Most people have never heard of the Iguazu Falls, but a few years ago it was announced as one of the new seven wonders of nature. The Iguaza river flows through Brazil for most of its course, although most of the falls are on the Argentina side. In fact, the Iguazu River forms the boundary between Argentina and Brazil.
Photo Credit: Hg2Hedonist via photopin (cc)
The name “Iguazu” means “big water”. It comes from the Guarani and Tupi words “y” and “ûasú”. Iguazu Falls are the result of a volcanic eruption which left a large crack in the earth. The first European to find the falls was the Spanish Conquistador Álvar Cabeza de Vaca in 1541. One of the falls on the Argentine side is named after him.
The Iguazu Falls are arranged in a way that seems like a reverse letter “J”. On the right bank is the Brazilian territory, which has just over 20% of the jumps of these falls, and the left side jumps are Argentine, which make up almost 80% of the falls. The Iguazu system is made up of 275 falls along 1.67 miles of the river. Iguazu falls currently has the most flow of water annually in the world. By comparison, the water that is falling over Iguazu has a surface area of 1.3 million ft and Niagara falls surface area is 600,000 ft.
Once Iguazu Falls were named to one of the seven wonders of nature, then the tourism skyrocketed. The best times to go and see the falls are in the spring and fall. This is because during the summer, it is so hot and humid that actually getting the chance to enjoy the view is unbearable. Argentina’s Iguazu national park is visited by more than a million people every year, most staying for just a day before moving on.
Just seeing pictures of places like Iguazu Falls makes me want to drop everything and travel the world in a heartbeat. There is so much to see across the globe and most of us don’t get the chance or take the time to experience this. So for right now, just sit back and imagine being there in real life.