Argentinian Diary – Riot Police in Argentina

Barrios de Pie - Enough of the price rises

Barrios de Pie – Enough of the price rises

Argentinian Diary – Riot police in Argentina

Another day in Buenos Aires another demonstration against the conditions in which the majority of the working people have to live. On my last full day in the country I encountered yet another demonstration that had formed up at the Obelisk on Avenida 9 de Julio at the normal meeting time of 12.00, midday. But whenever there’s a demonstration in Argentina the riot police aren’t that far away.

This demonstration was called by, and was formed of, the organisation ‘Barrios de Pie’. My understanding after talking to some of the stewards present is that this can be translated as ‘Neighbourhoods on the March’ or as ‘Neighbourhoods standing up’. The reason for the march was the usual – against austerity, which is increasingly having a detrimental effect on an increasing number of the poor, and the problems that are being created with an annual inflation rate (for 2018) of almost 57%.

Although all the peaceful demonstrations that have taken place in Argentina in recent months, including that against the G-20 summit at the end of November 2018, achieve no change of heart on the part of the government – who is more prepared to listen to the ‘neo-liberal’ economic strictures of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund or the Inter-American Development Bank which lead to even more privatisation and cuts in whatever remains of any social welfare provision – many Argentinians are still prepared to go into the streets to make their feelings known. (This is so different from the lack of any such activity in Britain in the ten years since finance capital caused the crisis of 2008 which has led to the ‘austerity’ of the intervening years which has seen a worsening of the living conditions of the majority of working people in the country.)

In this post I want to look at an aspect of the Argentine state activity that demonstrates that they know exactly what is happening in society. However, rather than seeking ways to ameliorate the effects on the general population what they do is to put ever more resources into efforts to protect capitalism (and their own privilege). What I want to look at here is the use of the riot police both to intimidate people on the streets at the time and to reinforce the idea of letting everyone know who is in control.

I have already written how during the G-20 bash at the end of November 2018 the Argentinian state showed that it was prepared to lock down the country’s capital for the best part of three days just to allow the world’s most insidious gangsters to feel safe as they travelled around the deserted streets and to pig out at banquets where ‘important’ decisions were made. It was reported that 20,000 police and army personnel were deployed in Buenos Aires over that weekend, all geared up in state of the art riot gear and with, no doubt, more lethal weaponry close to hand.

(It’s difficult to understand the mindset of these ‘leaders’ who now must consider such a situation being the norm at their international meetings. With them living in such a bubble – not that they weren’t in a similar bubble in the past – their statements of us ‘all being in this (i.e., austerity) together’ rings even more untrue.)

Riot Police at rear of Barrios de Pie demonstration

Riot Police at rear of Barrios de Pie demonstration

I came to the ‘Barrios de Pie’ demonstration by chance at the Obelisk just after it had moved off and what struck me was the number of fully kitted out riot police still in the area and preparing to march at the side of the rear of the march. It wasn’t a surprise to see them there as they had been in evidence at the first demonstration I was to experience on my first Monday in the country but it made me think of their role in Argentinian society.

Riot Police escorting head of demonstration

Riot Police escorting head of demonstration

Argentina is not unique in having riot police prepared to appear on the streets when workers seek to make their grievances known to the rest of the population but I’ve now had the opportunity to see how it works on a number of occasions. This approach is slightly different in a country such as Britain where the state places a few, less intimidating police on the streets but with the ‘iron fist’ prepared to appear on the scene within minutes if called upon.

The march and the Obelisk

The march and the Obelisk

The issue in Argentina (and probably in most Latin American countries, more than likely due to the continent’s history of military dictatorship) is that the armoured police are there from the start – even though they would know that in such circumstances it only takes a slight misunderstanding for matters to escalate (perhaps the reason they are placed there in the first place). And many others would be on call if a peaceful march was to take a violent turn.

