4 hours to Paris, then another 12 to Sao Paulo getting to Paraguay is a long journey. after 12 hours of waiting, we boarded the flight to Ciudad Del Este. The city is located at the triple border with the Brazilian city Foz do Iguaçu and Argentinean city Puerto Iguazu, and is only minutes away from the Iguazu Falls. The proximity of these other cities make it easy to compare the three. While Ciudad del Este is known for its chaotic downtown traffic jam, the opposite is true of its neighbor Foz do Iguaçu with its well-designed and organized surroundings.
All kinds of illegal activities are taking place: money laundering, cigarette smuggling, drugs and arms trade. However, there is no reason to avoid visiting the City of the East, as it attracts thousands of tourists around the world for its unmatchable appeal.Ciudad del Este now the second largest city in Paraguay, with a population estimated at 320,782 in 2008. The city grew in population during the building of the Itaipu dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant located on the Paraná River. Many of the employees hired to work at the dam during its construction, continue to work there as technical staff today.
The Falls of Iguacu
The first sighting you get of the falls is staggering. At this point they are still fairly far away and its easy to naively believe this view is all of them, but in reality it’s really only around one third. There are loads of seperate, individual falls and other bigger ones that roll into each other. Really amazing, but the best is still yet to come.
As you walk along the trail there are incredible views and points to take photos. At one such point there was an unofficial queue forming and a system of taking photos for the people in front of you, then the people behind took yours and so on. Some South Americans obviously don’t understand queues and just hopped in taking all sorts of crap photos, whilst simultaneously clearly ruining others’ photos too.
We had moseyed along for an hour and a half (there’s really no rush and you could spend all day watching the falls) before we reached the final section of the trail, the pièce de résistance of the Brazilian side. This included a boardwalk which extended out in front of a 17 meter waterfall and sat on the top of another waterfall which fell away below. From this standpoint you can also get excellent views of the Devil’s Throat part of the falls. This section had raised elements too: a higher viewing platform within 2 meter of the falling water and an elevator took you even higher for the best panoramic views of the top of the falls .
Throughout the falls there are small mammals called Coatis. They’re like racoons with longer noses and tall standing up tails, probably the size of a mid-sized dog. You are told not to feed them and beware of getting too close etc as they can carry rabies. The sun came out and made the falls look even better. It’s almost impossible to describe how good the falls are but they certainly exceeded our high expectations and the Argentinian side is meant to be even better.
Tomorrow we are heading to Panama, we are meant to attend the opening of our store in Panama City. We are excited to meet the team, they have been working tirelessly to get the store up and running….
we will be back soon.