IGUAZU FALLS

One of the great natural wonders of the world, the Iguaçu Falls are close to the triple border of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. The area is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Iguazú National Park is on the Argentinian side of the falls, and Iguaçu National Park is on the Brazilian side.


The first European to see the impressive falls was the conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541. Long before that, Guaraní people inhabited the area and given the falls a name, a variant of which is used nowadays. For a period during the colonial era it was known as Santa Maria falls. These lands once belonged to Paraguay; the borders were redrawn after the Paraguayan War of the 1860s.


A German expedition in the late 19th century "rediscovered" the falls, marking the beginning for tourism and more thorough scholarly studies of the falls. Back then, the region was still impenetrable jungle on the Argentinian side. The Argentinian part was declared a national park in 1934, the Brazilian five years later. Fifty years later, in 1984, the Argentinian part was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List followed by the Brazilian part two years later. Later on the falls were elected as one of the New7Wonders of Nature, and is indeed one of the topmost sights on a continent particularly famous for natural attractions.


- Wikivoyage

Image by Mesut Kaya

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