Thursday, May 22, 2014

Puerto Iguazu : 5 Things To Do

Overshadowed by the nearby Iguazu Falls, there is plenty to do in this sleepy town.

puerto iguazu header

Without expectations, we arrived in Puerto Iguazu a few days ago. The only thing we had heard about this quiet town was its only infrastructure was built around bussing tourists to Iguazu Falls and there's not much to do. While I can't deny it is a sleepy town and does lack a lot of basic infrastructure, we found plenty of fun things to do and see.


#01 | HITO DE LAS TRES FRONTERAS ARGENTINA


The Triple Frontier, where the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet, was my favourite place in Puerto Iguazu. Some might say it's overrated, but since this is the first triple border I have ever seen it was an exciting first for me.

las tres fronteras puerto iguazu argentina

The borders don't meet on land but through the Iguazu and Parana rivers, with Paraguay to the far left and Brazil to the far right. Apart from the view and photo opportunity there is not much to do here, but I was told after dark they have a cool hologram and light show. If you do decide to come during the day and can bear the humidity it's only half an hours walk from the town. There is also plenty of souvenir shops and snack stalls if you forget to bring your water with you.

las tres fronteras puerta iguazu argentina


#02 | LA CASA DE LAS BOTELLAS


This was another first for me - a house made from bottles! What amazed me the most was the creativity. I feel like this is something I would only ever read about in a magazine but there it was, right in front of me. The creator told us he had been featured in many magazines and had even won a Guinness World Record. So why would anyone make a house from recycled bottles? He wanted to show impoverished communities how they could benefit from using recyclable materials in their communities.

la casa de botellas bottle house

The houses were fully furnished with recyclable materials and compressed plastic bottles were used for a more solid roof. Beer bottle tops strung together were used for curtains and entrances, and thick glass bottles helped create the foundations of the house. I sat comfortably in a chair made from bottles filled with sand.

la casa de botellas bottle house room


#03 | LA ARIPUCA


La Aripuca is an open air museum that houses many enormous wooden structures and shows the crafts of the native Guarani peoples. Aripuca is the name of a trap that was used by the native people to catch animals without harming them. The wooden structure below is a representation of an aripuca.

la aripuca wooden structure

Inside the structure you can see it is made from 28 different types of endangered wood. The purpose is to show us the devastating effect deforestation has had on the community, and the need to preserve the rainforest for the future generations - if we don't humanity will fall into the trap like an animal would. There are other wooden structures but this one was the largest.

la ariupuca different wood

There are also stalls with crafts made by the Guarani peoples for unique souvenirs and a chance to support the local community. There was another shop that sold larger items like furniture and leather goods.

la ariupuca souvenirs


#04 | BIO CENTRO IGUAZU


Bio Centro is a zoo with animals that are native to the area. I saw an albino python, lizards with shedding skin, and a cute family of armadillos (and many more...). The part I enjoyed the most was the small butterfly enclosure. They were not afraid of humans at all and you get so close you could almost touch them (but it is not allowed).

bio centro igauzu butterfly


#05 | COMUNIDAD INDIGENA IRIAPU


This community provides an insight into the indigenous Iriapu world. Tours are available, but we only drove through. We got a glimpse to how the indigenous people lived, their schools and farming lands.

indigenous community iriapu entrance

Image attribution:
"Tigre" by Nico Kaiser // CC BY 2.0 *
* changes were made to the original materials

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