Paraguay and the Iguazu Falls

20160730_144339

Salto del Rio Monday Waterfalls, Cuidad del Este

I had originally planned on taking this trip in Nov 2016 but I moved it up. I wanted to see the Iguazu Falls from both the Brazilian and Argentinian side on this trip. Currently, Brazil waives visa for US citizens and other nationalities from June to September because of the Olympics. Argentina has suspended the exit reciprocal fee for US citizens until further notice. With these two waivers in place, attaching Iguazu Falls to my Paraguay trip made sense financially if I went now instead of Nov.

20160730_203200

Itaipu Dam illumination

I arrived in Asuncion at 1am on the 29th, went straight to bed as soon as I arrived at my hostel – El Nomada. Later that day, I explored the old town area which is walking distance to my hostel. The center is nothing fancy, just a few plazas and historical buildings. I also purchased my ticket to Cuidad Del Este for the next day.

I arrived at my hostel in Cuidad Del Este around 2pm after a 6 hours bus ride from Asuncion. The hostel was pretty basic. Glad I was staying for just the night. Cuidad Del Este is interesting in that it borders Argentina and Brazil. It is a 20 minutes car/bus ride to Brazil and about an hour to Argentina. Pretty cool, right?

The owner of the hostel was very helpful in assisting with planning the activity for the day and giving me tips. I decided to go visit the waterfalls in Cuidad Del Este – Salto de Rios Monday Waterfalls. It costs 20,000 Guaranis for entrance fee and another 10,000 Guaranis if you want to take the elevator to the other viewing platform. There is a trail where you can bike or walk. It’s a beautiful way to spend the day. After that, I went to eat lunch and around 4.30pm, I headed to the Itaipu Dam.

20160801_145419

Argentinian Side of the Falls

All visitors to the Dam must go through the visitor’s center where they take down your information. Foreigners must come with their passports. I was lucky that a tour was just about to start when I arrive, it is a free 45 minutes tour in Spanish of the dam. The Dam produces about 80% of the electricity used in Paraguay and contributes 17-20% of that used in Brazil. Both Paraguay & Brazil maintain the dam. Every Friday and Saturday, there is a musical show and illumination of the dam starting at 6.30pm. I waited for this. The music performance was by a local group. At around 8pm, we all boarded the bus (provided by the dam) to go see the illumination. Beautiful!

The next day, I took a taxi from Cuidad del Este, Paraguay to my hostel in Foz do Iguazu, Brazil for USD$18. The taxi stopped for me to get an exit stamp for Paraguay and entry stamp for Brazil. I didn’t do much sightseeing this day. The next morning, I went on a group tour to the Argentinian side of the falls with rd fall travel agency. We arrived around 10am and didn’t get back until 6pm. It was an amazing day. I had visited the Argentinian side in 2012 but only went on the trail to the Devil’s Throat.

20160801_124826

Devil’s Throat

This time, I re-visited the Devil’s Throat and did two more trails – the superior and inferior circuit. Fantastic is all I can say! After completing the three trails at around 3.20pm, my new friend (Andrea) and I went to do the boat excursion. The boat takes you up close to the waterfalls, I loved it. Because it was a last minute decision, we obviously didn’t have change of clothes so we were soaking wet! I decided to buy change of clothes at the souvenir store. It was a great way to spend the day.

The following day, I did two things – explore the Brazilian side of the falls and do the helicopter tour of the fall. I took the public bus to the National Park and got off at HeliSur’s office which is 5 mins walking distance from the National Park by the way. The helicopter tour cost USD$120 for a 10 minutes tour. Expensive but worth it. I was lucky to be sitting in front by the pilot so my view was not obstructed. My fear of height is slowly disappearing :). After the tour ended, I simply walked to the National Park.

20160802_110737

View from the Helicopter

The Brazilian side also offers a boat excursion. Unlike the Argentinian side, there is only one trail here – leading to the Devil’s Throat. Here at the Brazilian side, you do get up close to the Devil’s Throat. There are several viewing platform but the closest is the one with the bridge across the falls. Loved it.

 

I left Brazil the following day to return to Paraguay where I had to catch my flight to the US.

End of vacation.

6 Lessons I Learned From This Trip

  1. It makes sense to see the both sides of the Iguazu Falls. Plan on spending the whole day at the Argentinian side and 2-3 hours at the Brazilian side.
  2. Although it is very easy to sneak in and out of the Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay from that border area, don’t do it.
  3. I found men in Paraguay annoying. I encountered plenty catcalling which made me take taxis everywhere. Off course not all men in Paraguay are assholes, I just happened to meet a lot of the assholes.
20160801_155450

Boat ride to the falls 

  1. You can pay with dollars almost everywhere in Paraguay. At the border towns, four currencies are at your disposal – US Dollars, Brazilian Reals, Paraguay Guarani and Argentina Pesos.
  2. Puerto Iguazu has more accommodation options than Foz do Iguazu.

6. Don’t miss the tour of Itaipu Dam. You can take it from the Brazilian side or the Paraguay side.

P.S. Paraguay was the only country I haven’t been to in South America, well until last week. So officially, I have visited all the countries in South and Central America :).

 

Advertisements

About The Adventures of a Nigerian-American

I love to experience new cultures and explore the world. My family calls me ‘Ajala the Traveler’. Ajala is a Nigerian who lived in the 1950s. It is said that Ajala loved to travel and has visited all the countries in the world. Several legend and myths have been woven around his personality and travels. It is also claimed he traveled using a scooter, a truck and on foot. He rose to fame when a song was written in his honor by a Nigerian musician. The song begins “Ajala travels all over the world…” Well, am not Ajala nor have I traveled as much as he did but I do LOVE to travel. At every opportunity I get, I never hesitate to hop on a plane or international bus. As of June 2016, I have been to 55 countries . When I'm not traveling, I teach.

Posted on August 5, 2016, in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Navy Joginpalli

    You are awesome, that’s amazing that you visited whole of South/ Central America!!! When are you planning a trip to India?

    >

  2. Wow! Just landed on your blog for the first time, and its really one of the best personal blogs I’ve come across. Keep it up!

    And how come you’ve not visited Asia/Arabia or Egypt one of Africans center of tourism? (Just Curios)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: