Iguaçu Falls © over_kind_man
The Rio Iguaçu arises in the coastal mountains of Paraná and Santa Catarina and snakes west for 370 miles (600km) before it widens majestically and sweeps around a magnificent jungle stage, plunging and crashing in tiered falls at the border with Argentina and Paraguay. The Foz do Iguaçu (Iguaçu Falls) are more than two miles (3km) wide and 262ft (80m) high and their beauty is unsurpassed. Their name, fittingly, comes from the Guarani Indian word meaning 'great waters'. The deep flowing waters of the river tumble down 275 falls (almost twice the height of Niagara Falls) the most famous of which is Devils Throat on the Argentinian border, dropping 230ft (70m). As well as taking in the stunning views, visitors can enjoy kayaking and other watersports in the river. The best time of year to visit is August to November, when there is least risk of floodwaters hindering the approach to the boardwalks. The falls are surrounded by the Iguaçu National Park, a huge sub-tropical rainforest covering 135,000 acres that is home to thousands of different species of animals and birds including parrots and hummingbirds.