Slideshow – Peru

Slideshow #2 of our Best Of albums, this time from our amazing month in Peru.  Enjoy the pics!

Iguazu Falls

The spectacular waterfalls on the border of Argentina and Brazil (and very close to Paraguay) are one of those things that you’ve just got to do if you are traveling around South America (or so we were told by everyone we met who had been). Though certainly not convenient to get to from anywhere, Ted and I went out of way to check them out.  And, it was definitely worth it.

Iguazu Falls

Ted getting soaked

From BA it is a 19+ hour bus ride to the falls. We left the city on a Sunday afternoon and arrived in Iguazu just before noon on Monday. We dropped our stuff off at the hostel and caught the transport to the falls. When we arrived around 2:00 pm we had the place nearly to ourselves. The weather wasn’t ideal but the falls were absolutely fantastic. Breathtaking, awe-inspiring, thunderous, etc. I could not believe how massive they are – they appear to go on as far as the eye can see. The boardwalk and pathways throughout the park are extensive and they even have a little train that you can hop on and off to get to various destinations throughout the park.

Lower Falls


Our favorite spot was a section of the falls called the Devil’s Throat. You have to walk on the boardwalk over the river for about a mile to get to the very top of the falls where the river drops over the edge. The power of the water is incredible and mesmerizing. We stood there watching the water moving until the very end of the day when the park staff came to tell us the last train back to entrance was leaving.

Devils Throat

Devils Throat boardwalk

Since we had a short day the first day, we decided to go back to the park the next day as well. The weather was absolutely perfect and we essentially retook all the same pictures but this time with blue skies and sunshine in the shots. We also took a hilarious jet boat ride that takes you right up next to the falls and gets you totally soaked. It is quite a thrill to be right at the bottom of the falls and be surrounded by the thunder and the mist.

View from the boat, about to get totally soaked...

Overall, Iguazu did not disappoint. I had never seen such impressive waterfalls before and I’m not sure if there are any out there that can compare. After our second day at the falls, we caught another 19+ hour bus ride back to BA and had one more afternoon in the city and South America before we had to get to the airport to catch our flight to Cape Town!

Picture of the Week

Iguazu Falls – certainly one of the natural wonders of the world

Iguazu Falls

It’s a Hot One in the Jungle

Our next trip research assignment for Adventures Within Reach took us to the jungle. We flew from Lima to Iquitos, Peru which is the largest city in the world that can not be accessed by road! There are over 500,000 people in this place and you can only get there by boat (on the Amazon) or by flying. Immediately after we landed we were sweating. This place is hot! I mean, damn hot! Not only is the temperature high (in the 90s), but the humidity was the main challenge as we had gotten used to the dryness of being at altitude.

Taking our transport into the city, I kept getting the feeling we were near the beach – everyone is driving around on mopeds and wearing skirts. The bars are advertising tropical drinks and the weather is hot and sunny. However, though there is no beach nearby, there is plenty of water, and that water is the Amazon River.

We took a boat for over two hours up river before transferring to a smaller boat and continuing up a tributary for another half hour before reaching Muyana Lodge. Muyana is perched on stilts in the middle of the rain forest, hours away from anything. We were visiting towards the end of the dry season so the water level was quite low, but during the wet season the river comes up all the way to the stilts and rooms are essentially islands connected by the boardwalk pathway.

Both our room and the main lodge/eating area were entirely screened in, which did a fantastic job of preventing bugs from finding their way to us. Though overall the Muyana Lodge was quite nice, the fact that it is in the middle of nowhere means that electricity is a luxury. There is no electricity in the rooms (they provide you with a couple oil lamps each evening) and there is limited electricity in the eating area, depending on the time of day. No electricity means no air-conditioning (which we obviously weren’t expecting), but it also means no ceiling fans or any kind of relief from the heat. We would have paid good money for a breeze could such a thing be purchased!

Once we kinda adjusted to sweating all the time, we were happily distracted by our guide Moises (pronounced Moses) who was born and raised in the jungle. Our activities included:

  • A boat trip up the river looking for birds (herons and macaws) and wildlife (several kinds of monkeys and a sloth!), that culminated in a beautiful jungle sunset.
  • A hike through the rainforest with Moises who was amazingly adept at making a variety of bird and animal sounds as well as pointing out incredibly scary insects hiding in tree trunks, underground, etc.
  • Fishing for piranhas and other fish. I caught nothing but Ted snagged a couple piranhas and we then ate them for dinner!
  • A nighttime boat excursion where a different guide literally got out of the boat and caught a caimen (an alligator-type creature) with his bare hands!
  • Seeing pink-bellied dolphins and swimming in the Amazon!

I was pretty unsure about swimming in the Amazon after fishing for piranhas only the day before, however, after nearly 3 straight days of being uncomfortably hot, I couldn’t help but see any other alternative. Our guide led the way followed by Ted and another woman in our group. We all lived to tell about it and it certainly was worth the dip!

Ted and I loved our time in the jungle. It was an incredibly unique experience that we are happy to have had. That being said, we have decided that we are NOT jungle people and if it wasn’t for those cold-water only showers that we utilized at least three times a day, we might not have made it out without melting first!

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