Destination List > Iguazu Falls
Photo by Bruno Soares dos Santos
Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. Together, they make up the largest waterfall system in the world.
Iguazú Falls is 2,700 m (8,858 ft) wide. This makes it much wider than Victoria Falls at 1,708 m (5,604 ft) and Niagara Falls at 1,203 m (3,947 ft).
The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu. The Iguazu River rises near the heart of the city of Curitiba. For most of its course, the river flows through Brazil; however, most of the falls are on the Argentine side. Below its confluence with the San Antonio River, the Iguazu River forms the border between Argentina and Brazil.
The Devil's Throat canyon is 80–90 m (260–300 ft) wide and 70–80 m (230–260 ft) deep. Left of this canyon, another part of the river forms 160–200 individual falls, which merge into a single front during the flood stage. The largest falls are named San Martín, Adam and Eva, Penoni, and Bergano
The name Iguazú comes from the Guarani or Tupi words "y" [ɨ], meaning "water", and "ûasú "[waˈsu], meaning "big". Legend has it that a deity planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In a rage, the deity sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.
The first European to record the existence of the falls was the Spanish Conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541.
Iguazú Falls has two drops, the largest single drop is 64 m (210 ft). Its combined drop is 82 m (269 ft). The height is larger than Niagara Falls but 26 m (91 ft) shorter than Victoria Falls.