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  Argentina : Destinations : Iguazu National Park

Iguazu National Park


Iguaz˙ Falls, Iguaz˙ National Park

The Park is located in the extreme northwest of the Province of Misiones, about 18 km (11 mi) from Iguazu Port, and about 1400 km (875 mi) from Buenos Aires. It was established October 9, 1934 with the purpose of protecting the exuberant subtropical jungle that surrounds the famous Iguazu Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, along with the various species of animals and characteristic vegetation. In 1984 it was declared a World Heritage by UNESCO. It boasts one of the major forest reserves of South America and one of the last protected environmental areas of the Paranß river. The Park, within Argentine territory, protects a thriving amount of subtropical vegetation that surrounds the Falls, 2,000 species of plants: gigantic trees, ferns, lianas(vines), orchids; and 400 species of birds: parrots, humming birds, and toucans. The fauna is represented by the jaguar, tapir, capybara, snow leopard, anteater, and puma. 
The Iguazu Falls, the main attraction of this region, are created thanks to the Iguazu river, that branches off into 275 waterfalls that rush into a majestic chasm about 70 m (230 ft) high totaling about 2.7 km (1.5 mi) in length. As the waters go crashing to the bottom vapor rises in the form of a very fine drizzle and under the sun, creates multiple rainbows. This spectacle owes its name to the word Iguazu, which means "Aguas Grandes" (Grand Waters) in the "guaranÝes" language. The guaranÝes are indigenous people that inhabited this region before the arrival of settlers. 

Of the total area of the Iguazu region (more than 370,000 acres in Brazil and 110,000 acres in Argentina), two-thirds of the waterfalls are found within Argentine territory, "la Garganta del Diablo" (the Devil's Throat) passes right by the Brazilian border. However, it is necessary to explore both sides of the border, since in Brazil you get an excellent panoramic view of the waterfalls. And it is ideal to tour the bridges, footpaths, and trails on the Argentine side to actually experience the Falls up close and observe the beauty of the flora and fauna. Two circuits exist to define the entire area: the foot of the waterfalls, which is called the Lower Circuit, 1600 m (5,248 ft) in length. The second is "arriba" or the Upper Circuit, 1200 m (3,936 ft) long. From the Visitor's Center, one can get to the circuits by train or by the green trail. From the Lower Circuit it is possible to take a boat that crosses the river and transports you to San Martin Island.


Location
Misiones Province, Iguazú District. 18 km.(11.25 mi) from the Iguazú Port and 1400 km.(875 mi) from Buenos Aires.
When to go
Year-round.
Attractions
Iguazú Falls, Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat), Macuco Trail, Yacariatá Trail, San Ignacio Jesuit Mission Ruins, San Martín Island.
How to get there
The Park is connected nationally and internationally to countless roads and highways. By land, one can access the park from Route 12 or go by bus through one of the many companies. By air, aside from coastal flights within in Argentina there are flights from San Pablo, Brazil and it is important to remember that the Iguazu Airport is only 7 km (4 mi) from the Falls. 
Activities
Rafting, trekking and horseback riding in El Dorado,
Services
Accommodations, transportation, food.
Surroundings
Foz do Iguaçú National Park (Brasil), Wanda Mines, Iguazú Port, Posadas, San Ignacio.
Climate
Its climate is warm, with average temperatures of  15°C (59║F), during June and July, and 25°C (77║F), in December and January. Rainfall measures 2000 mm (78 in) yearly and the relative humidity fluctuates between 75% and 90%.

 

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