Iguazu National Park
Iguazu is a national park in Argentina, located in the province of Misiones. The park was founded back in 1934 and its main part is the Iguazu Falls, which stretches for one and a half kilometers, going beyond the border of Brazil, which also declared its part of the waterfall a national park. The parks are located in the Paraná Atlantic Forest ecoregion and are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first people inhabited these places 10,000 years ago, and prehistoric remains of jars were found here. The area near Iguazu was inhabited by Indians whose main activity was hunting, fishing and gathering. Somewhere in 1000 AD, the Guarani Indians came from the northern lands, forcibly displacing other tribes. They also gave the name to Iguazu Falls, which translates as “Big Water.”
The river flows through solid layers of basalt left here after volcanic eruptions. The lava stopped at the site of the waterfall. The Iguazu River spills one and a half kilometers wide and, due to the characteristic bends of the riverbed, a horseshoe-shaped waterfall is formed. The main cascades of the waterfall have a similar shape. Underwater boulders break the river into turbulent streams that fall from great heights, raising water splashes under the waterfall.
The Legend of Iguazu Falls
In these places there is a legend that God fell in love with a beautiful girl, but she refused him because she loved someone else. The girl decided to sail away with her beloved along the river, but God found out about this and divided the river into two parts so that the lovers could no longer be together. This is how Iguazu Falls came into being. It is worth noting that lovers are now separated by the border of Argentina and Brazil, who have been arguing for many years about which side of the waterfall is more picturesque. But nevertheless, Brazil offers only a beautiful panoramic view, while Argentina has more waterfall cascades, and you can get close to them.
Flora and fauna of Iguazu Park
Iguazu National Park has a very rich flora and fauna. Here grows: fern, orchid, palm tree, various fruit trees, which attract a large number of birds. And there are many varieties of birds here - over 450 representatives, which are best observed in the morning or evening. While walking near the waterfall you can meet various parrots, lizards, various insects and butterflies, as well as the smallest bird - the hummingbird. There are 80 representatives of mammals walking around the national park, of which the most striking are pumas and jaguars. The park is home to many species that are on the verge of extinction, keep an eye out for them: the ocelot. anteater, American tapir. Iguazu Park has a warm climate with an average January temperature of +32, which is reminiscent of the Amazon tropics.
At the entrance to the national park there is an information center, which offers a beautiful panoramic view of the waterfall. From here, 2 routes to the waterfall begin: the upper one, passing over the waterfall, and the lower one, which allows you to walk along multi-level bridges, look at the waterfall from the side, and also get close to one of the cascades. From a special platform, visitors can feel the full power of the water pressure. Extreme lovers can take an inflatable boat to the island of San Martin, located opposite the raging waterfall.