Around Argentina in 28 days: Iguazu Falls, Mocona Falls and Jacutina Lodge
Why was Argentina the country that started my introduction to South America? Iguazu Falls. They were the ones who predetermined my choice. But you could also start with Brazil, someone may say, because they are the natural border between the two countries. We could. But the desire to see whales, a colony of Magellanic penguins, glaciers and other natural beauties of Argentina put an end to my choice.
After arriving in Puerto Iguazu and staying in a small hotel a few kilometers from the waterfalls, we immediately rushed to the long-awaited meeting with them. Unlike the Perito Moreno Glacier, I had a very bright and clear idea of the Iguazu Falls. Not only that, in anticipation of seeing this miracle, I constantly visited various Internet resources, to admire their beauty. I wanted to explore the waterfalls from all sides, to see all possible angles, in order to maximally capture in my memory the memories of this creation of nature.
So what are the Iguazu Falls? It is a huge complex of cascades located at the intersection of the Parana and Iguazu Rivers. We started our tour of the waterfalls from the Argentine National Park. At the entrance to the park we were greeted by an iguana crawling out of a pipe buried in the ground.
I can’t say we saw many exotic birds and butterflies. Maybe it was out of season. But we did see a large number of rhinos on both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of the Iguazu National Parks.
Why National Parks and not a park? The fact is that each of the countries, both Brazil and Argentina, saw fit to create their own reserve of the same name. Except that Brazil’s Iguaçu National Park is three times larger than Argentina’s and is the largest in Brazil. Both parks were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984 and 1986, respectively.
The closer we got, the more majestic the scene became.
It was breathtaking to see such beauty. We were lucky enough to see the waterfalls in full flow. From November to March about 2,000 mm of precipitation falls here. Powerful streams, demolishing everything in their path, rumbling down from the rocky precipices, showing all their power and strength.
I conjured up an image of a wedding ceremony, with each cascade associated with the bride’s light, airy white veil encircling everything around it.
The water looked for an exit from wherever it could make its way, squeezing vegetation in its path.
After admiring this feast of life, we headed down to the Iguazu River, where we were to take a boat ride to the canyon of the waterfall.
We were soaking wet from head to toe as we came very close to the powerful torrents of water pouring down from the heights. Even our raincoats didn’t help.
Wet through, but happy and satisfied, we disembarked to hurry to the Brazilian side of the Iguaçu Nature Reserve.
Iguazu Falls are not the record-breaker among the world’s most famous waterfalls. They are not the tallest, widest, or most powerful. Although Iguazu is inferior to Victoria Falls, which holds the record for the width of a continuous stream (more than a kilometer in length and 100 meters in height). But divided into about 275 cascades, Iguazu is much wider than Victoria. The arc of Iguazu’s tumbling water is 2.7 kilometers wide and the height of the fall is 82 meters.
Until 1864 Iguazu Falls belonged to Paraguay. But Argentina and Brazil, which claimed the territory, were not long in coming. As a result of bloody war between 1864 and 1870 Paraguay was defeated and was forced to make huge territorial concessions, as a result of which the southern bank of Iguazu River went to Argentina and the northern bank – to Brazil, and we hurried to.
You don’t need a visa to cross the border to see the waterfalls, but the time you spend in the neighboring country is fixed. First we had a helicopter tour over the wonder of the world. We were loaded into a small helicopter with 5 seats and spent 15 minutes admiring Iguazu from a bird’s eye view.
Seeing the waterfalls from above, circling over them, and then hovering in the air, taking in all that beauty…. wasn’t that what I had dreamed of, languishing in anticipation of seeing them.
Garganta del Diablo is shaped like a horseshoe. This part of the waterfall is very high (about 80 meters) and the most powerful. It is here that the maximum amount of water falls into Iguazu every second.
The Devil’s Throat stretches 150 meters in width and almost 700 meters in length. After admiring the waterfalls from above, we boarded a tourist wagon on a narrow gauge track and spent 15 minutes contemplating the realm of lush tropical vegetation around us. Then we had to walk another kilometer or so along the Brazilian trails. And now Devil’s Throat appeared before us in a completely different perspective.
