Introducing Iguazú Falls & the Northeast
Northeast Argentina is defined by its water. Muscular rivers roll southward through flat green pastureland that they flood at will, the crashing roar of spectacular waterfalls reverberates through the surrounding jungle, and fragile wetlands support myriad birdlife, snapping caimans and cuddly capybaras. The peaceful Iguazú river, meandering through the tropical forest between Brazil and Argentina, dissolves in fury and power in the world’s most awe-inspiring cataracts – a sensual feast that cannot be missed. The river then merges gently into the Río Paraná, one of the world’s mightiest watercourses which surges southward, eventually forming the Río de la Plata near Buenos Aires. Along its path are some of the country’s most interesting cities: elegant Corrientes, colonial Santa Fe and booming Rosario, as well as Posadas, gateway to the ruined splendor of the Jesuit missions, whose humane dreams of social utopia in the jungle eventually foundered on the rocks of colonial realpolitik. The Paraná is joined by the Río Paraguay, west of which stretches the dry scrubland of the Chaco –whose more remote parts are tantalizingly named ‘El Impenetrable’ – and, eventually, the Río Uruguay, whose course down the Brazilian and Uruguayan border is interrupted by the unusual and spectacular Saltos del Moconá falls. Along its length are also several relaxed waterside towns: Colón, perhaps the region’s most attractive settlement, and Gualeguaychú, whose exuberant Carnaval goes on for weeks.
Dotted throughout the region are excellent reserves and national parks, representative of the biological diversity of this sizable tract of country. The shallow freshwater lakes of the Esteros del Iberá harbor a stunning richness of wildlife, easily seen among the aquatic plants.