There is nothing small scale about the magnificent waterfalls that straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil in South America. Called Iguazu or Iguaçu Falls depending on what side of the border you are, these dramatic falls reputedly and famously impressed Elinor Roosevelt so much when she saw them that she exclaimed ‘Poor Niagara!’
I am delighted to be able to share the long awaited opening of a new luxury lodge near Iguazu Falls - the Awasi Iguazu luxury Iguazu Falls Villa in Argentina - which is going to absolutely transform a visit there.
Of course, you can explore the magnificence and sheer spectacle of Iguazu from both sides of the border as the water thunders and roars over the Devil’s Throat – it is not to be missed! Flying over the area by helicopter is quite breath-taking for sublime aerial views.
The opening of Awasi Iguazu is set to be the one to beat as they open their long-awaited doors in early 2018. Like its sister properties in Chilean Patagonia and the Atacama Desert, there are only a handful of luxurious and private suites, each with its own plunge pool and dedicated private 4x4 vehicle and guide to accompany you during your stay.
This privacy and attention to detail means you can linger over a view for the perfect photograph, challenge yourself to some forest hikes or meet local Guarani tribespeople to learn about their ancient traditions.
The expertise and talent of their guides is what has made Awasi’s reputation and here will be no exception with a superb team headed up by Paula Bertotto. The involvement of the fabulous Emilio White who is a very experienced biologist, wildlife educator and photographer in creating a new series of explorations of the rainforest here is an inspired choice.
With his guidance and expertise, the experiences here are going to be wonderful. Emilio has been scouting out great areas for hiking and wildlife spotting in the remoter parts of the neighbouring rainforest in the last year or more especially for Awasi.
Having met him some years ago I can attest to his deep affection for the wildlife and conservation of this slice of Atlantic rainforest. He is adept at finding tapir clay licks, the best bird spotting and has a creativity and passion that is sure to inspire the team of guides and guests alike.
I gather they can access the national park when everyone else has gone home and I can envision stunning sunset picnics by boat, hikes through dense jungle and even exploring fascinating archaeological sites and Jesuit ruins. All done with the usual Awasi panache and style. Expect superb dining and service to match, courtesy of executive chef Rafael Ceraso who is enjoying matching his innovative techniques with a new set of local ingredients.
I have known about its construction and ownership of the land for a couple of years now and I am very excited to finally be able to suggest it for our discerning clients. I can’t wait for you to try it!
Iguazu Falls encompass not just some 275 separate waterfalls themselves (depending on how much water is flowing in the river that feeds them) but also an important region of biodiversity known as Atlantic rainforest. This region was once an undisturbed habitat to large cats, many mammals such as tapir and a huge diversity of butterflies, insects and birdlife.
It is inevitable that the area immediately surrounding these famous falls encourages large numbers of visitors and, therefore, development despite its National Park status. Inevitably where people are in higher concentrations, wildlife is not.
So, while Iguazu Falls are very much worthy of a visit for their sheer scale and magnificence as a natural phenomenon, wildlife lovers have had had less reason to linger in this area, preferring instead the rich biodiversity of the Ibera wetlands further south, Argentina’s answer to the more famous Pantanal in Brazil.