Iguazu Falls are located along the border between Brazil and Argentina, they are formed by the river homonymous, creating one of the natural wonders of the planet Earth.
The number of falls varies from 270 to 150, depending on the river’s outflow, on a front of 2 700 meters, the height of the falls varies between 60 meters and 82 meters, the most impressive of the falls is called Garganta del Diablo (better visible on the Argentina side), where the waterfalls have a horseshoe shape jump of 82 meters in height on a front of 700 meters in total.
The waterfalls have been declared from the Unesco a Natural Patrimony of the Humanity in 1984 (Argentine side) and in 1986 (Brazilian side) and are without doubt one of the more wonderful masterpiece of the nature, one of the natural wonders of the world.
The area of the waterfalls enjoys an humid climate (medium relative humidity is 80%) with medium temperatures of 15º C in winter and 30º C in summer. Especially during the summer it is well to carry a anti-mosquito repellent.
The name Iguazù derives from the Guaranì words: “y” (waters) and “guasu” (large), never name was more appropriated. The Iguazú river, than forms the waterfalls, has a total length of 1,320 km from the sources until its confluences in Rio Paraná, 23 km after the cascades.
The medium width of the river varies between 500 and 1,000 meters, while in the vicinities of cascades, where it do a wide U curve, reachs 1,500 meters of width. In correspondence of the waterfalls the river, that it has a medium flow of 1,500 cubic meters to the second, forms two large arches for a total of 2,700 meters of extension with an amount of waterfalls that varies, according to the flow of the river, between 160 and 260 falls, the higher cascade, more spectacular and more impressive is the Garganta del Diablo, where the waters fall from a height of approximately 80 meters.
The majority of the waterfalls are in the Argentine territory, while from the Brazilian territory is a more width view of the cascades. Several trails takes the visitor to runways and lookouts to observe the falls.
The Iguazu Falls in 1984 have been declared a World Heritage by UNESCO, the entire area of the waterfalls is in the two national parks of Argentina (Parque Nacional Iguazú) and Brazil (Parque Nacional do Iguaçu). The Parque Nacional do Iguaçu (Iguaçu National Park) (1852 sqkm) preserves Atlantic Forest area with a very diversified fauna and flora. About 350 birds, 250 butterflies and 50 mammals live there.
The first European to discovered the falls was the Spaniard Alvaro Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, in 1542, he named the falls Salto de Santa Maria.
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