After walking through the hot and humid rainforest, I had finally reached the last, long footbridge. Ahead of me lay the Devil’s Throat. I could hear its steady roar. The closer I got, the louder it became.
I inched forward to the edge of the footbridge. Peering over the balcony, I caught sight of this massive waterfall. Mist from the water rose into the air. I was soaking wet within minutes.
Before me, the mighty Iguazú River plunged over a rocky, U-shaped cliff. Down into a deep and narrow canyon it fell. It was breathtaking.
Iguazú Falls got its name from the Guaraní people. Its name means “great water.” The water the river carries over the falls is astounding.
On average, the Iguazú River flows at a rapid rate. When it rains from November to March, it can carry more than seven times that much!
Iguazú Falls is one of the largest waterfall systems in the world. It spans the border of Argentina and Brazil. During the rainy season, up to 275 different waterfalls can form.
About two-thirds of the falls are on the Argentinian side of the river. I crossed the border into Brazil. I raced up the churning river in a speedboat. The boat slowed at the foot of several waterfalls to give me a closer view.
It’s hard to appreciate the spectacular falls until you have seen them for yourself. Upon visiting the falls, a first lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt, said, “Poor Niagara.” Niagara Falls, between the U.S. and Canada, is half as tall and half as wide.
Seen from the air, Devil’s Throat divides Argentina and Brazil.
trail to Devil’s Throat
Legend of the Falls
There is a legend that tells how the Iguazú Falls came to be. In the Guaraní tale, the serpent god M’Boi lived in the Iguazú River. M’Boi was an angry god. Each year, the people made a sacrifice to quiet him. They threw a young woman into the water.
One year, the tribe chose Naipi. Naipi was about to marry a warrior named Tarobá. The night before the sacrifice, she and Tarobá tried to escape in a canoe. But, M’Boi saw them.
Tarobá paddled hard, but the serpent god was mighty. He split the earth, creating a rocky gorge, Devil’s Throat. Naipi was thrown to one side of the gorge and Tarobá to the other. M’Boi changed Naipi into a rock. As Tarobá tried to help her, M’Boi pulled his hands into the earth. His fingers turned into roots. His body became a palm tree. And so Naipi and Tarobá only can meet over a rainbow to show their love for one another.
A rainbow bridges the falls.