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Iguazu Falls, Hotel Esturion, and Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

The magnificence of nature is so easy to see when you look for it. However, at Iguazu Park and Iguazu Falls in Argentina, it’s impossible to miss.

Puerto Iguazu, the town closest to the falls, is the kind of place Carrie and I could live for a while. While a bit touristy, kind of like Estes Park in Colorado, it has a small-town feel and a welcoming atmosphere.
One thing we were surprised about is that Puerto Iguazu doesn’t seem to have much fresh produce, which we thought it would, since it’s in the middle of the jungle where lots of natural produce should grow easily.
When we got to our hotel, Hotel Esturion, we thought that it was going to be about $60/night cheaper than what they had listed online. We had thought, based on what we saw online, that we were going to have to spend $130/night. After requesting reservations online, we arrived at Hotel Esturion to discover that they did not have our reservation. But at check-in, they wrote down on a sticky that we would be paying $200 (pesos) per night. That equates to about $65/night for a room that sleeps three, and a pretty good breakfast (by Argentinian standards). Hotel Esturion is a nice place for sure.

We had a three person room, because we were traveling with Carrie’s sister, Michelle, who came to Argentina for a week to stay with us and see what Argentina was like. We really enjoyed the time we got to spend with her!

As far as Hotel Esturion, We were very happy about spending less, and definitely enjoyed our stay at the hotel.
However, when we checked out of Hotel Esturion, they had written in a note on our agreement (a note that was written by someone after we signed it and left the checkout desk) that the room cost $280 pesos per night (about $90/night) for the three person room.
Still a good price when split 3 ways, but doesn’t exactly leave you with the best feeling about a place when what they tell you at check-in is different than what you pay when you check out.

Our advice: Hotel Esturion is nice and is a good place to stay. Especially if you can stay there cheaply in the off-season. Definitely stay at the hotel, but make sure that the price/night they give you is written in at least two places on the agreement you sign, before you turn it back in to them. (Probably a good piece of advice for most hotel stays anyway.)

About 300 yards from our hotel was what’s known as the three frontiers.
This is the place where three countries come together in the middle of South America. Seeing the connection of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina, was fascinating. To know that it’s a river which separates many countries from one another shows the power that nature really can have over the creations of humanity.
We had no idea we would be so close to this spot before we arrived, and it was a very pleasant surprise. There’s a great spot where you can stand in Argentina and view the flags of both other countries painted on these large obelisk-like columns (one stands in each country).
We found it interesting that even though both countries are right there, and a boat ride to Paraguay only costs about $3 US, you can’t go to either country without a visa. In the case of both Brazil and Paraguay, you have to get a visa in advance of having come to this part of the world if you want to see Brazil or Paraguay.
“As a general rule, Brazil requests visas based on the principle of reciprocity of treatment given to Brazilian citizens. You DO need a visa (either for tourism or business) BEFORE entering Brazil if you are a citizen of the United States. Citizens of some countries do not require a visa to visit Brazil for tourism purposes, for a stay of up to 90 days (if necessary an extension may be authorized by the Federal Police in Brazil). Visas will be issued on a “laissez-passer” to nationals of the following countries: Bhutan, Central African Republic, Comoros, Kampuchea, Taiwan.”
Learn how to get a visa (if you’re already in Buenos Aires)
“The Embassy of Paraguay announced that effective August 01, 2002 visas will be required for U.S. citizens traveling for business or tourist purposes. The visa must be obtained in advance.” Learn more about a Paraguay Visa
Stinky stuff.
I understand the importance of border control, but it’s also annoying when you just want to see a place to have experienced what it was like. But it’s too hard for border officials to sort out whose intentions are good, and who is coming with intent to fraudulently gain from a country or a system, so everyone has to follow these rules.
Politics aside, Iguazu Falls is a place you simply must see in order to appreciate.
Animals in Parque Iguazu:
The fish have learned that in the small part of the river, where people are allowed to wade, that they can get fed. As a result, when you walk into the water (especially if you (accidentally) drop some bread crumbs), thousands of little tiny fish (and a few mildly larger ones, will swarm around your legs, and some even take little nibbles at your feet and toes. It’s slightly tickly, and is fun, but gets annoying after a bit.
The Nasebaer, or Coatimundi, are like a cousin to the raccoon. They have adapted a nose that is longer than a raccoon or other similar creatures which helps them when hunting/foraging for food in the forest. (It also helps in their foraging for food from tourists, whom they’ve trained to give them food, just by looking cute and being fearless.)
There are a ton more animals in Iguazu Park and near the falls, including Iguanas, amazing butterflies, jays, crocodiles, vultures by the hundreds, and many more animals I’m sure we didn’t see.
However, the biggest part is the falls. The awesome power and crushing force of the waterfalls can be underestimated by today’s tourists who only have to brave a few elevated pathways and stone steps in order to reach them.
But make no mistake. We’ve not underestimated in any way at all.
Iguazu falls are one of the most amazing natural features we have ever seen, and we are likely to return to this park and Puerto Iguazu, at some point in the future.
(Here’s the tourist video for the park)

