Kablooey 102Standing at the cusp of la Garganta del Diablo.

The Cataratas de Iguazu are unequivocally a necessary “must-see-before-you-die” natural wonder. The beauty alone is enough to bow one over, but coupled with the magnitude of the force of nature, it is an experience that will leave you feeling humbled and awestruck.

The Falls are also located uniquely at the point where Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay all touch, so for those inclined, hitting up three countries in one day can easily be done.

Last year, when I jaunted over to Foz to visit my aunt, we did the whole shebang on the Brazilian side. A winding walking path takes you through the National Park, passing waterfalls along the way that get progressively more impressive as you near the up-close and personal apex of the journey.

On my most recent trip to Brazil, we crossed the border to Argentina to explore the other side of the Falls. Similarly, a footpath leads you into the heart of the main attraction, although this time, the sights were more understated in the calm, serene bodies of water that surround the walking bridge. While I found the Brazilian side to be perpetually jaw-dropping, Argentina packs all of its punch at the end.

The ominous Devil’s Throat is the monstrosity that awaits. I did not think the beauty of the Brazilian perspective was matched, but the view of the sheer power of such massive currents lent in Argentina was undeniable.

Clouds of white mist steaming all around, the thunderous roar of a billion clashing water drops, and a seemingly eternal abyss extending below combine to make you feel big in your wonder but infinitely small in significance.

The feelings of humility and awe change not whether you view the Falls in Brazil or Argentina.

Kablooey 070Taking a tram to the hiking trail.

Kablooey 074The Devil’s Throat. Enter if you dare.

Kablooey 078Walking walking walking.

Kablooey 091Getting closer.

Kablooey 092Ruins from an old bridge.

Kablooey 098Almost there…

Kablooey 101BAM!

Kablooey 111So awesome.

Kablooey 110Misty mysteries.

So aside from getting attacked by parrots, I also toured the park’s extensive variety of aves found in Latin America. Some of them are protected species with endangered status and others are simply strange to behold. There were several exhibits that allowed us to truly get up close and personal–ahem, really personal if you checked out yesterday’s entry. When I wasn’t fearing death by sharp beak pecking, I managed to steal some prime photos.

Take a gander. [FYI: my crowning glory is located at the end.]

I HELD A SNAKE! I know. It was terrifying (and frankly, kind of gross).

It bit me on the boob! Rude.

Itaipu Binacional

March 29, 2012

The Itaipu Binacional, a hydroelectric dam that sits on the Parana River, which courses between Brazil and Paraguay, is considered one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Operations and maintenance of the dam are jointly run by both countries (though the actual energy consumption is a little less evenly distributed).

I took the comprehensive tour today, and it was total nerdy fodder fulfillment. Not a “fun” tourist pastime per say, but really fascinating. And there were some great views!

Pretty and pretty interesting.

The 8th Wonder of the Modern World. ;)

Can’t believe the water resembles a shade of blue.

Pretending like I’m close to an ocean.

Danger danger.

Sweet view.

Rad.

Cool.

Minions.

Goober.

The control room.

Commemorating record-setting energy production.

Corridor of Bigfoot Twister.

Central turbine.

In two places at once (very Walk to Remember-esque)!
Straddling the line between Brazil and Paraguay.