Porteños – the citizens of Buenos Aires – are also constantly reminded of the preparedness of the state to react to any civil disturbance by the number of ‘vallas’ (large, black, metal barriers) that are dotted around different parts of the city centre. I wrote about these in the posts in reference to the G-20 of November last year. The vast majority of – it must be – hundreds of new ‘vallas’ have been removed from the streets and now in some unknown (to me) storage facility, ready for any eventuality (if they aren’t already on a ship mid-Atlantic heading to Osaka, Japan, the location of the next G-20 at the end of June 2019). However, there are always some stacked in a corner near the Casa Rosada and, strangely, the Cathedral at the top end of Plaza de Mayo seems to have a screen of ‘vallas’ in a semi-permanent state.

Vallas ready for use at the Casa Rosada

Vallas ready for use at the Casa Rosada

It’s the heavy hand at the beginning which shows the contempt the state has for the people’s right to demonstrate. They try to frighten people from coming out in the first place and then by escorting the march along its short route (from the Obelisk to the Casa Rosa is much less than a kilometre) they are reinforcing the message.

The marchers from the ‘Barios de Pie’ understood this well and knew what the state was attempting and the demonstration was very heavily stewarded, many men and women walking between the police and the general body of the march. And they ‘policed’ their own people. That Thursday was very hot and once the march reached the top end of the Plaza de Mayo (the square in front of the Casa Rosa – the Presidential Palace) a few women, a number of them with babes in arms, moved out of the march to seek shade from the few trees at the top end of the square. This caused a couple of the stewards to come over and ask them to re-join the group as ‘they didn’t want trouble from the police’.

Stewards - in blue vests - between marchers and Riot Police

Stewards – in blue vests – between marchers and Riot Police

I wasn’t aware of the idea that the square was a no-go area before that incident. And that knowledge explained the manoeuvre of the police who had been escorting the march at the front into context. As the lead marchers turned the corner from Avenida Peña into Avenida Bolivar the police peeled off and stood in a line between the marchers and the Casa Rosa. It wasn’t a substantial line and they would have had problems holding it if there was a concerted effort to enter the square, their stand was more symbolic, wordlessly making the challenge ‘pass if you dare’.

Riot Police deploying at top of Paza de Mayo

Riot Police deploying at top of Paza de Mayo

But there was no chance of that happening. There were perhaps around a couple of thousand people on the march but a not inconsiderable number of them were mothers with very young children. There was no way such a group of people would carry out a suicide attack to get into a square which would achieve nothing even if they were successful. This was not a group of people such as the present day ‘gilets jaunes – yellow jackets’ in France who are expressing their anger at the effects of government policies on living standards and prepared to face the flunkies of the capitalist state.

Riot Police between marchers and Plaza de Mayo

Riot Police between marchers and Plaza de Mayo

After spending some time at the top of the square the march moved just a couple hundred of metres to get as close as possible as it could to the Casa Rosada – the palace has two sets of very high yet thin metal fences from the centre of the Plaza de Mayo to the entrance of the building – the second is only closed off when there’s some anti-government activity in the vicinity, in the process disrupting the traffic as the roads are also blocked. Such a fence would be no deterrent to a determined force as they would bend easily if enough organised force was used to pull them down. Just in case of such an unlikely eventuality there were a number of police inside the grounds of the Casa Rosada ready to react if called upon to do so.

Riot Police inside first fence of the Casa Rosada

Riot Police inside first fence of the Casa Rosada

But once here the march became quiet after making quite a lot of noise with the drums and whistles when on the move. And it stayed there for a long time, with me not quite understanding why. They were being totally ignored by the authorities in the palace and staying in the street just meant that their own people were being cooked at the hottest time of the day.

Matters eventually became much more relaxed. People started to drift into the shade of the trees in the square, the police totally ignoring this transgression, and some of them opened up their bags and had a picnic on the grass – on all the demonstration to which I’ve been a witness, including the big anti-G-20 march – many people came with some sort of food and drink. Others queued up at the public water fountain close to the fence. They had left the demonstration but hadn’t drifted off as is normally the case in such situations and they were ready to be called back once the decision to move was made.

