Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Iguassu Falls, Argentina

We arrived at Iguassu Falls on Sunday morning. This is one of the world's biggest waterfalls, and its river forms the border between Argentina and Brazil. Visa for Brazil are expensive, so we didn't go over to that side. There is plenty to do on the Argentinian side, though. Doug and I have been here twice before, and we knew it would be a fun place to bring Carter.

We stayed at the Sheraton, which is the only hotel in the park. It overlooks the falls, and we had a great view from our room's balcony.


It's a perfect hotel for families, too. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful grounds, so Carter had plenty of space to play outside, and it's an easy walk to the trails of the park.



We did a little walking on the first day without Doug, who was still a little under the weather. Check out this ancient looking swing set!


On Monday we took one of the many tours available. This one started with a ride through the jungle in an open-top truck, which Carter alternately called a tractor-truck or a dump truck.


He really had a lot of fun, especially when the truck went fast!



At the end of the truck ride, we went down to the river for the water portion of the tour.


At first it was unclear if there were any kid-sized life jackets, so we put an adult one on Carter and tightened it up as much as we could.


Fortunately, they dug up a smaller one for us!


Carter really loved the boat ride! He has a thing for speed, it seems.



The boat took us right up to the bottom of the falls so we could take some pictures.





After that, we put the cameras in the wet bags they provided (and out socks and shoes as well, which turned out to be a very good decision), and the boat took us repeatedly up under some of the smaller falls. Yes, we got completely soaked. Yes, the water was very cold!! And yes, Carter loved it!




We bought the DVD of our trip under the falls (there was a guy on the boat filming with a waterproof camera), and I'll share that with friends and family when I get a chance!

After that, we had a long hike back up to the top. This was tough since we were still very wet, had a two-year-old (who eventually just refused to climb any more stairs and had to be carried), and one person who was recovering from a bout with the stomach flu. Still, the views were spectacular!




Once we were back up at the top, Carter really enjoyed walking along the paths.



We encountered some coatis near a snack bar, and I was excited because I'd really hoped we'd see them. They're a kind of raccoon native to South America. Carter had seen them before on Go Diego Go!, and immediately knew what they were.



They are extremely aggressive, and really didn't leave us alone the entire time we ate our snack.


Of course, Carter thought this was hilarious!


Here is a video of the coatis harassing us:

After Carter's nap, we went back out to play in the grass. I got some cute pictures of Doug and Carter.






The next morning we wanted to go over to a different part of the park where you can look down from the top of the main waterfall. There is a train that takes the people over to this area.


Unfortunately, we seemed to pick the absolute worst time to go and had to wait in long lines to ride in each direction. Carter was fairly patient, but was really tired by the end of the morning!

There is a long walkway out to the top of the waterfall, almost all of it consisting of bridges over the river.



It's a fairly bizarre experience to stand at the top of this huge waterfall and see how powerful it really is.



I edited together some various waterfall footage into one video:

Carter was exhausted by the end of this and wanted me (and only me) to carry him most of the way back. It would have been a good day to bring the stroller, but we didn't! I have some more pictures, but I haven't downloaded them from the camera yet, so I'll have to stop here.

We're currently in the airport in Buenos Aires, waiting for a flight back to Dallas. We'll be back in Austin by mid-morning on Thursday. I'll probably make one more post with a few last photos when we get home. I can't believe our big 3-week trip is almost over! *sigh*

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