Godfather of All Falls – Devil’s Throat

Steve had a magic bag.

“Do you want an apple?” Steve pulled out two apples from his bag.

“No, thanks. That’s sweet of you.” I knew he needed a snack, but that was nice of him to even ask.

Lunch time. There weren’t many choices in the park.

“Do you want to share some sandwiches?” Steve pulled out a few sandwiches from his magic bag. “I made them last night.”

“Wow. They look delicious!” Even though I felt shy to take anything that Steve offered because he had been carrying them (hardwork), but I thought perhaps I should help him to lighten his bag. He insisted that he “made” too many sandwiches anyway. :) I gladly accepted one sandwich and savored each bite. I was hungry!

Good thing that we ate our lunch while queuing up at the train station to Devil’s Throat. Most people were having lunch somewhere so the line was short.

I was craving for a glass of frappe, but the price was 28 pesos. I refused to pay so much for a glass of mostly ice water!

The train ride went through jungle to reach the Upper Circuit and it felt like a Disney Land ride. It was hot and I was a little tired from the morning walk, so I almost felt asleep during the ride.

Train ride to Devil's Throat trail. Boring ...

The walk to Devil’s Throat was nothing to write home about.

The whole day, I had been noticing Argentineans liked to carry a big bottle of thermal and a mate cup with them. For me, that was the ultimate test on their love for mate. Come on, hiking up and down the hills, and they chose to carry the heavy thermal bottle in their hands? Some even were sipping the mate while hiking.

And the Argentineans brought the whole family along with them on the waterfall outing. The kids were tough. They hiked with the family, no drama.

As I was walking the boring walk (1km long trail) towards the Devil’s Throat, I wasn’t expecting much. Having seeing waterfalls from all the viewpoints, I thought I have seen them all.

The water was calm even just 50 meters before the Devil’s Throat.

Then, suddenly I saw a “hole” swallowing in the water. It’s better to show you a video in this case.

Impressive, no?

I woke up from the boredom, and raced towards the Devil’s Throat (the Godfather of all falls – highest and deepest). Again, a video is worth a thousand words. See for yourself.

That was definitely something worth seeing; one of the natural wonders.

How can something be so serene and yet so powerful at the same time?

Did you see the rainbow?

Definitely leave Devil’s Throat to the last. For me, that was the highlight of the whole trip. :)

Cataratas! Cataratas!

The cost of the boat ride to the waterfalls was 125 pesos. I bought my ticket at the hostel and received 10 pesos discount. I know 10 pesos (USD2.5) is not much, but I love discounts.

At the bottom of the Lower Circuit, Steve and I descended many steps to board our boat together with 18 other passengers. It was a large, orange rubber speedboat with powerful engine. There wasn’t any line at the “dock”. :) YEPPI!

We all were given a waterproof sack to protect our belongings. I removed my hiking boots and put on my sandals.

First, the speedboat took us around the waterfalls to warm us up. I felt like I was on a roller-coaster. I put my hands up, let the boat swing me left to right and right to left. There was no shortage of screaming, of course.

At one point, a 3-year old girl sitting in front of me shouted out exhilaratingly,”Cataratas! Cataratas!” (waterfalls).

Then, all the passengers felt the enthusiasm from that little girl and all started chanting, “CATARATAS! CATARATAS!”. I love the spirit of South Americans. They are fun, and always ready to have a good time. The chanting was powerful that I’ll remember it forever.

I thought of taking my camera out from the sack and recording the fun time, but was afraid that I might miss the moment. So, I decided to let it be. No photos, no videos; just immersed myself in the moment, completely.

The guide on the boat started putting on waterproof pants, and then a waterproof jacket. From the look of the gear, I was sure that we were going to get wet, really wet.

He warned us to put our cameras away now.

Drum roll…

The speedboat charged full speed toward the waterfalls. All passengers were so high, had our hands up, as if we were worshiping the cataratas.

Suddenly, a thick curtain of water hit my face; a wave of showers came down on me. I couldn’t open my eyes. I tried using my hands to block the water to no avail.

A few seconds later, we all burst into laughter.

That was the closet we could get near the waterfalls. We had a taste of its power.

“One more time! One more time!” We all shouted (in Spanish, of course.)

The speedboat took a turn and charged toward the waterfalls for a second run.

A huge splash of water slapped us once again. We were wet. Head to toes kind of wet. The most exciting kind of shower I’ve ever had.


The speedboat did make a third run into a different waterfall.

Big smiles on all the faces. This experience reminded me of my childhood, playing in the water. :)

I felt free. It was okay to let loose, and be silly.

Drenching wet after the boat ride. Big smiles. (Photo credit: Steve)

For this boat ride, I would suggest board short for guys and swim suit for the ladies. Or you can purchase a poncho. I personally enjoyed the refreshing shower from the waterfall. :)

After the boat ride, we took a ferry (included in the entrance fee) to San Martin Island. It’s a tiny island next to the waterfalls.

San Martin Island

Some locals people had brought lunch to have a picnic there.

I’m not really a beach person, so Steve and I opted to hike up the island.

Hmm… there were fleets of stone stairs. Very steep and endless.

After God knows how many steps, I started mumbling, “What’s up there? It better be worth it.”

I felt like I was climbing up a mountain to reach a temple. Will I be enlightened after this climb? I thought to myself.

My legs felt like giving up and I looked at Steve, he had a walk in the park kind of expression on his face. Of course, he was a marathon runner!

If not because of Steve, I would have said, “FXXX this. I’m going down.”

But lucky me picked a good traveling partner.

The view was out of this world

On top of San Martin Island, there were viewpoints that offered spectacular views of the waterfalls.

The panorama of falls extends for nearly a 140 degree viewing angle! I didn’t bring my SLR wide angle camera. The heavy mist was almost like rain. I managed to take a short video. Enjoy.

The hike was well worth it. :)

Next: Highlight Of The Day: Devil’s Throat

Rainy Iguazu

I was told that it was super hot in Iguazu. So I packed only t-shirts, shorts and bikinis without checking the weather report.

When I reached Iguazu, it was 23C, chilly and rainy!

Passengers on the plane gave the pilot a huge round of applause for a perfect landing in the rain.

Torrential rain - Iguazu Airport

Driving in the rain

Paid 30 pesos for a bus/van ride to the hostel. You can buy the ticket at the airport. I thought the price was reasonable.

Serenity - Garden Stone Hostel

I always try my best to avoid any party hostels. Garden Stone is perfect for me. Excellent location in town. Quiet, with beautiful tropical garden. I feel like I’m in Hawaii!

Puerto Iguazu is quiet a lovely town. Of course, it’s very touristy, but I like the relaxed small town feel – a good change from big city Buenos Aires lifestyle.

It was Friday night. I went out to a Parrilla for chorizo and pollo pasta. Too bad there wasn’t anyone to share a bottle of wine with me. :(

Came back to the hostel and spotted a lone soul sitting at the dining area, working on his computer. I struck a conversation with him and discovered that he planned to visit Iguazu Falls tomorrow as well. Perfect! My 6th sense told me that he’ll be a good travel companion. So, I invited him to join me.

His name is Steve, from Sydney.

“7:30am, we meet at the cocina (kitchen)”. Steve said.

“I’ll be there.” I replied.

Off to bed to prepare for a long day tomorrow.