Top 10 Facts about the Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls are found at the border of two countries, the Brazilian State of Paraná and Province of Misiones in Argentina along the River Iguazu.
These majestic cascades were named as one of the newest seven wonders of the world in 2011. The falls are not only beautiful but also one of the widest in the world.
Having existed for several centuries, there are several interesting and fascinating facts about Iguazu Falls. Millions of tourists visit the Iguazu National Park where the waterfalls are located.
One can enjoy the view of the falls either on land or on-air, whichever way you go for, you will definitely be left in awe by its magnificence.
Here are the top 10 facts about the Iguazu Falls that will come in handy during your next trip to Brazil.
1. The English meaning of Iguazu is big waters
The locals Indians that lived along the river called the falls Iguazu meaning the Great Falls or Big Waters.
Both the river and the falls, that go by the same name, lie on the border of Brazil and Argentina. The falls divide the river into two; upper and lower Iguazu.
This river is a confluence of San Antonio River.
2. It sits at the border of Argentina and Brazil
Iguazu Falls are fall on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Therefore, three cities in these three countries, have access to the Iguazu River.
Two-thirds of the Falls are on the Argentina side. The Argentinian side has a fair share of the waterfall too. It is said that 80% of the waterfalls are in Argentina.
The view of the falls from all the three countries is quite incredible with endless perfect angles.
The river id 820-mile-long and is home to over 100 species of fish. Additionally, it connects to the Parana River.
3. The first European to see the falls
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was the first European to see the falls in 1541. He was on an expedition in Argentina when he came across the falls.
To pay tribute to him, one of the falls on the Argentina side is named after him. He crossed over to the Brazilian side and led his expedition to the capital of Rio de la Plata.
The Guarani tribe that lived along the river had given the falls the name the big waters.
4. Iguazu Falls is wider than Niagara Falls
This may be hard to believe but it is true, Iguazu Falls are taller and twice as wide as Niagara Falls. It also has the highest annual average water flow, more than Niagara Falls.
Iguazu Falls are also wider than Victoria Falls, which is at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in southern Africa.
The surface area of the falls and a high number of actual cliffs, edges and falls, almost 3,000 feet of the falls doesn’t have any water running over it.
In terms of height, they range from 200 to 270 feet tall. The tallest waterfall in the world is Angel Falls in Venezuela.
5. The falls were formed as a result of a volcanic eruption
Iguazu Falls were formed as the result of a volcanic eruption that left a large crack. However, there is a local legend that explains that it came about due to an angry god.
The god’s fiancée ran away with her lover resulting in the god splitting the river condemning the two lovers to fall for eternity.
6. There are about 275 waterfalls that make up Iguazu falls
Iguazu falls consists of 275 separate falls, with the most impressive one being The Devil’s Throat. This is a U-shaped cataract with 14 falls plunging more than 350 feet.
Whichever country you are in, the beauty of the falls shows off. The best panoramic view of the falls is on the Brazilian side where a fifth of the falls is.
The Argentina side lets you walk underneath, above, and all around the incredible Iguazu Falls.
7. Iguazu falls has an endless rainbow
One thing you’ll notice once you get to this majestic fall is the phantastic rainbows forming all around you at Iguazu Falls. This comes about from the mixture of mist and sun that creates beautiful rainbows.
Local legend has it that a local shaman received a message from the gods about being shown marvellous things. No one believed him, they brushed it off as garbage.
One night during a full moon, the people saw a flash of lightning and suddenly a rainbow appeared.
8. The Devil’s Throat is the tallest fall in Iguazu falls
One of the most impressive falls of Iguazu Falls is called ‘The Devil’s Throat’. It is has14 falls that plunge more than 350 feet. The mist from the falls at Devil’s Throat reaches up to 490 feet on some days.
The Argentina side has the best view of The Devil’s Throat. It is said that more than a million gallons of water run over the falls.
9. It is home to many wild animals
The Iguazu falls is not only home to fishes but also other wild animals such as birds and jaguars.
The birds have nests behind the waterfalls and rocks, a haven away from predators. These birds are often seen plunging right into them. Iguazu falls is found in Iguazu national park which is home to several species of animals and plants.
There are monkeys, toucans, and Coatis. The Coatis is from the racoon family and can be found constantly on the prowl looking for food.
10. The water level at Iguazu falls changes
Due to changing seasons, the water level at Iguazu Falls changes. This means that there are seasons that one needs to visit to see the falls in its full glory.
Between December and March, the water levels are high due to lots of rainfall.
During the winter season, the water levels are considerably low however the river is always pouring.
The best season to visit the falls is during spring or fall (autumn).