When people succeed, it is because of hard work.
Luck has nothing to do with success. – Diego Maradona
In between my stay in Buenos Aires, I flew to Puerto Iguazu to meet-up friends I met on Travbuddy to join them in going to Iguazu Falls on both Argentina and Brazil sides for 2 days. I want to see both sides as people tend to ask same questions online which is a better side, so my mission is to find that out too.
Iguazu Falls is a UNESCO World heritage Site and is the world’s largest waterfalls system. It is said that it is twice as wider and taller than Niagara Falls. It is that huge that it’s actually situated at the border of 3 countries: Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.
From Puerto Iguazu airport, our Airbnb host, Erik, picked me up so I can leave my luggage to his property at Puerto Iguazu before I go to the Brazil side, Foz de Iguaçu, where I will meet my TB friends. I was supposed to take the bus in crossing the border going to the Iguassu Falls Park in Brazil side (notice the change in my spelling? Because that’s how they spell it in Brazil!) but Erik offered to bring me to Brazil side as the hostel of my friends are closer at the border than the park, even if it’s more expensive it will be faster and less hassle for me so I agreed.
From my friends’ hostel, Concept Hotel (whose staff were very helpful in coordinating with me in Whatsapp on how I can get there coming from Argentina side!), we just took a public bus going to the park. I don’t have Brazil Reals yet but good thing that you can pay card, this can only be done at Brazil side btw.
Exploring the Brazil side of the park can only take you half-day or less depending if you are going for a boat ride or just walk along the pathway going to viewpoints just like us. I think we only spent 3 hours inside the park. I am glad that we went to the Brazil side first because from here you’ll get the bigger picture of how majestic and huge Iguazu is. From this side, the more you want to get closer to the waterfalls and that can only happen if you go to the Argentina side. The best thing about this side are the colourful wildlife you’ll see roaming around the park. If you want to see more animals, they have a bird sanctuary as well, and a helicopter ride to see the waterfalls from the top. These 2 things we weren’t bother to do at all, but it’s still your choice.
On that same day, we crossed the border going to Cataratas Puerto Iguazu or the Argentina side. We took a cab as it’s 5 of us anyway so it will still be a lot cheaper than taking a bus. At the bus terminal, our host, Erik, asked his brother to pick us up because he wasn’t expecting us to arrive too early in Puerto Iguazu, lol! There are not too many options for accommodations in Argentina side so Erik’s 2-bedroom property is already the best choice. It was close to a lot of restaurants and there is a supermarket just across the house.
The next day, we went to explore the Argentina side of the park. You cannot pay by card so it is better you buy your tickets online, because the one and only ATM also does not work when we were there! As there are many options to do inside this side, you need a whole day to visit especially if you want to do some boat rides and do short hikings, just like we did.
Upon entering, Jungle Adventures will welcome you with tour options on how to explore the park. We chose the Gran Adventure where it will take you closer to the falls on its boat ride and end in an island to where you will hike a bit seeing more falls as you head back to the next stop or viewpoint which is the Devil’s Throat. One mistake I did was to iron my hair that day, don’t bother as you are going to get REALLY wet during the boat ride, I should have worn my swimsuit just like the other tourists there because walking after getting wet is not the most comfortable feeling, good thing it was drizzling that day so almost everyone are wet too.
So now, the question on which side is better? For me, nothing is better because these 2 sides give you different satisfaction. Even if you only go to one side, you won’t be missing a lot, but if you have time it is still better to visit both sides. The best photo I have for Iguazu was taken from Brazil side, but the best video I have of the Devil’s Throat is at Argentina side.
I understand that Argentina and Brazil has always been rival to almost anything, weather it’s football or steaks, these 2 countries always try to compare what they both have. So it is not surprising too that even Iguazu/Iguassu Falls that they both shared together is always being compared. As a tourist who is not even from any of these 2 countries, I’ll just keep out of it haha! Kidding aside, they are both completely different, but equally beautiful.
It’s human nature that we tend to compare ourselves from another person, especially in this social media-driven era, people can’t help sometimes but compare themselves to another’s achievements or success, I am sometimes guilty of this too, to be honest. Comparing is not always as bad as it seems. You can always make comparisons to challenge and better yourself.
I say this because during this trip, I often see comments from my FB / IG posts that they are jealous or envious of my trip. Some were just saying it out of jest but some of them (specially those who messages me privately) were thinking that my life is so much better now because I got lucky marrying someone where I don’t need to work hard and someone who pays for my travel expenses – Wow! How I wish! Lol!
I just laugh at myself and ignore it as I don’t owe any explanation to these people who thinks this way. I just hope that they turn their jealousies the way I turned mine to some of my friends into my own inspirations. Just because they did not broadcast all their efforts on their way on achieving their success doesn’t mean that it was very easy for them or they just got lucky, I don’t know what it took them to get there. Same thing with me, when I want something, I make it happen. When it finally happens, I earned it. Simple.