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Iguazu Falls - A Tropical Niagara

A few weeks into being in the buzzing city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, it was time to get away. Luckily, this need to escape such a lively city coincided with a trip that was funded by my program CEA; we were going to Iguazú Falls.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a guide who said his English was rough, only to listen to him speak my primary language well. After being informed we were going to get lunch, we left the airport for a restaurant in a relatively remote area, but the restaurant was excellent, and included. After eating one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten, we went to the edge of Argentina, where we were able to see a three-country border of Paraguay and Brazil, all divided by a river. After some photo-ops, we cruised the river around the edge of the aforementioned countries for a few hours. As we cruised around the river, we were able to take many pictures of the river; the cruise ended just after the sun set, permitting a quaint, relaxing cruise.

The next day, we awoke early to enterto the main attraction, Iguazú falls. Upon arrival to the park, we were greeted by local animals, which tried to take food out of our hands. After a short walk, we were able to see the grand falls from afar. Everyone stopped to take pictures instantly, which, upon reflection, made little sense as we were able to get much better views throughout the day. Every few minutes, our group would come to another vantage point with a similar reaction, until we were directly in front of the falls. Describing the impact of such a large waterfall on the senses is quite difficult, for it’s hard to take in just how much water is moving in front of you. I was standing several hundred feet above the bottom of the falls, and I was still getting splashed by water from below. Later in the day, I put on my poncho and entered into what ended up being one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. We entered into an open air boat, and we drove directly in front of the falls. There was much suspense, as we couldn’t imagine how intense the falls were going to feel face to face. As the boat approached the face of the falls, everyone began to scream as though it were the greatest roller coaster they had been on. Water was flying everywhere, and no one escaped being absolutely soaked; the poncho didn’t seem to do much. Nobody could see a thing, as so much water was hitting us, but the water felt amazing in the 90 degree heat.

 The waterfalls at Iguazu, where I've never
seen a more perfect rainbow

For the third day of our trip, we went to an animal park, where they preserve injured wild animals from the surrounding areas. At the park, we were able to see several types of birds, including an eagle and toucans, and several monkeys. Among the most interesting things there were howling monkeys, monkeys that were anything but quiet in the presence of humans. With the cruise, the falls, and the animal preserve, Iguazú was one memorable trip.
 A sunset on a river cruise between three countries - Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina

Eric Straka is the Fall 2015 MOJO Blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is currently a Junior at the University of San Diego.

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