|Iguazu Falls and Brazilian tourist complex|
Falls are known throughout the world as one of the most beautiful and majestic natural waterfalls man has ever seen. The falls themselves sit on the Iguazu River and rest on the border between Brazil and Argentina. Visited by many people every year, the Iguazu Falls are one of the more popular natural tourist destinations in South America.The first European explorer to find Iguazu Falls was Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, a Spanish Conquistador,
who came upon them in 1541. The falls went mostly unvisited after that until being rediscovered once again in the late nineteenth century. The name Iguazu comes from a local Indian language and roughly translates as "Big Water".
Iguazu Falls is the much talked about gorgeous waterfall system that sits on the Iguazu River and separates Brazil and Argentina. The falls itself is one of the more beautiful natural landmarks in all of South America. The massive length of the falls, along with the spectacular views provided, have made it one of the more popular tourist destinations in the area.
Aerial view over Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls is made up of over 270 individual waterfalls that run concurrently over more than a mile and a half section of the Iguazu Falls. The falls most spectacular feature is a horseshoe shaped section called The Devil's Throat. The Devil's Throat is over 500 feet across and about 2,300 feet in length. The highest of the falls is 269 feet though most average a height of 200 feet or so. Upstream of the falls the Iguazu River is one of the main waterways in the area, while after the falls it is divided into the Upper and Lower Iguazu River.
Devil’s Throat at Iguazu Falls in Argentina
When compared to Niagara Falls, which sits on the border of the United States of America and Canada, we find that Iguazu Falls dwarfs it by both size and water volume. At peak water flow Niagara Falls has a surface area of approximately 600,000 feet, while Iguazu Falls has a surface area of approximately 1.3 million square feet of water at peak flow time making it just over twice as large. In fact, Iguazu Falls is more widely compared to Africa's famous Victoria Falls because of its incredible size.
Though Victoria Falls is the world's widest curtain of water, Iguazu Falls is actually wider but it is made up of more individual falls and has islands perched at the top of the falls. In terms of surface area of water, Victoria Falls has 1.8 million feet compared to Iguazu's 1.3 million. Because of its length, Iguazu Falls offers many more viewpoints and vistas than either Victoria or Niagara Falls, so is seen as an even better tourist destination than the others.
View of Iguazu Falls in Brazil
Beyond the normal tourist activities associated with viewing the falls, the area is also popular with rock and cliff climbers as well as those interested in water recreation. Iguazu Falls is truly one of the most beautiful waterfalls you can see any where in the world.