0 thoughts on “Iguazu Falls, Hotel Esturion, and Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

  1. Renee Fields

    YEA!! You made it there!! One of my best experience ever & when I was there–there WAS NO TOWN & only 1 hotel. I was walking the long trail to the falls elevator that takes you to the top of the falls for a close look, & I was greated by the pronounced (Ka watch’ ie) that you called coatimeendi. They had learned that women have food in their purses & I saw about 6 of them, I’d never seen before, runing to me & just kept running right up my body to my purse. YES, I had airplane in my purse–peanuts, crackers, etc. & gave to them. I got a few scratches that worried me, but I was fine. You can take a cab drive ALL AROUND THE FALLS. Back then, if you went ahead to the border, even though they said you needed a Visa, they’d let you pay & get one there. Worth a try!! I think they will!! S.America is BAD about lying to you about hotel prices. I was even physically robbed by the 2 young girls & a large black door-man at the 2nd nicest hotel in Quito (Christ. & mmgr. was gone) & I called the travel agent who told them to leave me along, but they DIDN’T! (NEVER leave your passport in a hotel vault–
    wear it under your clothes). They held my luggage & passport until I PAID THEM $500!! (The mmgrs had gotten my vouchers for payment) I didn’t call police as didn’t want possibly raped by the police & they caused me to miss my plane as physically held my body until I paid. Scared me to death!!! Only use the largest hotel, the Colon, in Quita that I used later.
    (Luckily I’d used the same travel agency in US for many yrs. & they refunded my money) Taught me to quit traveling alone!!

  2. Oma

    I really enjoyed this video, you are getting better and better at it. I wish this technology had been available when I traveled in Africa. Victoria Falls were also very impressive but very different .
    I have decided you have an affinity for creepy crawlies.

  3. Jonathan

    @Oma: Well, I’m not so sure about the affinity for the creepy-crawlies, but they do make for good stories, as they definitely weird people out. I left some of the best pictures out of the video of the spiders I took pictures of… Mostly because there was nothing around them to offer a comparison for just how big or colorful they were.
    Thank-you for the compliments on the video!
    @Renee: You have such fascinating stories from your travels all over! We don’t think the elevator exists anymore… when we were there, we saw the remnants of a walkway which was annihilated by a flood in 1992. So if you were there pre-1992, most of what you used to see the falls are probably gone. As far as the visas, apparently things have gotten tougher as far as Americans getting into other countries, since the US started requiring more from the citizens of other countries wanting to visit the US. Ah well.
    @ everyone:
    If anyone has any feedback for what I can or should do to make the videos better, I’m completely open to suggestions!

  4. Kevin Gianni

    Great video! The meat platter looks gross.
    These are really good, man. I’m telling you, one a day. It’s your calling!
    No crit, just plain entertaining 🙂
    The singing was awesome. maybe more of that…
    Ann says hola.

