By SANDY IRLE
(digitalBURG) – Iguazu Falls, Argentina, is a dream destination for a waterfall lover, and when the opportunity arose, we started planning.
After flying into Buenos Aires, we left for our accommodations in Puerto Iguazu. On arrival we met our host, John. He has rescued a large array of endangered plants and flowers and created a unique tropical garden.
The decks of the rooms surround this flora and a bridge bisects it. The colorful plot gives a real feeling of being in the midst of a rainforest and is the reason the bed and breakfast is called The Secret Garden.
The decks provide a wonderful gathering place for breakfast and then in the evening for John’s signature cocktail and some conversation with guests from around the world.
We had just reached our room and were setting down our bags when there was a knock on the door. Angela, a neighboring guest from Canada, invited us to go along with her and her mother on a jungle trip, so off we went.
The 20-mile drive through the rain forest is interesting enough, but arriving at Hotel de Selva, a 14-room luxury jungle hotel, is a delightful surprise. A tour of the grounds shows their efforts to remove non-native pine trees and return the grounds to indigenous plants. The hotel deck overlooking the Pirana River and Paraguay is the perfect place to drink the local Mate’ tea from a traditional Bombilla, a cup made from a gourd with a special filter straw.
The following day we explored Iguazu Falls, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site encompassing 275 separate falls. According to legend, upon seeing Iguazu, Eleanor Roosevelt made the comment, “Poor Niagara.”
The Garganta Del Diablo or Devil’s Throat is a very popular feature with several falls in a horseshoe shape falling some 350 feet and creating an enormous cloud of spray and perpetual rainbows. Walkways lead you there and to the other falls in this ecological reserve overseen by both Argentina and Brazil as it sits on their borders on the Iguazu River.
Iguazu National Park is not something that you can really see in a day, so we decided to splurge on a stay at the Sheraton Iguazu situated inside the park. You can see the spray and most of the falls from the view rooms and watch Toucan’s fly by in the morning.
We ran into some friends from Warrensburg in the lobby. It was surprising to say the least, and we laughed over it at breakfast before they left to return to their cruise ship.
That night it rained and we sat on the deck and watched the lightning show that would take the view from pitch black to daylight, lighting up the spray from the Devil’s Throat.
After several days of exploring Iguazu Falls we returned to Buenos Aires, planning to stay and see the sights of the city for a few days. Buenos Aires has something for everyone from wonderful food, remarkable architecture, great shopping and, of course, the Tango.
On our last day, we decided to visit the Feria de San Telmo, a huge outdoor market featuring live music, art, antiques and food. We found some treasures and were just milling around when we ran into no other than Angela, the girl we met in Iguazu!
In a huge city of 3 million people and a multitude of outdoor markets, it seemed surreal, but we all had a laugh and continued our exploration.
As we made our way out of the market, thinking it was time to hail a cab and head for the airport, we ran into Angela again at an outdoor café. We joined her in a toast to serendipity, and to all the good memories made in Argentina.
Sandy Irle lives with her husband, Mark, on a Century Farm near Warrensburg, Mo., and has so far visited 27 countries and 45 U.S. states. Visit their blog at www.iplanetrip.com/.