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Old Aug 4, 06, 2:14 pm   #31
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Originally Posted by JDiver
A few other hints based on our trip to Iguaz˙ / Iguašu... [/size]
AWESOME REPORT! Thank you. One more week until I see it for myself!
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Old Aug 7, 06, 7:45 pm   #32
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I will be flying into the Brazilian airport and going directly to the Sheraton in Argentina -- is it a "simple thing" to get a taxi from the Brazilian airport to the Argentinian hotel?? Approximate cost? thanks.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 6:56 am   #33
 
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Originally Posted by trd
I will be flying into the Brazilian airport and going directly to the Sheraton in Argentina -- is it a "simple thing" to get a taxi from the Brazilian airport to the Argentinian hotel?? Approximate cost? thanks.
I recall the "fare" being about $20, but we had to negotiate it as I don't think the taxi authorities allow them to run the meter to cross the border. But it is simple to do. Crossing to ARG they will check the trunk for contraband; coming back the other way we had to step out of the cab and onto a mat containing a chemical solution designed to keep some kind of cattle disease out of BRA.
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Old Aug 11, 06, 8:39 pm   #34
 
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As for planning the trip, I just can't imagine seeing the falls now in their "trickle" condition. There's just something beyond overwhelming about standing on that steel canaopy near the brink of the Devil's Throat. And, so many of the smaller falls along the way aren't there (at least according to the pictures I've seen). That's what makes any number of trails in the park so cool....around every turn there's a beatufiul waterfall, and benches for sitting & enjoying it. All of the trails are the kind where you really find yourself making several stops along the way to take it all in. If anyone has Iguauzu plans now, I'd suggest doing anything you could to postpone them until the waters "return.

Note: The park does do "moonlight" walks, where you can see the falls by the light of a full moon. Apprently, those are awesome as well. Dates for these can be found on the website for the park.

I wouldn't waste money on a guide...there's a lot of interesting stuff they tell you, that really does enhance your experience of it all, but I'm sure a little homework would find it all out and save the $$.

I would blow the cash for the boatride under the falls: You and everything on you will get incredibly wet, as yes, you get to go under a few of the falls, and you go under them several times, for all those "camera angles." I bought a water-proof disposable at the hotel gift shop (which, doh, I should have bought at Target beforehand). When the driver points the raft straight at the Devil's Throat, then pauses, leaving everyone strangely silent thinking "Oh...my...gosh...are we really going in THERE????!!" Then he guns the engines and---whether or not you actually plunge "The Throat" is something you'll have to find out The boat ride throws in some cool rapids running down the river, and all in all it's a safe, you'll live, adrenalin rush like no other, and it ends with a cool little "Indiana Jones" style jeep ride thru the jungle. The views of the falls from their "bottoms" where they meet the rivers is really amazing, and worth the trip...it's "thrilling" kind of adrenalin rush, not the "I'm gonna' die" scary kind.
The falls view room is great thing. I was upgraded just for being "Gold." Gold also got me free internet access, and the HUGE breakfast buffet in the mornings. Back at the room, you can leave the screen door closed, the glass door open, and slumber to the sounds of the falls. You can sit out on your balcony at night with a nice glass of Argentine wine and listen, listen, listen. And, since you really should be up early anyways to get into the park before the tourists come, you can see the place at sunrise...awesome. Something really cool about just chilling out on the balcony with your morning cup of java and the falls right there. But--the balconies on them are not private at all, if that's important to you. It's a "pyaramid" kind of shape, and so anyone on the upper floors have great unintentional "views" of the lower floors' balconies. And, if you're on one of the lower floors above the bar, the bar has an outdoor terrace where people can stay and chat until the wee hours. Is the hotel expensive? Sure. Is it as nice as its price? Heck no..don't expect 5 star...but as others have said, it's no dump either and you really can't beat the location. You'll be glad you did.

