There are three major tracks to enjoy in this terrific park. The lower circuit (views from the bottom of the falls, 1.4 km long), upper circuit (top of the falls, 1.8 km), and Garganta del Diablo (train ride and 1.1 km walk). I recommend starting from the lower circuit so you get to admire the full length of waterfalls and get a little wet.
The Iguazu Falls will sweep you off your feet and leave your jaw dropped for days. It was by far the most impressive nature site we have seen in our travels. An area at the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay contains 275 waterfalls which vary in size and speed of water flow. And they have lush, tropical forest where hundreds of birds fly and capuchin monkeys lurk in trees.
Our visit to this landmark of Rio happened rather spontaneously after a rainy morning turned into a sunny afternoon. One of the first advices we got after arriving to Rio: If you get few hours of sunshine, use them as they might not last. So we saw an opportunity on the move and grabbed it.
First, I want to say few words about the surrounding area. Next to the Sugarloaf Mountain is a smaller hill called “Morro da Urca” that one must reach before getting to the actual mountain. The classic way to reach the Sugarloaf Mountain (SLM) is to take two cable cars, first to the Morro da Urca and second one leading to the top of the SLM.
The alternative way is to hike to the top of the Morro da Urca and then take the cable car for the second leg of the journey. That is what we did.
We started our journey from the beach at the base of the hills. It is so beautiful there – we only regretted not having time to lie around and enjoy the sun.
Markus and I really love visiting zoos and going out of town to visit one in Singapore was totally worth it – it turned out to be one of the best zoos we have been. They really try and recreate a natural habitat for animals and in many cases one can just walk around and observe animals that are not behind bars like in typical zoo. They also have a great variety of species. I guess being at the equator the natural conditions of many animals are easy to recreate. Please meet some of the animals we met there for the very first time.
This long nosed monkey reminded me so much of Pinocchio. Except that for them the nose is not connected to lying but to sexual attractiveness. The longer the nose of the male monkey the more attractive he is to females. These monkeys are only found in Borneo.
One of the nicest experiences on our trip was definitely a visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud. This forest is home to some 600 (though estimates vary) macaque monkeys that are totally tame and used to humans. What a great pleasure it was to observe our distant relatives play and interact with each other up close.
Our favourites were kids/teenager monkeys that were also very curious of us. At the same time they were not quite as big as the alpha males so we were not scared when they jumped all over us. Here is me in a total bliss being explored by monkeys.