I had the good fortune to visit a wonderful corner of the earth recently and wanted to share my experience. My friend and colleague here at Mitchell & Mitchell, Dan McKenna
, asked if I wanted to go with him to see Iguazu Falls. I had always wanted to see the falls as it was definitely on my “Bucket List” of places to see and is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Plus, it had been just about ten years since I had last traveled with him when we trekked through the Everest Region in Nepal.
We booked our flights to Rio de Janiero and separate flights to Foz Do Iguaçu (Iguazu Falls). We stayed near Copacabana Beach in Rio. Rio is an extremely beautiful and unique city. The rock outcroppings are interspersed with tall buildings built literally right up to the rock. Highlights are the beaches (mainly Copacabana and Ipanema), Corcovado, (Massive Christ the Redeemer Statue) and Sugar Loaf Mountains (beautifully huge rock outcroppings with gondolas to get you up and from one outcropping to the other). Rio will make a spectacular backdrop to the summer Olympics next year. One thing especially noticeable in Brazil, there is no shortage of water! Too bad we can’t just import it from there. If you go, you have to go to a Brazilian steakhouse. I ate more red meat to cover me for the rest of my life. Also, you will quickly notice that Brazilians have music in their souls. Latin music in Brazil is world renown. You cannot go there and not see live music. I would highly recommend the club Scenarium for live music as it is probably one of the nicest music clubs I’ve ever been in.
We then made it to Iguazu Falls after a two hour plane flight. The Falls are on the border (inland from Rio) to Argentina and Paraguay. They are absolutely spectacular and I will never look at another waterfall the same. We took boat rides, a bike ride and a kayak on the Brazilian side. Twenty percent of the Falls are in Brazil and the rest are in Argentina. Like Brazil, Argentina charges Americans a $160 visa fee (which is less than we charge them). Fortunately, I have Italian citizenship and used my Italian Passport for entry (no visa requirements for either Brazil or Argentina!). The views on the Argentina side are equally spectacular, just more of them. I saw plenty of monkeys on the Argentina side as well. After two full days at the Falls, it was time to return to Rio. One more day of shopping in Rio and we had to end our trip and make the long flight home.
I would highly recommend a trip to Brazil, both to Rio and Iguazu Falls. It will not disappoint!
By Paul Morris, RPLU