This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Igauzu Falls with a group of international students from the Universidad Católica de Argentina. I have never been on a trip with so many students before, and it was an amazing experience. Previously to coming to Argentina, I had not heard of Iguazu Falls or the 7 Wonders of Nature, but now I can cross seeing one of them off of my bucket list!
The bus ride was eighteen hours from Buenos Aires, and it was a long eighteen hours. At one point it was turned into a party bus, which I’m sure is fun for an hour or two, but not so much for eighteen. After a couple of breaks, we arrived at the ruins of a Jesuit mission that was established in 1632. Although none of the preserved buildings were especially awe-inspiring, it was amazing standing there and thinking about the history. Most of the preserved ruins were of residential buildings, and imagining what life must have been like at one of these missions was very interesting to a history nerd like me.
After a day at the hostel and seeing where the borders of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil all intersect (I couldn’t go to the Brazil side of Iguazu because I didn’t have a visa), we finally went to the falls. I am the kind of person who likes to make funny comments at every opportunity, but for once I was speechless. When you first see the falls, you come from a jungle path and are overwhelmed by the vastness of the falls. The sight of it just made me think of how beautiful the world truly is, and how amazing it is that something like these falls exists. We went on a boat and saw the falls up close, and they are even more breathtaking (and freezing cold) up close. One of the small things that stood out to me was seeing a capybara on the riverbanks. At that moment the fact that I was on a river in a jungle in South America seeing a native species near one of the most amazing natural occurrences on earth all hit me at once and put life in perspective for me. Seeing the falls was easily the highlight of my time here in Argentina so far, and I am extremely thankful I had the opportunity to see them!