Rent the movie, "The Mission" before you go. Jeremy Irons, Robert Deniro. It was filmed there. Just like Ski bums watch the ski flicks to get them excited for a trip, the incredible views of the falls in the movie will get you in the mood, while teaching a lot of the history of the area. The soundtrack is beautiful, worth a download or two.
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Last edited by skye1; Aug 11, 06 at 8:47 pm..
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Old Aug 12, 06, 7:33 pm   #35
 
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If anyone has Iguauzu plans now, I'd suggest doing anything you could to postpone them until the waters "return."
Anyone know when the waters are likely to return? Is this a seasonal thing?
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Old Aug 12, 06, 10:00 pm   #36
 
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The reports linked to in earlier posts seemed to point towards October as when the falls would start kicking in again. You could scroll back thru the thread to those and/or check the national park site, as they may have info too.
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Old Aug 13, 06, 8:50 am   #37
 
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Originally Posted by linsj
Anyone know when the waters are likely to return? Is this a seasonal thing?
I was there last month and believe the current photos circulating on the net exaggerate the situation. If you have never seen Iguazu, you will be incredibly impressed even today. Devil's Throat is no trickle--it's overwhelming. (I have seen the falls before, and at this same time of year, so I know what the comparison is). But if you've been before--you will notice the difference right away.

The locals told us they are in the midst of the worst drought in 20 years, so it's not a "seasonal" thing. The reasons cited ranged from "Mother Nature" to "global warming." Also mentioned is that there is a dam upriver (I forget if it's on the Brazilian or the Argentine side) that reduces the falls' flow at certain times of year; the downstream country occasionally asks for the spigot to be turned on (so to speak) for the benefit of tourism, but such requests are handled on a case by case basis.

A couple of other notes in response to the previous couple of posts:

When we were there last month, the zodiac boats under the falls were not running--the river wasn't deep enough for the boat to be able to make the trip upriver; the boats also don't run when the flow is too heavy, so you are taking your chances either way.

And, the Sheraton was totally renovated this spring, and is a much nicer hotel than it used to be. Sheraton Gold still gets you a falls view room or a suite, but you don't need Gold to get free internet. There are several terminals in the lobby offering free internet to anyone, hotel guests and visitors alike, 24/7.
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Old Aug 16, 06, 2:25 am   #38
 
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[quote=NickW]Yeah. Brazilian visa policy is based on reciprocity with the way the US treats Brazilians. Ask yourself how a Brazilian without a US visa might get treated trying to enter the country illegally and then think whether you'd like that treatment... Latest news article here may make it harder to cross border w/out visa: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060815/...m_triborder_dc
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Old Aug 16, 06, 8:23 am   #39
 
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[quote=rustyr]
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickW
Yeah. Brazilian visa policy is based on reciprocity with the way the US treats Brazilians. Ask yourself how a Brazilian without a US visa might get treated trying to enter the country illegally and then think whether you'd like that treatment... Latest news article here may make it harder to cross border w/out visa: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060815/...m_triborder_dc
If anyone has any on-the-ground reports about whether one still is able to cross from the Argentine side to the Brazilian side of the falls without a visa, please post.
I can attest that last month any taxi driver could take you over and back, no problem. This is long-standing policy in the region, as borne out by numerous posts on the FT South America Forum.
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Old Aug 16, 06, 4:10 pm   #40
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[quote=LAXGUY]
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyr

If anyone has any on-the-ground reports about whether one still is able to cross from the Argentine side to the Brazilian side of the falls without a visa, please post.
I can attest that last month any taxi driver could take you over and back, no problem. This is long-standing policy in the region, as borne out by numerous posts on the FT South America Forum.
I will be there tomorrow, but I already do have a visa. I will see what I can find out.
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Old Aug 18, 06, 3:34 pm   #41
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[quote=LAXGUY]
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyr

If anyone has any on-the-ground reports about whether one still is able to cross from the Argentine side to the Brazilian side of the falls without a visa, please post.
I can attest that last month any taxi driver could take you over and back, no problem. This is long-standing policy in the region, as borne out by numerous posts on the FT South America Forum.
I am not going to give a straight answer -- because of your post I asked the question at the local transportation desk at the Sheraton. I was told that you did need one, but if you didn't have one it would be arranged within a day $100. Then I crossed the border (and back) this morning (I already had a visa) -- we stopped for exiting on the Argentina side, but stopped only to "wipe shoes" on the Brazilian side, no one looked at my passport. On the way out of Brazil today I did stop to have my passport stamped as I am returning to Brazil next week. BUT yesterday on the way out of Brazil (I flew into the Brazilian airport but am staying in Argentina) we breezed right through with a mere glance at the passport. So my quess is that it can be done, but policy is that it shouldn't be done.

