Visitors to the Argentine Falls arrive at a brand-new complex, which consists mostly of restaurants and gift shops. A small visitor center does have displays on the history and ecology of the falls, but text is exclusively Spanish (No! They do not, will not, cannot provide an English-language pamphlet.) Leave them then to their lonely pride, because the chief attraction of the new and improved Argentine park is the Devil's Throat walkway. To reach it, you take a free small-gauge railway, which departs every 30 minutes from 8am to 4pm, either from the visitor center station or from a second station located 600m (1,968 ft.) down a paved walking trail. The train takes about 20 minutes to trundle the 3km (2 miles) up to the Devil's Throat station, where waiting videographers will film your every move and later try to sell you a souvenir videotape. From here it's about a 1km (.5-mile) walk along the steel catwalk to the falls, where you will once again find yourself accosted by photographers, this time offering R$15 (US$7.50/£4) large-format shots of you with the falls in the background. Thankfully, all this crass commercialism fades in importance once you reach this viewpoint. There is something both magical and awesome in that much water falling in one place; nothing people do seems to mar it. The return train leaves on the half-hour, with the last departure at 5:30pm.
There are several other trails in the park. The Circuito Superior (Upper Trail) loops around the top of the falls. The steep Circuito Inferior (Lower Trail) has been much improved, to the point that much of it is wheelchair accessible. It leads down to the edge of the Iguazú River, offering some excellent views up toward the falls. It's the only way to reach Isla San Martin, an island that's surrounded on all sides by falling water -- well worth the short boat ride (currently free of charge). The last boat back leaves at 5pm. Expect to spend at least 4 hours in the park, more if you take a boat excursion .
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Very Highly Recommended 2010