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Articles > South America > Brazil > Falls Of Foz De Iguazu - The "Cataratas De Iguazu"

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Falls Of Foz De Iguazu - The "Cataratas De Iguazu"
In Brazil, near Rio de Janeiro and making a boundary between Argentina and Brazil, there are waterfalls known as Iguazu Falls, which are like no other waterfalls in the world. These spectacular waterfalls are reportedly five times the size of Niagara Falls, and the earth-shattering roar of the waterfalls' rushing waters can be heard many miles away. The very first Spanish explorer to witness the sheer power of Iguazu Falls was Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, way back in 1541. Iguazu Falls was believed to have been formed as the result of a volcanic eruption.

In the local Indian language, the name of "Iguazu" means "great waters." A local legend contends that the waterfall came into being when the god of the Iguazu River became enraged and had an outburst. The god is rumored to live in the area of the waters downpour called "The Devil's Throat."

The top of the waterfall rests along the rim of a cliff that is approximately 2.5 miles in length. Along this rim there is a collection of some 275 different cascades and waterfalls whose waters fall out over the edge and flow into a gorge 269 feet below. The clouds and mists of water that are sent spiraling into the air when the water hits various ledges and cliffs during its descent create beautiful rainbows that seem to appear everywhere.

Iguazu Falls is almost always a very active waterfall, but is at its peak during the rainy season, which occurs from November through March each year. Much to the dismay of the Falls' fans, the waterfall completely dried up in 1978 and remained dry for a total of twenty-eight days. This was a phenomenon that had not occurred since 1934, and it is anyone's guess when it may happen again.

Seeing Iguazu Falls is no hard task, as there are helicopter rides available that will fly the curious right over the top of the Falls, and boat trips that can be taken to the base of the Falls. Incredibly, there is also an elevator that will take visitors to the top of Iguazu Falls, and catwalks available that allow one to walk out over the various cascades that make up the wondrous waterfalls. If you prefer to stay dry, rain suits are available.

If you wish to be lulled to sleep by the calming sounds of Iguazu Falls, there are numerous lodges located nearby that offer wonderful accommodations, as well as being close enough to the waterfalls to hear them as you nod off.

Iguazu Falls are part of a protected jungle ecosystem that is comprised of two different national parks; one in Brazil and the other in Argentina.

A visit to Iguazu Falls has something for all of the senses; sights, sounds and smells included! Don't forget to bring the camera, as these unique waterfalls are something to behold, and you will surely want to capture their rarity on film.
About the Author
Author of this article is Naldo Camaronez. To find more information and resources visit: South America Magazine.
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