Even the police became more relaxed, first resting their shields on the ground which was soon followed by them removing their helmets which changed the whole general feeling of the situation, any tension being dissipated. These movements were all organised and it seems that the Argentinian police are organised in squads of seven or eight as that was how they moved. As mentioned in the post on the demonstration in Buenos Aires back in November there are women in the riot police and here there seemed to be a squad made up of only women – all of them with long hair tied into pony tails – which indicates that there was no serious thought of violence on the side of the authorities as that long hair would have made them extremely vulnerable in the event of a flare up.

Whilst I was watching not very much happening I wondered what these young riot police thought of their role in the state machine. I don’t know if the state had decided to protect their salaries from the force of 57% a year inflation but even if it did all these officers would have known people who would have had no such protection. 2018 wasn’t a good year for Argentinians and the vast majority would have ended the year worse than they started. Yet these people were still ready to stand between an angry population and the state and its capitalist supporters.

In the past the police have not shown restraint when let loose on anti-government protesters, there being a number of deaths under ‘democratic’ governments, at least three in the final months of 2018, although on no occasion did I witness such an attack. Whether that reflects a change in the policy of the state which realises that such an approach doesn’t stop people from going on the streets or whether the state is not sure of the total loyalty of the police and asking them to attack people with widely accepted and recognisable grievances might eventually backfire I can’t say.

The march along Avenida Peña

The march along Avenida Peña

However, these forces of ‘law and order’ are a vital for the existence of the capitalist state and having the riot police out at least a couple of times each week in Buenos Aires alone must eventually get some of them to question what their role is in Argentinian society.

Or perhaps not. Their predecessors in the 1970s were either active participants or passive onlookers to the ‘disappearance’ and murder of more than 30,000 Argentinian citizens – the very people who they pledge to protect when they take their oath on becoming police officers.

(The more observant of my readers might have noticed that both Evita and Che appear on the lead banner of the ‘Barrios de Pie’. I hope to address the issue of Evita and the way she is considered in present day Argentina in a post in the not too distant future.)

Previous                                                                                     Next

Argentinian Diary – Madres de Plaza de Mayo

Madres de la Plaza de Mayo

Madres de la Plaza de Mayo

Argentinian Diary – Madres de Plaza de Mayo

Since 30th April 1977 mothers of those Communists, trade unionists and other social militants who were abducted and murdered by agents of the military dictatorship walked around the monument in the centre of the Plaza de Mayo, next to the government building known as the Casa Rosada. It was a Thursday and the time was 15.30.

On Thursday 29th November 2018 they did so for the 2120th time – without interruption.

There was a fear that the preparations for the G-20 Summit due to start on Friday 30th November (described above) might have caused that unbroken series by the blocking off of the square as it is in part of the no-go area. In order that such a situation could be forestalled a number of the women from the organisation, together with supporters and various members of the international media, arrived before midday and installed themselves in the centre of the square. They reasoned, accurately I would have thought, that the Argentine government would not like to have images of women in their 80s and 90s being dragged off by heavily armed riot police.

The stupidity of governments can never be overestimated but there was no move to prevent the traditional even from taking place and I saw no obvious police presence at the time. What might have happened since I’ll discover on my walkabout tomorrow morning.

More than 30,000 men and women were ‘disappeared’ by the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. They were abducted by agents of the fascists, more often than not tortured (for no other reason than because they could be), murdered and their bodies disposed of in unmarked graves in the countryside or just thrown from helicopters into the Atlantic ocean.

Although more than 40 years have passed there are still many parents and family members who know nothing about the whereabouts of their children’s remains. And justice is as far from being given these murdered champions of the working class now as it was then. The killing goes on. As I wrote about the demonstration in the centre of Buenos Aires on Monday 26th November, two militants have been killed by the police in the last week.

The symbol of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo

The symbol of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo

Anyone who goes to the square today can see white scarves, the symbol the women adopted from the very start of their campaign, painted in the circle they walk each Thursday.

