You can hear the thunder of Iguazu Falls long before you can see them. The Iguazu River appears calm as you watch it drifting along between Brasil and Argentina and then suddenly it drops in a spray of noise and water.
Fun Facts About Iguazu Falls in Brasil and Argentina
Here are 10 Iguazu Falls facts that you may not know.
- The Iguazu river runs mostly through Brasil but the falls themselves are mostly on the Argentinean side. Brasil has about 20% of the waterfalls andArgentinian has the remaining 80%.
- About half of the water of the Iguazu river comes down the chasm called the Devil’s Throat. This waterfall is U-shaped about 80 metres high and 150 metres wide. On the Argentinian side you can pretty much go directly over the Devil’s Throat falls (with the minimal of safety precautions).
- Depending on the water level, there are about 250 waterfalls at any given time in the area which is spread out over 1.6 miles. These falls are ranged along 2.7 kilometres of the Iguazu river. The average drop of the falls is about 210 feet. There’s an estimated 1.5 million litres of water falling every second.
- These falls are a result of a volcanic eruption which left a crack in the Earth.
- There are airports in both Argentina and Brasil that service the Iguazu area. In fact, the Argentinian airport was actually located in the Iguazu National Park before it was moved to its current site. If you are a masochist, you can take the 18 hour bus drive from Buenos Aires to Iguassu Falls.
- Each country has an Iguazu National Park which cooperate to run the area together. Both parks are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- Iguazu has the largest annual water flow of any water falls in the world. It is almost a third taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide. It is wider than Victoria Falls in Africa but smaller in size because its waterfall is less interrupted by rocky outcrops.
- Iguazu Falls has been in many movies including Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- The rainforest surrounding Iguazu Falls has more than 2000 plant species. The Argentinean side is overrun with Coatis who are not afraid of people at all. I found the Coatis completely creepy even if they just walked beside me and went about their own business. They looked too much like bad-tempered racoons for my comfort. The forests are home to the opossum, the only marsupial who lives outside of Australia.
- The name of the falls comes from the local Guarani language meaning ‘big water”. And, Big Water is probably a massive understatement. More like Ginormous Water.
Which Iguazu Falls is Better – Argentina or Brasil?
I had enough time at Iguazu Falls to visit both the Argentinean and the Brasilian side of the Falls. I know many people have to choose only one side of the falls due to time or money constraints.
In my opinion, I would stay on the Brasilian side because the Hotel Cataratas das Iguassu is simply wonderful. In addition, you get much more of a panoramic view of the waterfalls which will help you appreciate how majestic they are as a whole. I also really enjoyed visiting the Bird Park, the Parque das Aves, on the Brasilian side.
The Argentinean side lets you get much closer to the waterfalls. There is a walkway, for example, that lets you get right over the Devil’s Throat. And, I mean, right over – there are minimal guard rails. I can’t imagine such close access would be allowed in the USA for fear of someone doing a dive from the side (or a child being pushed in by a sibling).
I found the Argentinean side also overrun with coatis which did freak me out. I was told they leave you alone if you leave them alone. On the other hand, they reminded me too much of raccoons which I have never liked.
I think it’s worth it to see both sides of Iguassu Falls. They truly are magnificent both from a distance and up close. I’ve created a YouTube video which shows you the difference between the two sides.
If you do have the chance to see these falls which are considered one of the new Wonders of the World, I would definitely encourage to do so. You can find more information on Iguazu Falls for each of the parks in Argentina and Brasil.