This is how this beauty looks from the ground.
And after 15-20 minutes of unhurried walk along the paths and bridges of the park, grandiose and majestic picture opened before us. There were no words. We stood and silently looked at what only nature with its talent and taste could create.
No picture can convey the feeling of being in the epicenter of beauty, power and strength. Truly – these are the most beautiful waterfalls created by the Creator. And one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Giant clouds of water dust in the refraction of sunlight recreate the rainbow, which alone can live in this beautiful place.
No sooner had we completely dried off after the river walk than we took another refreshing Iguazu shower.
This day was one of the highlights of my life. The emotions of the beauty I saw still overwhelm me when I look through the pictures of the waterfalls. And the images that come to life in my memory warm and envelop me with beautiful memories of those already distant days.
But our adventures in Argentina did not end there. While planning my itinerary, reading the information about the country, I became interested in the Mocona Falls, which are located 300 kilometers away from Iguazu. Why not see them at the same time, I decided. They were very much recommended. The height of the Mocona Falls, or Yucuma Falls, is about 20 meters and they are one of the longest in the world. I saw such a beautiful picture on the Internet.
It took the Argentine hosts a long time to figure out what I wanted from them. What Mocona waterfalls? Where did I get the information about them? The Argentineans stubbornly tried to talk me out of the idea for a long time. But in the end they gave in and promised to show us Mocona as well. We explored the area around Puerto Iguazu with our guide, Kolya. The son of Russian immigrants, born in Buenos Aires, he knew about Russia only from the words of his parents and the media. Kolya spoke fairly good Russian. He had never seen the Mocon waterfalls in his life and knew only theoretically where they were. So the trip to the falls promised to be interesting. At 6 a.m. the next morning we set out in search of these famous waterfalls. The driver, with whom we were to spend the day, in addition to Kolya, was a colorful Argentine, obviously of Spanish descent. It was here that I had the opportunity to get a glimpse of life in the Argentine countryside. Holding on to the steering wheel with one hand, the driver practically never let go of his other hand mate. And we met some very hospitable men, so that before long we were offered to try this wonderful drink. It was not very polite to refuse, and we took our curiosity and took our chances. What can I say. The mate that is served in our authentic Argentinean restaurants in Moscow is a rest. Chifir is the Russian name for the Argentine brand. How they are allowed to drink it while driving, I do not know…But they are constantly toned down with mate.
Mocona waterfalls are located on the territory of Yaboti Reserve. The hilly terrain, overgrown with jungle as far as the eye can see is a nature lover’s paradise.
Waterfalls in Argentina: Iguazu, Mocona and others
First of all, Argentina is famous for its natural attractions. Perhaps everyone who was going to go to this South American country, heard about the delightful Iguazu complex. Below we tell about the main and most interesting waterfalls of Argentina, which are worth visiting during the trip.
Iguazu – waterfalls complex on the border of Brazil and Argentina
Iguazu Falls are divided between Argentina and Brazil. They are located on the territory of the national parks of the same name on both sides of the border between the countries. There are 275 large and small waterfalls covering an area of almost 3 km². To learn how to get to the waterfalls complex in Argentina, navigate between its parts and choose the best time to visit, read the link.
Among the small waterfalls in the national parks the most popular are the romantic “Adam and Eve”, where the young people propose to their brides, and its powerful neighbor “Bossetti”, as well as the twin waterfalls “Two Sisters”, “Two Musketeers” and next to it “Three Musketeers”. We will tell you more about the main ones, the most majestic waterfalls of the system.
Devil’s Throat, or Salto Garganta del Diablo – the main waterfall of Brazil and Argentina
The main waterfall of the system and the largest waterfall in the world is located on the border of Argentina and Brazil. More precisely, the horseshoe-shaped canyon, where as many as 14 powerful streams fall from a height of 80 meters, stretches for 700 meters along the Iguazu River, where there is the border between the two countries. The water falls down here with such force that the waterfall is constantly in a cloud of splashing, and at its foot you can see a rainbow.
