Milestone of the Three Borders
TThe renewed coastal walk of Puerto Iguazú accompanies the final section of the course of the Iguazú River until its mouth in the Paraná. The Milestone of three borders, the banks of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina includes three varied tourist destinations. From the outset you can see the renovated design of the artisan shops, which offer yerba mate, lacquer mats, liquid glass, pumpkin, incense and yerba stick, wooden souvenirs and semiprecious jewels from Wanda (48 km from Puerto Iguazú).
The classic postcard of the celestial and white obelisk and the masts of the three neighboring countries was removed from its original location and relocated to the starting point of a footbridge built over the ravine, which offers new lookouts to photograph the circular amphitheater of the Brazilian coast. the minimal installations of Puerto Franco (in Paraguay), the blurred silhouettes of the buildings of Ciudad del Este and a cutout of the Friendship Bridge, the international crossing that links Paraguay with Brazil. Once the sun stops illuminating this traditional walk of Puerto Iguazú, five lights and four columns of sound are lit and the dry square is soaked by the dancing waters of a fountain. For eight minutes, the show “Light and sound” recreates the meeting of the three cultures merged in this region.
From the jetty of the Puerto Iguazú waterfront, the Victoria Austral catamaran begins its two-hour daily walk, which allows us to appreciate the fluvial crossing of the three borders from an infrequent perspective. But as soon as it leaves the dock, the bow points towards upstream of the Lower Iguazú River, in the direction of the Falls and its huge symphony of jumps. There is no time to worry: the ship crosses the Tancredo Neves bridge (which connects Misiones with Foz de Iguazú, in Brazil) and the captain turns the helm, with the purpose of returning to the mouth. The ship returns to accommodate itself in the final section of the Iguazú river, whose waters, that descend enraged to few kilometers, run here tame and crystalline. A gentle whirlpool announces the encounter with the Paraná River, where the subtropical vegetation of the Atlantic forest is stamped with force on the undulating shores of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.
The intense sun illuminates piece by piece the green and in some cracks of the subtropical vegetation the brownish shines of the basaltic rock canyons stand out. The ship accommodates itself in the center of Paraná and advances in the midst of these missionary and Paraguayan coasts, in the midst of the impressive natural landscape that the Swiss scientist Moisés Bertoni studied for 40 years and divulged among his peers. The enveloping silence of the river and the jungle is transferred to the twenty or so passengers, immersed in a shocking ceremony of observation without gestures or words. The peace that reigns on the deck contrasts with the party unleashed in the saloon of the ship during the return. Supported by the voices and palms of the audience, the singer intones “Alma, corazón y vida”, “A mi manera”, “Cielito lindo” and a Colombian cumbia and transports his enthusiastic listeners to places too distant from this paradise.
The intense movement of tourists that is recorded in each corner of Puerto Iguazú and the National Park allows us to assert without much effort that the movement of the night will be massive in the area of Tres Bocas. But beyond the discos, pubs, restaurants and trendy bars, the party is animated with the invaluable contribution of Brazilian joy and the warmth of the missionaries in the streets and sidewalks. The festive atmosphere already reaches its point just at sunset in the crowded popular market Feirinha, in Felix de Azara and Avenida Brasil.
Foreign customers come and go among the seventy shops and sweep away the stock of Cuyan wines, jams, cheeses, salami, liqueurs, dulce de leche, alfajores, hams and olives, before leaving to dance forró, samba and certanello, accompanied by little tuned guitars, accordions and glasses overflowing with beer. The less effusive are devoted to observing the noisy scene tasting dishes of canja (chicken soup and rice) with relish, but invariably, sooner or later, they will be added to that contagious joy, an irrepressible impulse that does not admit the timid.
Iguazu Jungle Adventure
Before the profusion of proposals enclosed in the limited urban area becomes overwhelming, the adventure activities proposed are a very interesting excuse to get away from Puerto Iguazú and explore the mysteries of the jungle. The closed vegetation and the prudential distance of the city (17 kilometers) and the route 12 prevent the public from taking the striking clumsiness committed by a contingent of inexperienced visitors, determined to face the challenge of canoping.
These cultists of ecotourism – as bold as they are uninhibited – allow themselves to glide in the air, supported by harnesses through a cable that joins the tops of four trees. At the end of each section, they pass from slow traffic to frantically throw themselves into the providential arms of the instructors, extended at the end point of the air route. Later they manage to relax, relieved by the simple test of rappel designed on the side of a waterfall and a refreshing walk that runs along a mud trail. The narrow road makes its way through the skein that knots bromeliads, orchids, ferns and lianas.