Parque Nacional Iguazú
Good for: wildlife, walking, adventures
Lonely Planet review for Parque Nacional Iguazú
Without being unkind to Puerto Iguazú, the national park, and the indescribably arresting falls that form its centerpiece, is the reason people flock to the area. Lush, humid, teeming with endemic flora and fauna, this is the South American rainforest as you've always imagined it.
The national park (67,620ha/167,092 acres) was established in 1934, securing Unesco World Heritage status in 1984. Home to more than 2000 species of plant (including orchids, ferns and bromeliads), 450 species of bird, and rare mammals such as the jaguar, its importance as a reservoir of biodiversity can't be overstated.
Its unquestioned highlight is the falls, created where the Iguazú River broadens to around 1.5km (0.9mi), then plunges nearly 100m (328ft) off a basalt plateau in a series of 274 separate cataracts. The subject of films, songs, poetry and tourist snaps without number, it has quite rightly been hailed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. High humidity, dense jungle, vivid swarms of butterflies and the constant roar and mist of falling water (6.5 million litres per second at peak flow) combine to forge an unforgettable impression.