The main observation deck with the best views of “Devil’s Throat” is built on the Brazilian side. From here you can also take a boat tour of the canyon at the foot of the waterfall. But you can take a walk over the Devil’s Throat from the Argentine side.
Salto Bernabe Mendez
Compared with Devil’s Throat, this small but beautiful waterfall is located on the Argentine side. It was named after Bernabe Mendez, a national park employee who was killed by poachers in 1968. From here you have an excellent view of the already mentioned small waterfalls of the system. In addition, around Salto Bernabe Mendez is a great place to take a walk and see the fauna of the local jungle – caimans, monkeys, lots of birds and butterflies.
Salto San Martin
The next major waterfall, like 70% of all waterfalls in the system, is located on the Argentine side. Between it and Devil’s Throat lies San Martin Island, which actually divides the Iguazu River into two branches. You can see the waterfall itself by taking the Upper Trail or the Lower Trail at the foot of the falls. And for the more adventurous, you can take a boat ride under the mighty Salto San Martin waterfall!
Moconá – Waterfall on the border of Argentina and Brazil
Moconá is another unique and beautiful waterfall system on the border of Argentina and Brazil. It is located on the River Uruguay northeast of the famous Iguazu complex. The Moconá waterfalls, or as the Brazilians call them – Yucuma, stretch for 3 km along the border of the two countries and are part of Moconá Provincial Park.
Moconá is the only parallel waterfall on the planet! Unlike other waterfalls of Argentina and the world in general, this cascade does not block the river, but runs in the direction of the river. This effect is due to the natural canyon in the river bed. During the dry season, the water level in the Rio Uruguay drops below the level of the canyon by 5-7 meters, and travelers can see a wonderful parallel waterfall.
Other beautiful and unknown waterfalls
A small waterfall, Yasy is located only 25 km south of Iguazu Complex and 3 km away from the Paraná River which crosses the border of Argentina and Paraguay. The waterfall is located in the jungle on the territory of Don Puerto Bemberg Lodge boutique hotel. The closest town to it is Puerto Libertad. The distinctive feature of this waterfall is not only the beautiful rock rapids from which the water flows, but also the fact that you can swim under its water curtain!
Waterfalls of the Agrio River
Salto de Agrio is the main waterfall on the Agrio River in northwestern Patagonia in the province of Neuquén. The nearest town is Caviahue (in Russian “Caviaue”), 16 km southwest on Highway 27. The height of the water curtain of Salto de Agrio reaches 60 meters. Water with a powerful stream falls from a height into a small lagoon. Surrounding the waterfall are colorful volcanic rocks, well the river Agrio begins in the crater of the volcano Copahue at an altitude of 2700 meters above sea level.
Further downstream you can see the whole Cascadas del Agrio, formed by many river rapids. In addition, on the way to Salto de Agrio worth visiting and a few more waterfalls – small Salto Del Basalto and Salto de La Culebra (height 3-4 meters), 20-meter Salto Cabellera de la Virgen and Salto Del Gigante.
Cascada Dora Y Santa Ana
Two beautiful waterfalls Dora and Santa Ana are located in Nahuel Huapi National Park, almost on the border with Chile. From the nearest large Argentine city, Bariloche, it is about 120 km along the highway. Well, you have to walk to the waterfalls themselves. Cars stop at the river Pantojo and the route to the falls takes about 1.5-2 hours. However, once you see these beautiful waterfalls, you will not regret that you decided to take this route!
The Santa Ana Falls are 40 meters high. The water here falls from a wide arch overhanging a small lagoon. So you can walk around the falls and see them from all sides! The waterfall Dora is slightly higher – 50 meters. Here, too, the rock slightly overhangs the lagoon and forms a cave behind the water curtain. So you can walk under the waterfall! But don’t forget to bring extra clothes – the walk promises to be wet.