Also to answer my own previous questions for future readers. The set taxi fare from IGU to the Sheraton in Argentina is $R80 (about $38) -- very easy to do at the transportation desk at airport. The falls are indeed VERY dry -- the devil's throat however is still going strong -- from previous pictures I am seen most of the secondary falls are mere trickles. I certainly can see what I am missing, but still quite impressive -- just makes me want to come back again when in full force. The Sheraton is a pefectly respectable 3* hotel -- rooms are small but very adequate (nice linens), the included breakfast was not quite up to the level of the Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo's regency club continental breakfast (but there are scambled eggs & bacon). Dinner was fine tho a bit expensive for the atmosphere. Agree with other comments: 3 hours on Brazilian side; 1 1/2 days on Argentina side (less if you can't do steps). This unfit 59 year old put on over 5 miles on today and am pooped -- but won't have it any other way. The 3.5 mile nature trail is fairly level and tho I didn't see any tucans I did see 20 or so monkeys, hummingbirds, large rodents, many other birds -- nice view from end of trail -- if you want to go another 500 meters (down and then back up) you can go down the cliff to the bottom of the falls - I declined.
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Old Aug 19, 06, 10:15 am   #42
 
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Is it possible or even worthwhile to take a day trip to Iguazu from BA? I'll be there in about a month.
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Old Aug 19, 06, 11:29 am   #43
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Originally Posted by Capite
Is it possible or even worthwhile to take a day trip to Iguazu from BA? I'll be there in about a month.
expensive, but possible. If the rains have not come I won┤t spend the big bucks.
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Old Aug 19, 06, 12:47 pm   #44
 
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Originally Posted by Capite
Is it possible or even worthwhile to take a day trip to Iguazu from BA? I'll be there in about a month.
Someone asked this on another thread--I'd look for it, but the answer was short: "Yes, if you get on the earliest plane, take a cab to the Brazil side, do an aerobic walk not taking any pictures, skip lunch, jog around the Argentinian side, and take the last flight back to BA." I think the response was a little "toungue in cheek."

I spent two nights last summer while traveling with a friend and we both agreed it could be easily and enjoyably done staying one night, although we were glad we had the luxury of staying two:

Take an early flight out and try to arrive at the Brazilian side shortly after noon. You'll have a few hours before the park closes.

Stay at the Sheraton, if you can afford it, but you could stay elsewhere in Puerto Igauzu and still be okay. Take a cab so that you can be at the falls as soon as the park opens. If you're in reasonably good shape, you could walk all the trails and have time to stop and enjoy some of the incredible vistas. I found that I walked the trails in half the time posted on the signs at the beginning of each and I wasn't hurrying at all.

Take a cab back to the airport for the last flight out which was around three when we were there in June (off-season), but there may be later flights in peak season making a one-night trip more feasible.

You won't have time to take the boatride up to the falls, but when we were there, they weren't running the boats because the damn below the falls had been opened the night before and the water level was low. The drought was not a factor.

If you think you'll get back to Argentina, I would wait until you can spend at least one night. If this is a "once in a lifetime" trip, I think you should go for it, but only if there is a late afternoon/early evening return flight. It's one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen, but you definitely want to see "Devil's Throat" from both sides.

Last edited by sushibear; Aug 19, 06 at 1:15 pm..
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Old Aug 19, 06, 1:03 pm   #45
 
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Thanks for the advice. We'll try to spend a night or save it for next time.
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