Argentina · Uncategorized

Jungle Trekking Around Iguazu Falls

As I mentioned in my last post, Awasi Iguazu provides each of its guests with their own private guide and driver for each day of their stay.  On our first day, we sat down with our guide, Carolina, and went over the extensive list of options for activities and excursions.  Like most guests, we spent one day just seeing the waterfalls, which is an all-day activity.  On our first day, we only had an afternoon due to our flight arrival time so we did a tour of a local animal sanctuary to see some local wildlife, including toucans, parrots, howler monkeys and ocelots.  For our last day, we chose to do something more physically active and opted for the visit to Awasi’s private reserve located in the Yacui rain forest.  It was another early start as it’s about a 90 minute drive from the hotel to the reserve on a very bumpy, unpaved road that cuts straight the rain forest.

Making a stop along the “road” to the rainforest reserve

After we got to the reserve, we donned rubber boots and did a short hike through the rain forest to look at flora and fauna.  Now, Steve wasn’t a big fan of this part due to the heat and humidity but I found it really interesting.  Carolina went ahead of us using a stick to clear any spider webs out the way first.  And yes, there are big spiders and big spiderwebs out here.  I don’t like spiders at all but I don’t have a huge phobia either.  If you’re one of those people that would rather burn your house down than deal with a spider, then I would recommend skipping this hike.  I did have a large furry caterpillar land on my back and Steve killed it and wiped it off. And the rubber boots are mostly to protect your feet and legs from large stinging ants that are all around.

In my jungle chic rubber boots and hiking outfit
Yes there are spiders out here.  This is a golden orb spider and they do have a nasty bite

After the hike, we rested at the hotel’s private campsite area located right on the banks of the Yacui river, which includes a swimming hole with small waterfall, BBQ facility, hammocks, chairs by the riverside and a picnic hut with a changing room and super clean/modern bathroom facilities. There were also butterflies everywhere!  It was a wonderful little spot to relax and go for a swim while the hotel staff cooked up a traditional Argentine BBQ lunch, complete with wine pairings and dessert.

Butterflies everywhere!
Our swimming hole and babbling river
Relaxing by the river after our hike

The hotel also built a small section of steps to make it easy to enter and exit the river.  Steve and I changed into our bathing suits and went for a cold swim to cool off.  The river water was surprisingly cold but felt wonderful after the humid walk.

This reserve is a private concession so you will be the only guests here
Swimming in the river – it was actually quite deep here but I was assured there were NO snakes here or large fish
Steve cooling off – the small yellowish dots behind him on the water are all butterflies, not debris or plant life
Hotel staff cooking up lunch

Our lunch was amazing.  The staff made us grilled vegetables, salad and several grilled meats, including house made sausage, beef ribs and steak.  They also brought along everything to drink, including white and red wine, cold beers, waters, sodas and even some bubbly.  They really thought of everything to make us happy and comfortable.

Grilled Onions and salsas


Relaxing in the hammock after lunch

We rested by the riverside and in the hammocks to let our lunch settle.  After an hour or so, we packed up and jumped in the car to head further downstream where we picked up some kayaks and paddled up the river and then floated back down again.  I have to say that even though this is a pretty lazy river, the kayaking up stream was a lot harder than I expected.  I only fell out of my kayak once so I guess I did okay but I did manage to run into the river bank and some logs a few times.  However, it was a lot of fun and a good workout for the arms.

Our kayaking start spot on the Yacui River

Sorry if my pictures here are a little blurry.  I had my iphone in a plastic dry bag (which is good since it was very wet in the boat) so I was taking pictures through the plastic.

Steve behind me in his kayak


Our guide Carolina up ahead, looking for the best spots to paddle

After the kayaking, we stopped by the picnic spot again to change out of our wet clothes for the long drive back to the hotel.  This is definitely not an activity for anyone with mobility issues or that doesn’t want to get a little exercise, but we loved it.  Fortunately, Awasi has activities for people of all ages and abilities so it’s really up to the guests as to how much they want to do or not do.

I’m including a few photos of the animals from the sanctuary as well, which was pretty interesting.  We also saw toucans and large parrots in the wild multiple times in this area as well.  Of course, the wily coatis are everywhere as well.

Toucan at the sanctuary
Male howler monkey
Mr. Coati

Overall, we had a great stay at Awasi and we loved the activities and excursions available to the guests.  I would highly recommend spending the extra money for a stay at Awasi as they do everything possible to make their guests happy.

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