Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
Foz do Iguazu: Vacations and travel info
Foz do Iguazu is a charming city located in the State of Parana, Brazil, right on the border of Argentina and Paraguay. Because of its breathtaking beauty, it is simply one of the most awe-inspiring destinations on the planet, with countless natural resources, spectacular waterfalls, friendly people and great food.
Due to the stunning landscape, Foz do Iguazu is among the five most visited destinations in South America. The name Foz do Iguazu comes from the Guarani language, meaning "big water".
History in Brief
The first European explorer to arrive in the area was the Spanish conquistador Cabeza de Vaca in 1549. As he sailed down the Parana River, he was totally amazed at the sight of the waterfalls, when he first encountered them. The city of Foz do Iguazu is actually only a century old. It was part of Paraguay until 1860, when Paraguay lost territory to Brazil and Argentina during the War of the Triple Alliance.
Foz do Iguazu remained sparsely populated with only a military base, until the end of the 19th century when more people began to settle in the area. The town did not become a city until 1919, which is when its name changed from Vila Iguazu to Foz do Iguazu. Because of its invaluable natural resources, the area had an obvious potential for becoming a tourist destination and a promising source for generating hydro-electric power, so the Brazilian government became interested in developing the region. The Iguazu National Park was created in 1939.
Foz do Iguazu shares borders with two other cities, Ciudad del Este in Paraguay and Port Iguazu in Argentina, thus forming a triple border. The close proximity of the three cities has created a rich cultural exchange, in which people from the three sides interact with each other and move back and forth freely.
The city has a sub-tropical climate with scattered showers throughout the year, but during the winter temperatures can be as low as 23 Fahrenheit degrees. The area features a domestic airport with connecting flights to all of Brazil's major cities.
The main attraction in the area is Iguazu Falls, although there are more than 275 other waterfalls here that average about 200 ft high. The tallest of the falls, called The Devil's Throat, is 318 ft high. The beauty of the falls and the scenery is just breathtaking. They can be reached from Brazil and Argentina, and each country offers different views. Although two thirds of the waterfalls lie on the Argentinean side, the view from Brazil is more impressive because you can see their magnitude.
Because of its great environmental importance and rich plant and animal biodiversity, Iguazu Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which safeguards this priceless nature preserve and all the natural resources in it.
The park features exuberant vegetation and diverse plant and wildlife, as well as other attractions, such as the Itaipu Dam, Three Frontiers, Pozo Preto, Rio Branco, Guarani Zoo, The Bird Park (Parque das Aves), and Itaipu Lake. The Friendship Bridge between Brazil and Paraguay, along with many more ecologically conscious activities are also available here.
Visiting Foz do Iguazu is definitely an awe-inspiring experience.
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