Due to the proximity of the G-20 and the threat that the women (and their supporters) might have been prevented making the traditional circuit of the square I don’t know if what happened on Thursday 29th November was the norm – but I don’t think the process would have been much different. The Press Conference wouldn’t have taken place but the procession, I’m sure, has established its format over the years.

What happened was that a small group (just after 15.30), with the old women in the front, holding a banner from the top edge in front of them, walked slowly around the square (probably getting slower each passing year) and someone read out a list of names. Once the name was announced the crowd would shout ‘Presente!’ in the idea that even though no longer alive they were forever in the memories of those who knew them. I didn’t count but they must have walked around the square close to ten times. As was the tradition from the start there were copies of photos of those who were abducted and murdered either pinned to their clothes or held up as placards.

Then the women from the leadership of the organisation, who had arrived at midday and had spent the time under a temporary bodega (to protect them from the sun but on that Thursday it rained in the early afternoon but, fortunately, it had stopped by the time the clock struck the half hour past three) stood up so there were now two groups walking around the monument in the centre of the square. They didn’t read out names – but did carry photos of those ‘disappeared’ – but sang songs and from time to time started anti-government, workers solidarity chants.

This went on for about half an hour when the press conference took place. (This can be listened to on the official website of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo.)

There’s no shadow of a doubt that this is a very emotional occasion. The determination and steadfastness of these women has to be admired. As has their development of the organisation that is not only seeking justice for their dead children but expanding into one that fights for social justice in present day Argentina – when so-called ‘democracy’ has changed little for the better for the workers.

However positive their struggle and the lessons it has provided for movements around the world there is still a problem with (what I consider) a lack of understanding of the society in which we all live.

My knowledge of Argentinian politics and history has never been that good and it will take me some time to get up to date. That means that some of the statements made and slogans chanted in the press conference were lost to me – I’ve gotten out of the habit of understanding how Latin Americans refer to their political leaders.

If I understood matters at all, after all that the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo have suffered during the period of the military dictatorship and through the different governments since they are still peddling the idea of parliamentary cretinism, supporting some leaders because others are worse. I don’t know if there is potential in Argentina for a radical change but if aggrieved mothers haven’t got justice in 40 years I think it is time they looked for a more radical and revolutionary change in their society.

Previous                                                                          Next

Argentinian (and Brazilian) Diary – Iguazu Falls

First view of Iguazu Falls - Brazil

First view of Iguazu Falls – Brazil

Argentinian (and Brazilian) Diary – Iguazu Falls

If you are anywhere near the Misiones province of north-east Argentina then it’s a ‘must’ to go and see the Iguazu Falls. Superlatives abound when they have been described in the past – but they don’t disappoint. They fall within the border between Brazil and Argentina (with the majority in Argentina) and if possible you should try to see the falls from both sides. You are only watching water flow but you won’t get bored as around the corner it’s doing it in a different and often more spectacular manner.

If possible I would suggest you try to see the falls from the Brazilian side first in order to get a panoramic view of them and then (the next day) visit the National Park in Argentina where you can get close up in a way that’s impossible in Brazil. (The Practical Details involved in visiting the two sides are at the end of the post.)

There are so many people visiting both parks in the summer that any animals you might see are only the ones that have become used to humans as a source (either willingly or unwittingly) of free food. The coati (from my experience) have become more bold and aggressive and despite all the signs about not feeding them they will literally snatch food from out of the hands of the unwary. I don’t know if some of the more forward might not be culled at various times of the year – otherwise the ‘wild’ population would become totally dependent upon scraps from tourists. But some of the birds, and especially the butterflies (on my visit), were amazing.

To see any of the other, larger mammals you would have to be there first thing in the morning before the arrival of the crowds or (if possible) pick you time to visit when it’s the low season.

The Brazilian Side

You are much more constrained in the Brazilian National Park than when you visit the falls in Argentina – unless you take one of the many not-so-cheap add-on tours that are on sale. You have to queue and get on a bus getting off close to the pink Hotel das Cataratas – ignore the first two stops which are just for the extra tours.

