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Iguazú Falls, Argentina/Brazil/Paraguay
We left the cruise ship at 10AM and by 2PM we had begun a 23 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú.
As we rode north, the clay earth became very red
and we saw many small wooden houses.
  We stopped to visit the Mission of San Igancio Mini which was founded by the Jesuits to convert and then control the native Guaraní people.
Beautiful walls carved by the indians
decorated the Mission.
  We also stopped to see the Minas de Wanda, which are still in the process of being mined.
The geodes found in the volcanic lava flows are like huge eggs that contain various gemstones,
including amethyst and quartz.
  We watched the miners use hand tools to find the deposits and carve them from the rock.
The Panoramic Iguazú was our hotel near the falls. From our window, we could see the Iguazú River and the forests of Brazil on the opposite shore.   From the pool we could see Brazil and Paraguay.
The shore on the left is Paraguay, to the right is Brazil and we are standing in Argentina. The Paraná River is straight behind us and the Iguazú River goes off to the right.   We hired a driver to take us to an aboriginal village we had heard about near the city of Puerto Iguazú. The roads are only clay and there are no street signs.
We saw three girls that were leaving the bilingual school (Guaraní and Spanish) that goes up to 7th grade. The school was donated in 1990 by a group of Germans. Before that there was no school for them.   Other kids were swimming in the pond
across from the school.
We met a man whose native name is Caraí, who said his documented name is Roberto (for the government). He spoke Spanish and walked with us around the village, told us about his way of life, showed us how he traps animals and uses various plants. We found out later that he will be the next Shaman (cure doctor) in their village.   The houses in the pop. 3,000 village are spread apart, not like a city. They have no written language. Only 4 years ago electricity was brought to their
248 hectar (612 acre) land.

Where to stay in Puerto Iguazú:

Panoramic Hotel Iguazú, Puerto Iguazú, Misiones, Argentina - www.panoramic-hoteliguazu.com

The Iguazú Falls were beautiful with incredible power.
The spray from the cascading water felt great in the heat and humidity.
We saw lots of colorful birds, including the Frutero (left) and Urraca Paraguaya (right).
There were small lizards of many colors (left), Yacare (South American crocodiles),
and large Largata Overo lizards (right). This one was about 3 feet long.
Small rodents like the Cuis (guinea pig) and large ones called Agutí were everywhere along with the Coatí, which is part of the racoon family..   Most of the butterflies in the park were colorful; but the one in the picture, the Chasqueadora, was unusual because of its ability to comouflage itself
against the tree bark.
We were lucky to see a colony of Tufted Capuchin monkeys playing above us. . .and even luckier to see a Tucan!
Our ultimate thrill was taking a boat ride under the falls.
You can see the red boat entering and disappearing into the waterfall.