Things I Have Learned In Misiones, Argentina (Iguazu Falls)

Things I Have  Learned In Misiones, Argentina (Iguazu Falls)

“They say that people who live near waterfalls, don’t hear the water.”

Jonathan Safran Foer

Misiones is a province in Northeast Argentina. It is surrounded by Paraguay, Brazil and Corrientes Province.  It was part of Paraguay in the 1800’s.

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The land is mostly covered in a subtropical forest. (Emilio White – photographer)

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The rocks and soil have a high iron content giving the ground a red color.

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Paraguay is the largest producer of marijuana in the world. (no it is not, it is yerba maté which is also grown here)

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Yerba Mate is grown in Misiones and Corrientes provinces of Northeast Argentina. It was originally cultivated by the Guarani people. it called mate after the gourd it is drunk from. It is a stimulant but has less caffeine than coffee or tea.

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You can get to Paraguay in ten minutes by  rowboat.

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San Ignacio Mission was one of the many missions founded in 1632 by the Jesuits in what the Spanish called the Province of Paraguay in the Americas during the Spanish Colonial Period.

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This is an odd admission fee price breakdown.

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The history of these ruins will be familiar to anyone who has seen the movie “The Mission” with Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons. It is one of the most beautiful musical scores by Ennio Morricone  from a movie and the themes go around in my head as I walk through the ruins. (Play music)

It was designated a world heritage site by Unesco and World Monument site.San Ignacio Miní was included in the inaugural 1996 Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund.

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The impressive well-preserved  ruins are “ Guarani Baroque style” .  The mission guides explain how the missions were maintained and run.  Originally the Guarani joined the missions to escape slavery by Paraquay and Brazil.   Eventually the Spaniards got rid of the Jesuits to enslave the Guarani themselves,

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The Guarani are a group of indigenous people who live in Paraguay, Brazil and Misiones.(Guarani selling orchids on the side of the road)

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There is 1 per cent left of the Atlantic Rainforest in Missiones. Conservationists are working very hard to save what is left. There are many endangered animals birds and fish and amphibians – including the giant otter, anteater, jaguar and tiger, Brazilian merganser and harpy eagle and crocodiles. (Emilio White- photographer)

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Iguazu Falls are the waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian state of Parana and the Argentine province of Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu.

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The waterfall system consists of 275 falls along 1.67 miles of the Iguazu River.  (Emilio White photographer)

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Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca (head of cow) was the first European to find the falls in 1541. One of the falls on the Argentine side is named after him. The falls were rediscovered by Boselli at the end of the nineteenth century and another Argentine fall is named after him. (Emilio White -photographer)

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No, I am not on this boat. Yes, that is a real rainbow.

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Iguazu Falls has the greatest annual flow of any waterfall in the world. The water falling over Iguazu in peak rainy season has a surface of about 40 hectare (1.3 million ft.).  They are taller and twice as wide as Niagara Falls. IMG_1522

 Do not feed the Coati. The photos will explain.

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The Devil’s Throat (Gargantuan Del Diablo), a U-shaped, 82 meter high (269 feet), 150 meter wide and 700 meter long (490 by 2300 ft) cataract, is the most impressive of all marking the border between Argentina and Brazil.

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Two thirds of the falls are in Argentine territory.

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The water from the lower Iguazu collects in a canyon that drains the Parana River in Argentina, shortly downstream form the Itaipu Dam.

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How is the water?

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Iguazu Falls are the result of a volcanic eruption which left a large crack in the earth.

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The best time to see the falls are in Spring and Autumn. Summer is intensely hot and humid and in winter the water level is much lower.

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Seeing Iguazu Falls, I stand in awed wonder. They are my first important waterfalls. You know that man can never create anything this perfect. It will always be a favorite place for me. They will be my reminder of beauty and power in nature and life,

Special thanks to my guide, wildlife photographer Emilio White, for sharing Misiones and the rainforest with me. It is always best to see something for the first time with someone who is as passionate about the rainforest as Emilio is. He is currently working on a book about the Atlantic Rainforest and Iguazu Falls, I can’t wait to see it.

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Buen Dia and Fly Safe,

JAZ

 

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6 thoughts on “Things I Have Learned In Misiones, Argentina (Iguazu Falls)

  1. Very cool. Such a humbling thing to be next to something so grand and beautiful. It does make me sad to hear about the decimating rain forest and species of animals. I hope we somehow find it in our hearts to care enought and turn that around.

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