The Great Brazil Adventure continues today with Iguazu Falls.  Today I’m featuring the Brazil side!

Iguazu falls pin

Hi friends!

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this part of the Brazil trip with you since the day we came back!  Seeing Iguazu Falls was by far my favorite part of our entire Brazil trip.

Iguazu Falls (also called Iguazú Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls) are taller than Niagara Falls, twice the width and covers a giant horse show area over two miles.  It’s considered one of the biggest attractions to see in South America.

It is nothing short of breathtaking.

The falls sit on the border of Brazil and Argentina.  Each country has a national park set up to explore and enjoy the falls from dozens of different views.  I took so many pictures and loved this place so much, I decided to divide my posts up in two parts…  The Brazilian side (today) and the Argentine side (coming soon!)

If you are just joining the Brazil Adventure, catch up first!  —> Back from Brazil, Rio de Janiero, Ilha Grande (remote tropical island,) & Paraty (old colonial town)

Just a reminder, I hurt my foot in Paraty and I can’t walk.  So during this part of the story I get to ride around in a wheel chair.  I was kind of embarrassed, so you don’t see any pictures of it, but I do refer to it a few times in the post 🙂

Iguazu Falls Blog, Brazilian Side

Day 1

The hubs and I catch a late afternoon flight from Sao Paolo to Iguazu.  We arranged for an English speaking tour guide to pick us up at the airport and help us get around for a few days before we left.  After our language struggles so far on the trip and now with the added trouble of me not being able to walk, we weren’t taking any chances!

Our guide picks us and immediately takes us to Parque das Aves, or the bird park.

Parque das Aves - Iguazu Bird Park

I’m taken aback by the gorgeous floral and fauna.  I love tropical plants!

Parque das Aves - Iguazu Bird Park

The birds are so pretty and many of them are kept in huge aviary’s where you can walk in with them.

Parque das Aves - Iguazu Bird Park

They are all so colorful!

Parque das Aves - Iguazu Bird Park

This toucan is actually friendly.  A staff member even allows me to pet him!

Parque das Aves - Iguazu Bird Park

By far my favorite part of the bird park is the giant Macaw aviary.  There are so many and they are all different colors!

Parque das Aves - Iguazu Bird Park

I roll (yes, roll) over a small bridge and look up to see this!

Parque das Aves - Iguazu Bird Park

A Scarlett Macaw flying right at my head!  It ends up flying several feet over my head, and I’m never in danger, but WOW!  What an experience.

I quickly discover the macaws love to fly over this one particular spot.  I sit there forever trying to get a better picture, but I’m just not quick enough!

Parque das Aves - Iguazu Bird Park

I seriously could sit here all day, but the hubs finally talks me into leaving.

Parque das Aves - Iguazu Bird Park

Our guide drives us into the park and to our hotel.   We splurged for the Hotel das Cataratas, which is actually IN THE PARK!  It’s incredible.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

We quickly check in and head back out because we want to catch the sunset!  To get to the falls we just walk/roll down the hill and reach an observation platform.  Our first glimpse of just a small part of Igauzu is at sunset.  Even this small section is gorgeous.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

We could not be happier or more excited to explore the falls over the next few days.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

We go back to our hotel and eat one of the best meals of our life in the restaurant with the sounds of the falls crashing in the background!

Day 2

The next day we wake up super early and go to breakfast.  I enjoy more fresh fruit and some pao de queijo, a Brazilian cheese bread.

Brazil Spring 2015-534-2-39

One of the perks of staying at Hotel das Cataratas is getting access to the Brazilian side of the park before it opens to the public.  We are excited to have the chance to take in the views without the crowds.  Before we even leave the hotel property I spot a toucan in the tree!

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

Our guide meets us at the hotel and is super helpful showing us around.  The falls are so huge, it’s  impossible to view them all from one location.  So you take in smaller sections at various viewpoints.

The first stop has birds flying in formation, pale rainbows and huge cascading falls.  This one is not wheel chair assessable, but the hubs is awesome and carries me down so I don’t hurt my foot more.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

The second viewpoint is different, and just as amazing.  You start at a high platform and take an elevator down to be eye level with the falls.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

There are butterfly’s and rainbows everywhere!

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

The high viewpoint is cool because you can see so much.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

We even get a perspective of how calm the river is approaching the falls.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

Our tour guide takes great pictures!

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

He even has some fun ideas for poses.  Can you tell he’s done this a few times!

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

After we take in the high view, we head down to ground level via elevator.  The path goes all the way to the base of the falls.  It is still completely empty and it is like we have the park entirely to ourselves.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

We walk right to the base of the falls and the power of the water is tremendous.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

It’s a stark contrast from the calm gorgeous rainbows floating above.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

We can even see the powerful cloud produced by Devil’s throat, which is on the Argentina side.  It is where the entire falls start (picture to come in my Argentina post!)

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

We are lucky enough to see a full rainbow.  The mist coming off the falls creates the ideal conditions for the colorful arches.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

We follow the bridge to the middle of the river to catch the end of the rainbow.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

No pot of gold, but views like this are priceless.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

I take a thousand pictures, but also try to put the camera away and just enjoy the beauty.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

I can’t get enough!

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

The waterfall mist is so strong in the middle of the river, we use a raincoat as a barrier to protect my foot.  With new sutures it can’t get wet.

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

And even with my injury and the silly chair, this is a moment I will never forget!

Iguazu Falls Brazil Side

I still have the entire Argentina side of the park to share with you!  It is a rougher, up close look at the falls that simply can’t be missed.   Coming soon!

Reflections

I am so in love with the Igauzu Falls.  Even with being hurt, I loved this part of our trip.  Hiring an English speaking guide and staying at the Hotel das Cataratas, in the park, made the trip so much more enjoyable.  The hotel was gorgeous and had impecable service, but just being able to access the park before the crowds made it worth it.  The places you see in the pictures get so crowded later in the day that it is hard to impossible to take pictures.  I felt like I had the park to myself.

From the waterfalls, to the rainbows, to the butterfly’s – this place is enchanting and magical.  I tried all my photography tricks to try to take you there, but pictures don’t do it justice.  I would go back in a heartbeat.  I would love to explore without the retrictions of not being able to get wet and having to stay in a wheelchair.  If I could have gotten wet, we would have taken a boat right to the base of the falls!

If you ever have the chance to go, GO!

Tomorrow I’m sharing how I dress up my favorite veggie burger for grilling. I hope to see you then

And of course, have a Marvelous Monday! Thanks for the linkup Katie.

Your turn!

Where would you go back in a heartbeat?

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