Top 10 Facts about the Iguazu National Park
The Iguazu National Park covers an area of subtropical rainforest in Argentina’s Misiones province, on the border with Brazil.
One of the most renowned landmarks in this park is the Iguazu Falls that’s on Iguazu River. Part of the waterfalls is the Devils Throat.
The rest of the park is covered with wildlife such as coatis, jaguars, and toucans. There are also several walking trails and viewing platforms.
This is one of the most visited parks in Brazil and lies on the border of two other countries; Argentina and Paraguay. It is known as Puerto Iguazu in Argentina.
The waterfalls here can be explored on foot or in a boat that will take you close to the waterfalls.
Within the park is also a bird park, a home for many local species as well as being a conservation project.
With this brief background on the park, let us now look at the Top 10 Facts about the Iguazu National Park.
1. It has one of the largest waterfalls in the world
These waterfalls are both in Argentina and Brazil. It has managed to attract so much attention with millions of tourists visiting the park.
It was declared as a national park in 1934 in Argentina and subsequently in 1939 in Brazil. In 1984, UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage.
In 2013 UNESCO further stated that the park had valuable cultural and natural aspects of its conservation.
The proceeds from the tourism of the waterfalls have led to the development of local economies in both Brazil and Argentina.
It has more than 275 falls with the most scenic one being the devil’s throat. This has14 falls and 350 feet tall.
2. There are more than 2000 trees and animal species in Iguazu National Park
This park is surrounded by massive rainforests which is home to more than 2000 species of plants.
The park is also home to several species of animals some of which are rare and endangered.
Within this park is another park, Parque das Aves, it where you will find thousands of different bird species.
It is in this sanctuary that you will get to see the exotic birds from Brazil and from all over the world. These birds were rescued from poachers and some from keepers that mistreated them.
Back to the waterfalls, some birds have built nests behind the cascades. When you visit, check out the Great Dusky Swifts diving out through the water.
3. The Park is found in Misiones Province of Argentina
Misiones is an isolated province found in the northeastern region of Argentina.
It lies between the Alto Parana River and Paraguay to the west; it is also on the northern side of Brazil.
This province has rough terrains that are covered mostly by subtropical evergreen rainforest.
Its highlights are canyons, rivers and low ranges of the Victoria, Iman, and Misiones mountains.
Iguazu Park occupies 90 square miles of the province. The staple product from the park in this province is Paraguayan tea.
4. The ruins of Jesuit missions in the park is also a tourist attraction
This park has several attractions within it, other than the animals and birds.
One other attraction that also happens to be a landmark is San Ignacio Mini. This is the ruins from one of the many Jesuit missions that were founded in 1610.
The ruins are located near San Ignacio valley which is 60 kilometres north of Posadas in Misiones Province Argentina.
It was among the four settlements in Argentina that were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1984.
The ruins were occupied in the 18th century and had about 3,000 indigenous people.
They made several cultural and handcrafted products which they traded along the Parana River. The ruins have been well preserved and are easily accessible hence attract several tourists.
5. The Macuco Safari at the park is loved by many visitors
One of the franchises of the national park is the Macuco safari. This is a designated adventure operated on the Brazilian side of the falls.
It involves activities known as wet and wild boat rides on the rapids and the waterfalls. Other activities involve hiking, bird-watching, and white-water rafting.
The boat rides are done on inflatable bi-motor boats and can withstand the rigidities of the rapids.
Along the way, on the boat ride, you will see the canyon facing the rapid, rocks, animals and other scenic greeneries.
6. One can enjoy the view of the Iguazu Falls from the sky
There are three ways in which you can enjoy the majestic waterfalls, from the designated viewing point, a boat ride or a helicopter.
The helicopter ride allows one to enjoy the falls from the sky. This gives the best panoramic views of the majestic waterfalls.
This only happens on the Brazilian side. The view from above together with the natural beauty around it is breath-taking.
The force of the waterfalls can be felt thundering from above and you’ll be lucky to see a rainbow.
7. Devil’s Throat is more than 262 feet tall
The Devil’s Throat is found on Iguazu waterfalls. This landmark is part of the main attraction in the park.
It is also accessible through the 1,200-yard footbridge in the park leading to the waterfalls.
Also known as the curtain, this waterfall has 14 falls in total and is shaped like a horseshoe. It is on the border of Argentina and Brazil.
8. The waterfalls in this park give Niagara Falls a run for its money
Many that have visited Iguazu park and seen the waterfalls were fascinated by its beauty. It is said that these waterfalls are way bigger and majestic compared to Niagara Falls.
Iguazu waterfalls are 1.7 miles wide, Victoria waterfalls in Zimbabwe comes second at 1.06 miles while Niagara Falls is 0.70 miles wide.
Concerning their heights, Iguazu waterfalls are 195 meters tall, Victoria Falls is 108 metres and Niagara Falls is 51 metres tall.
A similarity between these three wonders of the world is that they all lie at the border of two countries.
Iguazu on the Brazil and Argentina border, Victoria on the Zimbabwe and Zambia border and Niagara between USA and Canada.
9. A Spanish Conquistador Was the First European to Spot the Falls
History books state that the first European to set eyes on these majestic cascades was Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca from Spain.
This was in 1541 when he was exploring the South American region. Cabeza wrote about the waterfalls and one of the waterfalls on the Argentine side was named after him.
A few centuries later, another European Explorer named Boselli also wrote about the waterfalls; and just like the previous explorer, one of the waterfalls was named after him.
Before the European came, the region around the waterfalls was occupied by the Caigang Indians.
10. Iguazu Falls Produces Electrical Energy for Argentina And Brazil
Just like Niagara Falls, Iguazu waterfall generates electricity for the two countries it borders.
The two governments, Brazil and Argentina, have made good use of the stunning falls. It generates at least 40% of the electricity consumed in both countries.