Iguazu Falls

Iguaçu National Park - Iguaçu falls, Atlantic rainforest, Paraná, Brazil. rel=
Iguaçu National Park - Iguaçu falls, Atlantic rainforest, Paraná, Brazil.
© WWF / Michel GUNTHER
A vengeful god gives the devil his most dramatic drink.
What & Where?
Iguazu Falls are waterfalls on the Iguazu River which stretch in a horseshoe shape along a 2 mile area along the border of Argentina and Brazil. Iguazu means 'big water' in Guarana language, and the Falls certainly live up to their name. They consist of about 270 waterfalls and cascades which plummet upto 269 ft (the height of a 24 storey building) into the gorge below!

Legend says that a god intended to marry a beautiful aborigine named Naipú, who fled with her mortal lover in a canoe. In rage, the god sliced the river creating the waterfalls, condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.

Iguazu Falls are divided into separate islands by the waterfalls. A person can be surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfalls at a time. The most impressive of all is Garganta del Diablo or Devil's Throat, a U-shaped 150 m wide and 700 m long (490 by 2,300 ft.) cliff, which has water pouring into it from three sides and marks the border between Argentina and Brazil.

The thunderous roaring of the falls can be heard from miles away and the mist from the falls forms rainbows. Much larger than North America's Niagara Falls, they are rivalled only by South Africa's Victoria Falls.

The falls are shared by the Iguazú National Park (Argentina) and Iguaçu National Park (Brazil), which were inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1984 and 1986, respectively.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Donate to WWF

Your support will help us build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.

Enter Yes if you accept the terms and conditions