  5. Brian & Jamie

    Wow… what a great video! That spider looks like some of the ones we get here in Texas. LOVED the video, we thought it was one of your best ones yet. Glad you guys are having fun there, it looks like an amazing place.
    See you soon.
    Brian & Jamie

  6. Jonathan

    @ Brian & Jamie:
    Thanks for the very nice thoughts on the video! We got our Mexico tix booked yesterday, so we’re looking forward to seeing you there!
    @ Kevin:
    After watching back through the video we would agree that the meat platter looks gross. It was actually good though. Except the blood sausage. That was gross. I tried it.
    We’re giving the video thing some serious thought.
    @ Sue:
    I’ll be happy to share my rendition, but perhaps a beer or two would help… I don’t know why, but I get nervous getting up in front of a bunch of people to do karaoke.

  7. Arlene Martell

    Hi Jonathan,
    I am really enjoying your videos and blogs about your world travels. It is such a great experience and now is the time to do it! Argentina looks interesting. I think I might try the chimchura sauce – looks good!

  8. Sue Z

    Luisa watched video with me this evening. She loved the animal shots. But Jonathan, she is vert firm that you should give up (shave) your facial hair.

  9. J. Andre

    Hi Guys!!!!
    As usual, the students and I at Platte Valley Youth Services Center have been living vicariously through your travels! We LOVE the videos! Keep up the good work and enjoy your travels!
    J. Andre and the students of PVYSC

  10. Jill Andre

    Jonathan and Carrie
    I am not sure if you remember me. Jonathan came to our school, Platte Valley Youth Services Center, in Greeley. I am planning on using your website this semester so the kids can continue to live vicariously through your travels. Thanks for the awesome videos…it seems like we are there with you…except the cockroaches and the booze…the kids will love that. Be safe and happy trails, Jill

  11. Jonathan

    Of course I remember you!
    It really was a good experience to get to come there and talk. If we lived in Greeley (or were anywhere close) it would be fun to come there and talk again. I’ll have to remember to drop you a line if/when we’re coming up to Greeley to visit friends. Would be cool to get to do another talk there.
    How are things there at the PVYSC?
    Great to hear from you!

  12. John and Ana

    Carrie and Jonathan,
    We just saw your Iguazu Falls Utube video and we have a few questions for you.
    What was the name of your hotel?
    Was it safe and clean?
    What are the rates?
    Which side did you enjoy more the Brazilian or the Argentine side?
    Also can you tell us if you went to Mendoza and if yes, did you go by bus?
    We are going to Argentina and Chile in November.
    Thank you!
    J & A

  13. Iguazu Falls (Jonathan)

    Hey John and Ana!
    Thanks for your email and glad you’re going to be visiting Iguazu Falls and that part of the world!
    Our hotel in Puerto Iguazu was Hotel Esturion (check it out here Hotel Esturion… pretty much everything we can tell you about it is in the post above… It was safe and clean, and the rates were very affordable as we were at Iguazu Falls in the off-season.
    We did go to Mendoza by bus (we took Andesmar bus company – make sure you print out your reservation and take the paper with you as they won’t have a record of you, but you will need the paper to get on the bus), and you can see our review of that experience here:
    It was truly awesome, and your email has prompted me to watch our videos and sort of re-live that experience, so thank-you!
    Hope you enjoy your travels, and please send us a note when you get there/back to let us know how your time was!

  14. Victoria Campbell

    thank you so much for your video on youtube…i am going to iguazu falls in april of 2009 and you have answered a very important question..yes, take the movie camera….thanks again

  15. Jonathan

    Hi Victoria! Glad to be of help! Definitely do take the video camera, and also take a plastic bag to stick it in when you’re in the places where the water could damage the camera.
    Thanks for visiting our site and watching the video! Enjoy your trip!
    Where else do you plan to travel in S. America?

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