Iguazu Falls: Worth the Pain

Although our bus to Iguazu Falls was delayed one day by a nationwide Argentinian strike, we still had a great time at the town and falls bordering Brazil and Paraguay.

Some Trips Are Seamless: This Wasn’t One of Them

We packed up and checked out of our apartment around 4 hours before our bus was scheduled to take us from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu. Our landlord came by to make sure we hadn’t trashed the joint and casually told us that our plan to take a bus to the bus terminal would be complicated because well, all of the busses in Buenos Aires had stopped due to a general strike. Thinking our landlord took us for holidaying rubes, we chuckled and said that we would just take the subway. He responded by reminding us that “general strike” included all transportation except taxis. Oh. Well then we’ll take a taxi.

Only after we reached the bus terminal did we and our cab driver realize that the general strike extended beyond Buenos Aires to include the whole damn country. As the helpful and friendly police officers told us and our cab driver (in Spanish, obviously): no busses today. Anywhere.

As we had no other options, we retreated to a hostel we had stayed at before hoping for a room. Nope: booked. So we ended up finding a pretty crummy hostel nearish the bus station for the night and went to sleep hoping that our ticket would somehow be good for the following day. We weren’t optimistic.

How to Turn an 18-Hour Trip into a 28-Hour Trip

It’s actually pretty easy: just sit at the bus station for 10 hours. We got to the bus station early hoping our punctuality would net us at least a partial refund and a ticket to Puerto Iguazu that day. What we got was an argument-free exchange of our ticket for Strike Day for another ticket…for a bus leaving 10 hours later. Rather than drag our gear to another cafe, we just posted up at a cafe in the Retiro bus terminal and played dozens of games of gin, ate several sandwiches, drank several cups of coffee, and counted the minutes until our bus boarded.

Why We Did This…and Told You About It

Admittedly, this is a lot of detail and some whining about how long it took us to get to Puerto Iguazu. The rest of this post won’t take very long to read, but hopefully it will take some time to view. Iguazu Falls was worth every bit of the two 18-hour bus rides and impromptu 10-hour bus station card tournament. In Puerto Iguazu, the climate was fragrant with tropical flowers and humidity, much like the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The town itself had several quality cafés and a few nice looking restaurants and the hostels we saw were very nice for such a small town. We also got to see the 3-way border between Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina which was unique.

Anyway, without further description (aside from captions) here is our weekend at the Falls.

That’s an impressive amount of water falling over a cliff


One of there surprising perks of this trip was the wildlife we saw, from turtles to crocs (not pictured) to anteater/lemur looking things that ate the trash to fun birds (not pictured). Pretty fun!

Oh, right, we were supposed to be afraid of the wildlife. Despite the warning, we never saw any monkeys (monos). Dang.

How cool is that rainbow?

Half as cool as this double rainbow!

They were mostly too fast for us, but the butterflies were one of the most beautiful parts of the park. We saw every color combination imaginable represented on their wings and they were everywhere. Very impressive.

We got to see the Falls from several different angles. This was one of our favorites.

This one was a great angle, too.

Ok, they were all incredible.

Anna at the 3-country intersection

That’s Paraguay on the left, Brazil on the upper right, and Argentina in the foreground.

3 thoughts on “Iguazu Falls: Worth the Pain

  1. Mikey

    Yeah, that’s a pretty cool waterfall. Very excellent pictures–nice you got the rainbow to sit still for you!

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