have seen Victoria Falls but I have never been to Niagara but Lou has and we both agreed, Iguazu is the prettiest and most magnificent water falls we have ever seen. The other two great falls are just one long waterfall, Iguazu is a maze of huge falls and incredible geography thrown in. It is easy to understand why Eleanor Roosevelt said “poor Niagara” when she saw Iguazu for the first time.

The falls also have the best viewing platforms of the great falls. To view the falls you have three areas to check out, the Devil’s Throat, San Martin (the upper circuit) and the lower circuit. They have a little train that will take you around but we decided to walk and walk and walk, a lot of good exercise.

The catwalks that go out to Devil’s Throat take you right to the edge of the fall. The spray hits you like a thunderstorm coming from below, the volume of water is incredible. The upper circuit takes you along a catwalk across multiple smaller falls where you end up at the second major waterfall called San Martin. Both Devils Throat and Sam Martin are impressive falls.

When you do the lower circuit you walk down to the base of the falls so you are looking back up. This is where you can pick up a raft/boat that will take you up close and personal for a view and soaking right under the falls. There are two different boat rides available one that takes off right at the base of the falls for $25 per person and the other that starts down river for $50 per person. The real fun of the boat ride is the part where they take you right under the falls so we decided to save the extra $25 per person rather than see a little more of the river and we were glad we did.

On a couple of other topics, we decided not to go over to the Brazilian side. We have heard that there are a couple of vistas that give you a really good view of the Devil’s Throat but by the time we had done the whole Argentinean side we didn’t think it was worth the $130 per person for a visa to go over to the Brazilian side. The visa you get at the border is only good for 30 days but if you get your visa online it is good for 5 years. Had we known that before we came we probably would have made the trip because the visa would have been good for a future trip and Carnival is one of the things on my bucket list.

Should you stay at the Sheraton so you can stay in the park? Don’t waste your money. The Sheraton is a nice Sheraton and you can see the falls from the hotel but we finished our first day of touring and went to the Sheraton for appetizers and had our driver pick us up after dark, so I’m not sure what the advantage of paying more than double to stay at a chain hotel does for you. If you really want to stay in the park I would go over to the Brazilian side and stay at the Cateras Hotel. We could see it from the Argentinean side and it looked like it had a lot more character than the Sheraton. We finished up our long day of touring the falls with a wonderful massage.

I would highly recommend the Secret Garden where we stayed. A quaint little bed and breakfast run by John Fernandes, an expat from India who is super friendly and has a wealth of knowledge. A great place especially if you are a dog lover. His little dog Roxy thinks she owns the place and she does.

The B&B has three bedrooms and is a little oasis with a beautiful garden in the courtyard. The rooms are simple but very clean and the showers have great water pressure and the water was hot, something that is not always found in South or Central American hotels. Towels were big and clean and the wireless internet was free and fast.

Each evening John has free cocktails and appetizers where he makes an Argentinean version of a mojito, very tasty. The guests sit around and get to know each other. John started as a photographer and has a studio at the B&B where you can see some of his and his student’s work. He also has homemade postcards that you can purchase.

We became good friends with a young couple from San Franciso, Sam and Kelly. We ended up going to diner and hanging out our whole stay in Iguazu. The first night we ate at a restaurant called Agua and the second night at a great place called Bocamora. Bocamora has a beautiful perch over the river where you can see Brazil and Paraguay just across the river.

We got special treatment at both restaurants because they knew we were guests at the Secret Garden. Lou had fish both nights and I continued with Argentine beef. John arranged diner both nights along with a driver who picked us up and dropped us off at the doorstep. Both nights the dinners were wonderful. Breakfast at the Secret Garden consisted of fresh mango, “cowboy” toast with homemade jams, orange juice that was as incredible as his café leche.

If you go to Iguazu do yourself a favor and save some money and have a terrific cultural stay at the Secret Garden you won’t be sorry. Now it is off to Mendoza…..

The plane to Mendoza was delayed and we missed our connection so now we are looking at a 3 hour layover so we made some lemonade out of lemons. When we got to Buenos Aires we jumped in a cab and headed to the Palermo area. A bit of shopping and Lou gets some new boots, brownie points!

Then we hit a really good Italian restaurant called La Barta. Their saltamboca and sole was excellent. The waiter, Nicolas was friendly and really added to the dining experience. Now we are back at the airport waiting for our plane to Argentinean wine country. Tomorrow marks 30 years with the love of my life. Yeah!

mggreen

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