After a well-deserved lie in, walk a block to take the bus for a few pennies or be lazy like us and grab a taxi to head over to the Argentine side of UNESCO World Heritage site, Parque Nacional Iguazú. The park is open 8am to 6pm in case you're an early riser. The park is huge and it takes most of the day to walk around it; however, a guide is not necessary.
The waterfalls are stunning and powerful and you'll be shocked by the sheer noise of the water. The subtropical climate will be a welcome change from the cold of El Calafate and you can practice you're bird watching skills. There's supposed to be over 450 different species on the Argentine side of the park alone!
Lower Circuit: Plan to spend about 2 hours on the path even though it's only a mile long because it gives you the best views of the waterfalls and you're going to want to stop a lot to take in their beauty and take photos. You can extend the walk by climbing down a staircase at Salto Bossetti falls to a small pier to catch a free ferry to San Martin Island to hang out on the beach of the river and swim. We chose to forego this part so we had enough time to walk the Macuco Nature Trail.
Upper Circuit: It's about a half mile long and takes half the time. The path crosses the top of the canyon to look down over the edge of the falls which is spectacular. We also saw rainbows over the river which was quite magical.
Devil's Throat: After the circuits take a leisurely walk over to La Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), one of the biggest attractions in the park. Unless your camera has waterproofing, you may want to make the photo opps quick on the viewing platform because there is a lot of spray
Depending on how much time you have left, you may want to consider a 3.75 mile walk on the Macuco Nature Trail which is much more low key and less crowded than the circuits. The trail ends at a waterfall with a pool you can swim in. Much cooler than the island!
However, if you decide to forego tomorrow's activities to return to the park, you can fit it all in. Just remember to get your ticket stamped on the way out so you only have to pay half the admission on the second day.
We grabbed lunch in the park and you'll need to watch your food. There's coatis (Argentina's raccoons) wandering around looking for tasty opportunities.
For dinner, we took a taxi into the town which is very small and quiet and ate at AQVA Restaurant, a parrilla. We just couldn't get enough of the country's delicious steak! Although, I have to admit you'd be hard-pressed to find a highly rated restaurant in the town that wasn't a steakhouse.
1. Taking the public bus: The bus takes about 20-30 mins and runs about every 25 minutes (check with the hotel/inside the park to double check times), you have to have exact change and when you take the bus home from the park (you'll find it outside the entrance--it looks like a coach bus), don't plan to take the last one around 6pm because you may not fit on it! We got lucky that they let us stand.
2. Argentina side of the falls was enough: I considered spending an extra day around the area to go to the Brazilian side of the falls as well (the waterfalls are split between Argentina and Brazil). However, after seeing the volume of stunning and massive waterfalls Argentina had to offer, I really got my fill and didn't feel like I was going to miss out by not going to the other side.