Before the trip we were overwhelmed with the amount of information different sites had. Everyone has their own opinion of where to go and what to do. This is one of the reasons why we decided to partially wing it. Although a little more stressful, we’ve been able to see and do things that we wouldn’t of been able to if we were stuck to a strict schedule. Before leaving, we did ask friends for advice on places they were familiar with. One of them, Evelin, was wonderful enough to give us a lot of good advice on Brazil travel and recommended us going to both sides of the falls because the Argentina side has amazing views as well. And I’m sure glad we did!
We have started to realize the true meaning of the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover. We were greeted by yet another dumpy looking town. On doing previous research, not so far in advanced, there were very limited lodging options in the town closest to the falls. The actual homes on Airbnb were not even close to our budget so we settled on a hostel that we found on the site. We were getting disappointed along the walk because the town itself was starting to look kind of sketchy. We arrived to the hostel via partially dirt road and was shown to our “room” by the cleaning ladies. This “room” was a double bed crammed into the middle of a room with 4 sets of bunk beds and one bathroom. I tried explaining to her that we were supposed to have a private room, but she didn’t understand any English. I told her I spoke a little Spanish but couldn’t understand her due to her extremely fast speech problem which so many people seem to have. We ended up messaging the host and waited until he arrived. Another gentleman ended up showing up a little while later and apologized for the misunderstanding. He stated he was cleaning a private room for us and it would be ready soon. Great, no problem take your time. Then, the actual manager ended up showing up and this is where things get a little sticky. He spoke a little English, that was the only good part. In the sense of, he could argue with us that we paid for a shared room and our room is only a private room if it’s 5 people, when in actuality wasn’t even the case. We tried explaining to him our reservation via Airbnb was for a private room, but I guess in the name it stated that it was a shared room. Unfortunately, it was in Spanish and in the built in translator didn’t work for the name being that’s not where the room description goes. He told us that we had to pay more if we wanted a private room. After a slight argument, we ended up getting the room at no extra charge. Granted we didn’t expect much since it was a hostel, but we were surprised at the uncleanliness of the room. It was very large with 4 bunk beds and a double bed, but the bathroom was pretty much disgusting. Uriah was feeling a little under the weather so the rest of the afternoon he rested and I did some odds and ends. Later in the afternoon, we headed into town for some food and fresh air. Our stroll ended up being on the nicer side of town opposed to the not so nice part we were greeted upon. We ended up calling it “the hipster town without hipsters”. We strolled around a little and then returned to the hostel. Our night was first greeted with a cold shower because we couldn’t figure out how to get the hot water working, which ended up being a switch inside the shower itself, that also had the water pressure of a Walmart water foundation. We also had the pleasure of listening to the people outside given the room had no sealed doors or windows plus we were right next to the hanging spot, and smelling smoke from various sources. Waking up the next morning, Uriah was still under the weather so we decided to stay in for the day and only have 1 day exploring the falls instead of two. Later in the afternoon, we left to go to the store to get food for dinner passing all of the hostel workers on the way out. Wave hello how are you. We were gone for about an hour. We arrived back to one of the workers, who we passed on the way out, telling us that we needed to move to a smaller private room. Okay, no problem we’ll go move or stuff. Ooh we already went into your locked room and moved your stuff for you… Umm okay… We immediately started to feel uncomfortable being all of our stuff was sprawled out on the beds with our electronics in various spots. We followed him to our new room, which ended up being connected to the common area with the door unlocked and wide open. He might as well have put a sign outside that said, FOR FREE STUFF STEAL FROM HERE. Can we at least check and make sure you got all of our stuff? Sure, but I definately got it all. Nope, still some of our stuff and there were already people in some of the beds that our stuff was on… Yum excuse me sir who doesn’t speak English, can you roll over so i can see if my underwear is still here? Thanks….At this point we are so over this place and ready to leave. We fortunately found a new hotel that just opened the previous week for a decent price. We called Airbnb and arranged for them to contact the hostel after we left to hopefully get a refund being that the place wasnt as advertised AND we had no sense of security. (Which we ended up receiving) We booked it out of there without saying a word, happy that our new accommodation was only a couple of blocks away. And man what a night and day difference. It was a new small “hotel” with only 15 or so rooms. Each had its own bathroom and small table. Another reinstatement of, you begin to appreciate the small things especially when you get excited about fresh white sheets and a hot clean shower. This place even included a small breakfast and coffee that they brought to your room for you! With not having many dinner options after the eventful evening, we got creative and made some Ramon in a coffee cup using the super hot water from the sink to cook the noodles. I don’t know if it’s because of our awesome idea or how terrible the day was but that was just about the best cup of Ramon I’ve had.
The next morning, we got an early start to catch the first bus to the falls which we ended up missing of course. With the next bus, we were lucky to get one of the first seats because a large line formed behind us having to wait for the bus us. We arrived to the park and purchased our tickets. This park was much different from the Brazilian side. A little less organized but more activities to do which didn’t cost an arm and a leg.
They had 2 seperate little trains for transportation. One to the middle of the park and the other to the end. You had to get off of one and wait in another line to get onto the other. After riding the first molasses train we decided that on foot would be more efficient. We left to go explore the various trails. They had a really nice information guide who spoke English and he recommended us taking other trails first and then head to the main attraction. They had a lower and upper circuit which comprised of metal trails winding throughout the forest with stop offs at multiple waterfalls varying in size.
We explored the shorter lower circuit first and then headed to the longer upper circuit. After viewing the informational center we proceeded to the main falls. This was a long metal path that wove in and out of the forest.
The ending was a long stretch directly over the river that became the waterfall.
As we neared we couldn’t see the falls but could hear the thunder from them.
This was because the lookout was actually over the falls instead of underneath them like on the Brazilian side. It was almost a full circle of falls that you are directly over and so deep that you can’t see where it ends. Although not very picture friendly due to the large amount of mist, the views were breath taking.
Afterwards, we tried doing a more remote hike but it was closed for unknown reasons. This of which were starting to find more common along our travels. We headed back to our new hotel with a wonderful hot shower and ate some more Ramon. We awoke to another breakfast and caught our bus to Buenos Aires. This bus was a 18 hour smooth ride with meals included. The weird guy who ended up sitting in our seats was also free too!
Happy travels from U and B!