The one place that everyone is supposed to go see while spending an extended amount of time in Argentina is Puerto Iguazú. Almost every study abroad student travels there, and it’s supposed to be one of the new wonders of the world. The pictures on google images are incredible, but from what I had seen from people’s pictures on Facebook, the cataratas (waterfalls) didn’t seem TOO incredible. WRONG. The falls are one of the greatest sights I have seen in my life, and it was my favorite trip since being in Argentina. However, as always with me, it didn’t come without a few complications…
Ceniza. I had no idea what that word was until Volcan Puyehue erupted in Chile. From that day, ‘las cenizas’ were probably the two words I heard most because the ceniza (ash) from the volcano coated Argentina with a film of gray. Patagonia was hardest hit and Buenos Aires only got a very thin coat of ash, but the problems it caused were ridiculous. Our Friday flight to Iguazú was canceled, but luckily we were able to get on a plane Saturday. Our return was laiden with even more problems… our Monday flight was canceled. Then after waiting in the airport on Tuesday for flights that just kept getting delayed and eventually canceled, we had to buy tickets for an omnibus that took 18 hours to get back to Buenos Aires. Therefore, ceniza is now probably my least favorite word in the Spanish language.
Aside from the travel complications, every other part of our trip was perfect. Puerto Iguazú is in a province called Misiones and it is the northeastern-most in the country. Therefore, the climate is subtropical… it was nearly 80 degrees while we were there, as opposed to 60s in Buenos Aires. Once we landed we took two remises to our hostel since there were seven of us. The airport is about 25 minutes from the Marco Polo Hostel in the middle of Puerto Iguazú, and the ride costed A$100.. not terrible. Anyway, we had a room to ourselved in the hostel, which was great. It was a nice place with a pool, bar, ping pong and fooseball. So our first night we went out for a drink and discovered that Avenida Brasil is lined with little stores selling cheeses, meats, and massive amounts of olives. So we sat right down and had some drinks, picado (basically like antipasto), and olives stuffed with cheese and sausage. The food was great! After that, we went back to the hostel for a bit and then went out for dinner. The food was salty, but good and it was cheaper than BsAs. We hung out for a while in the hostel after that, and then went to bed so that we could have a full day at the park on Sunday.