From there you join a path which follows the banks of the river as it gets closer to the outflow from the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat). The videos below will, I hope, give some idea of what you would see.

In the next video you will be able to see groups of people standing on a platform right over the water. This walkway is part of the Upper Trail you can take and gives you an idea of the different experience awaiting you on a visit to the Argentinian National Park, from Puerto Iguazu.

Go on a crowded Sunday in January, as I did, and you will be fighting to get a view with the people wanting to take selfies. Just behind the rising plume of spray you can see people on the walkway heading to the Garganta del Diablo in Argentina.

One of the amazing things about Iguazu is that you have the huge waterfalls and countless other smaller, yet in any other context significant, falls wherever you look.

This is the closest you get the falls on the Brazilian side. You’re looking up at the Garganta del Diablo and getting wet.

It’s a true fight to get space at the end of the walkway. You see nothing, as the spray is so intense, but it will give you a feeling of the force of the water – and the noise.

 

The Argentinian Side

Parque Nacional Iguazu - Argentina

Parque Nacional Iguazu – Argentina

Considering that if you could only go to one side of the falls you would want to choose the Argentinian the experience of entering the Parque Nacional Iguazú from Puerto Iguazú is much more pleasant and relaxed. This is obvious as soon as you get off the bus.

Here there is no huge esplanade that is capable of taking queues of hundreds for the ticket office and then the bus. Here it is quiet and what you would expect on entering a national park as opposed to a Disney-style theme park. Here the crowds soon disappear into the various ways that people can enjoy the surroundings.

Yes, there are bottlenecks at the two railway stations that take those who don’t want to walk to the closest land point to the Garganta del Diablo and possible bottlenecks along the walkway itself but nothing as compared to the other side of the river. You see much more, have an experience of walking in a jungle environment, albeit along constructed walkways, and get a better impression of the scale of the place you are in. And it’s cheaper to visit – in fact all the National Parks in Argentina are cheaper than they are in neighbouring Chile and Brazil. Added to that you can get a printed plan of the park from the Visitor’s Centre (see above).

Garganta del Diablo

To get to the main attraction it’s possible to take the small narrow gauge railway the 2.5 kilometres from Cataratas Station or you can walk it in a little over half an hour. The route is easy enough to find, you just walk beside the railway track. The walk means you don’t have to fight to get on the train and as it only runs every half an hour you can walk it in the time it takes to wait for the next one. From the Garganta Station it’s another 15 minute walk, more or less, (depending upon the crowds) to the platform that looks into the Devil’s Throat.

Views of the ‘minor’ falls

As can be seen from the previous videos the Garganta del Diablo is not the only waterfall at Iguzu and in order to get a close view of some of the others a quite intricate, but relatively subtle, system of walkways has been created to allow people to get close to the water before it thunders down yet another precipice. Often hidden by the undergrowth these walkways make the park accessible without being too intrusive. Obviously there are times when these walkways come out into the open (especially the one to the Garganta del Diablo as it crosses the open river) but much of the time the heavy vegetation hides most of the structure – at least the second system since the falls were made accessible to the public.

There are two main trails, the Upper and the Lower.

The Upper Trail

And a bit further along:

(I didn’t notice the Great White Egret at the very end of the clip until I reviewed what I had filmed later on – a pity that.)

The Lower Trail

And a final Iguazu Falls video.

 

Practical details

Cataratas do Iguaçu (The Brazilian Viewpoint)

If you can at all help it DON’T visit the Cataratas do Iguaçu in January, and especially not on a Sunday, as I did. Unless you are very strategic the queues can be horrendous. The suggestions made below are based on someone being based in Puerto de Iguazu (Argentina) who wishes to see the falls from Brazil.

Nothing is really difficult here it just means that with a little forethought (which I lacked having arrived after dark and didn’t think to check departure details until the following day) and planning a lot of the stress and frustration can be taken out of the trip.

Take the first bus from Puerto de Iguazu bus station at 07.30. The local (as opposed to the long distance) buses leave from over the green metal bridge on the right hand side of the bus station as you enter it from Avenida Cordoba.

