Butterflies, Rainbows and Waterfalls

Sounds magical doesn’t it? Well, it’s not magic, nature is just that incredible.

We’ve arrived back to Michigan eager to start new projects and catch up with where we left off.  However I want to do a quick run down on how the rest of the trip went and maybe provide some useful information for others visiting Iguazu Falls in Argentina.

Briefly I will jump back to where I left off – Salto, Uruguay.  If you find yourself in Salto, it’s probably because you are attracted to the idea of lounging in hot water all day… Salto is full of termas (hot springs) and is the perfect place to rejuvenate.  We were there for the termas, but also to cross back into Argentina.  We had two options: take the bus or take a boat.  The bus was a couple of dollars cheaper and a couple of hours longer.  You have to deal with everyone else crossing the border on wheels and going through customs.  The boat took less than a half hour to get our passports stamped in both countries and cross the river.  You have to walk about 20 or more blocks to the bus station once you are in Concordia, Argentina but it was worth it.  Only 5 other people were on the boat with us- it was quick and casual.

One of many... still need to identify. Any ideas?

From Concordia we took an overnight (15+/- hours) bus ride to Puerto Iguazu.  The ride was long enough to enter into a more tropical climate full of new birds and trees.  We found a really cheap and rad place to camp.  A couple has their yard set up for camping, full of beautiful vegetation and a nice covered kitchen area.  The place is called Modista, and it’s in town, maybe a 10 minute walk from the bus terminal.  It’s cheaper than all of the other camping options.

I don’t think words exist to explain Iguazu Falls.  I took around 100+ photos, none of which do them any justice.  The earliest we could get into the park was 8am, and we arrived just a few minutes after.  Skipping the little train they have to get you around to different parts of the falls, Matt and I walked down their “green trail” and it was here where we met the Toco Toucan (Toucan Grande).

As Matt pointed out an interesting spider to me, I caught a glimpse of the Toucan so very close to us and in clear view.  He let us watch him in amazement for a few minutes.  A perfect way to start our 9 hour day at the falls.  I added a few other birds to my life list and also identified a dozen or so butterflies.  As for mammals, it’s clear that humans have made an impact on the coatis (Nasua nasua) – we watched them chase people away from their tables so they could quickly snatch their food.  We also watched a couple of Azara’s Agoutis (Dasyprocta azarae) dig around in the leaf litter.

I feel like I can’t really say much more, as it is best to observe rather than read about.   If you are a nerd and plan to go to Iguazu, I suggest getting a field guide before going, or a couple.  I bought an inexpensive one (Iguazu: Vida y Color) in town and found it to be very helpful.  It contains a decent collection of birds, butterflies, mammals, trees and more.  Names are in Spanish, English and scientific.

I’ll end this with a brief video I took with my camera at the falls.  You can see the great dusky swifts flying around, birds endemic to the falls!

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