As I exit the train and begin walking on the boardwalk over the river, it feels like I am I’m jurassic park. Giant spider webs, amazing butterflies, and curious monkeys line the trees. The vegetation is thick; the vast jungle is a totally different scenery from any other part of Argentina.
I have never seen so much flowing water in my years; the waterfalls and their surroundings were truly breathtaking. I explored the national park for 2 days from open to close. On day 1, I completed the two circuits, upper and lower, which offered great photo opportunities and mini hikes. The main attraction, the “devils’ throat” is the most impressive waterfall in the entire park. To access it, you take a train from the main entrance and then walk for 30 minutes on a singular path to the top of it. The strength and sheer size of the waterfall was unprecedented to anything I’ve encountered before.
I traveled to Iguazu by myself for the weekend and was reminded that there are always awesome experiences that can’t be created if you are in a large group. During an ‘off the beaten path’ hike through the jungle in the park, I met some wonderfully kind ladies from the Ukraine. I ended up spending the entire day with them; we found a hidden waterfall and natural swimming pool. In my hostel, I met a Swiss Harvard grad, ex investment banker that was traveling after quitting his job. In addition, I hung out with a middle age women from the Netherlands that has been cycling and camping in South America for years; she never uses busses or cars. Hostel living remains my favorite way of traveling; whenever there is an empty seat at a table, there are friends to be made and experiences to share.
I also realized how different life has been in the past month versus the backpacking portion of my trip. I’m not really traveling in Buenos Aires; I’m essentially living there at this point. I have my classes, internship, and climbing gym; I have a set routine. This small weekend getaway makes me reflect on how fortunate I am to have these travel opportunities; they truly are incredible and are becoming scarce. I certainly have acquired a ‘travel bug’; I want to see more, explore more, and continue to meet cool people with different stories to share.
I only have a week and a half of school and work before spring break; I will be exploring Northwest Argentina! More to come 🙂