Iguazu Falls

The VALOR class had a wonderful time at the Iguazu Falls which is located where the Iguazu River tumbles over the edge of the Parana′ Plateau which is on the border of the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentine province of Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu.  The river flows through Brazil for most of its course, although most of the falls are on the Argentine side. Below its confluence with the San Antonio River, the Iguazu River forms the boundary between Argentina and Brazil.

 

The Iguazu Falls are arranged in a way that seems like a reverse letter “J”. The border between Brazil and Argentina runs through the Devil’s Throat, which is a long and narrow chasm. The Devil’s Throat is U-shaped, 82 meters high, 150 m wide, and 700 m long. On the right bank is the Brazilian territory, which has just over 20% of the jumps of these falls, and the left side jumps are Argentine, which make up almost 80% of the falls

 

The falls can be reached from the two main towns on either side of the falls: Puerto Iguazú in Argentina and Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, as well as from Ciudad del EsteParaguay, on the other side of the Paraná river from Foz do Iguaçu.

 

The VALOR class used the Argentine access, and road the Rainforest Ecological Train. The train brought us to the entrance of Devil’s Throat, as well as the upper and lower trails. The VALOR class traversed through the Paseo Garganta del Diablo which is a 1-kilometre-long (0.6 mi) trail that brought us directly over the falls of the Devil’s Throat, which is the highest and deepest part of the falls.

 

 Large clouds of spray permanently soak the many river islands and the surrounding forest, known as the Atlantic Forest; create an extremely humid micro-climate favoring lush and dense sub-tropical vegetation harboring a diverse fauna. Around 2000 plant species, including some 80 tree species have been suggested to occur in the area along with around 400 bird species, including the elusive Harpy Eagle. It is also home to 80 mammals, as well as countless invertebrate species, including several wild cat species and rare species such as the broad-snouted Caiman, Giant Anteater, Harpy Eagle, Ocelot and the Jaguar.

 

The Atlantic Forest, one of the most threatened global conservation priorities. This forest biome historically covering large parts of the Brazilian coast and extending into Northern Argentina and Uruguay, as well as Eastern Paraguay, is known for its extreme habitat and species diversity, as well as its high degree of endemism. 

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