There is an old Guarani legend that goes like this: “Many years ago, the Iguazú River was inhabited by a giant snake known as Boi. Every year the Guarani tribe would sacrifice a beautiful maiden who was thrown into the river as an offering to the serpent. All Guarani tribes were summoned for this ceremony, even the most remote ones. One day, a young cacique named Taroba came to the village, where he met a beautiful maiden called Naipi, who had been already chosen to be sacrificed. Courageously, he kidnapped the girl the night before the sacrifice, as they escaped through the river on a canoe. On founding this out, Boi became so furious that, twisting its back, the serpent split the course of the river and created the falls. As a punishment, Boi turn the young man into the trees that we can see at the upper part of the falls, and it turned the hair of the beautiful Naipi into the waterfalls. After that tragedy, Boi dived into the Devil’s Throat. Today, the monster still watches the lovers, and makes sure that they may never be together again...but in the sunny days, the rainbow overcomes Boi’s evil power and reunites them once more.
All throughout the visit to the National Park Iguazú and the Waterfalls area, the visitor will be able to notice the strong influence that the Guarani culture left, and still remains to this very day. The fascinating tradition and history of this ethnic group punished by the European conquest still remain in this region.
The National Park Iguazú, located on the north of the province of Misiones, Argentine Republic, nowadays covers 66148 hectares. It is situated around the waterfalls where the Iguazú River will do as the border between Argentina and Brazil. A series of 275 cascades and waterfalls separated by the densely wooded rocky islets, and chained along the edge of the cliff, form a 3 km-long semicircle as they lead the fall of the river down to the lower level of the plateau. 80 meters of free fall are sometimes interrupted by ledges or rocks to create clouds and rainbows. The falls become even more splendid for being surrounded by the beauty of the rainforest. The abundant forests where bamboo, palm trees and ferns cover the land with such an intense green that it even seems unbelievable to the eye, make each one of the waterfalls even more gorgeous. Parrots and toucans of brightly colored feathers flutter around among the foliage, the orchids, begonias and other wild flowers.
448 bird species along with 80 mammal’s species and a larger amount of fish, batrachians, reptiles, butterflies and moths have been registered. A must in this water kingdom is to watch the Waterfalls from the very Iguazú River on board the motorboats that sail up to the foot of the falls. There are two tours that will allow you to sail for about 20 minutes along the rapids: in a constant jump, the tourists will come out totally wet by the water of the Falls, and completely revitalized by the emotion and the adventure.