At the bottom of the ramp there’s the ticket booth of the Rio Uruguay bus company, who run one of the regular routes to both the falls on the Brazilian and Argentinian side. Get your ticket before you try to get on the bus – the driver will take cash but it speeds things up if you already have a ticket. The fare is AR$ 130 each way. Get a return, (ida y vuelta).

The buses leave on the half hour, every hour from both ends of the journey and take just under an hour – taking into account the border formalities. (If you take the 07.30 bus from the Puerto you will arrive just under 30 minutes after the ticket office has opened and it should be very quiet.)

When the bus arrives at the Argentinian immigration ALL passengers have to get off and go through the well staffed and efficient (although somewhat cramped) passport hall. You will get an exit stamp in your passport. Get back on the bus and everyone should be in and out in less than 10 minutes.

The bus then goes to the Brazilian immigration and customs. Here everyone BUT Argentinian citizens have to get off and go through the entry process. (Argentinians (and presumably Brazilians) wanting to visit the neighbouring country for less than 24 hours don’t have to get stamps in their passports – the reason for them getting off and having their identity cards checked on leaving Argentina is to make sure there’s nothing untoward). People leaving Argentina to start a trip in Brazil are unlikely to have their luggage checked – although don’t bank on it. Every so often there might be a bit of a purge.)

Get back on the bus and, again, this process should be over in 10 minutes. It’s about 15 more minutes to the Visitors’ Centre. (My driver seemed to want to get people to buy tickets for the Parque das Aves, just outside the entrance to the falls. My information is that it’s not really worth it, especially for indigenous breeds. And it delays you getting to your main objective.)

Once at the Visitors’ Centre there are two ways to get your tickets.

The first, and the quickest in most circumstances, is from the self-service ticket machines that are just to the left of the bus stop. There you will find about 6 blue machines. Fairly straightforward if you have a Visa or Mastercard Debit/Credit Card. You’re snookered if your card is not – mine wasn’t, when I just assumed it was, and wasted time standing in one long queue when I should have been wasting my time standing in an even bigger queue.

The second is the general ticket windows. They will accept Brazilian Rials, Argentinian Pesos or US Dollars. To confuse things even more the ticket cost me, more or less, the equivalent of £18.00 (or AR$ 862). Strangely I was asked for my passport and it was actually photographed and stored on the computer system. Why that was necessary is beyond me. Perhaps if the waterfall was to go missing during the day they had a list of suspects.

(The number of times our personal details are being recorded is phenomenal. Eat your heart out Stasi. What you did was nothing as compared to modern states – those vassal states, such as Argentina and the UK, sending all this information to the Department for Homeland Security in the USA. A visit to a waterfall obviously counting as a terrorist training activity.)

Once bought you have to queue at the embarkation gate to get on a bus to take you into the National Park. If early in the morning this should be a breeze – also after about 14.00.

There are two stops before you arrive at the large Hotel das Cataratas. Those stops are for extra excursions not included in the park entrance fee – and if you had paid for them you would probably have been taken to the area in your own bus. You get of the bus at the huge hotel and there’s a trail that starts dropping down from the road about a 100 metres after the bus stop, where you immediately get an idea of the extent of the falls.

This route will take you along a path which reveals more of what is on offer, eventually coming down close to the river where there’s a pedestrian bridge taking you quite a way into the river and a view, and feel, of the spray created by the biggest fall, the Garganta del Diablo. If you go that far you will get wet.

From that low point you can either take the lift up to the road level or walk back a short distance and take the route marked as ‘Exit’ which brings you to the same place. The queues to come back will move a lot faster as there seems to be a limit on the numbers of people arriving, especially when it is very busy, so as not to create huge log jams of people at the various viewpoints. Once you have finished the aim is to get you out as quickly as possible.

I didn’t test out any of the food and drink places at the visitors’ centre – or at the end of the trail by the return bus stop.

Once out of the park the bus back to Puerto de Iguazu leaves from where you got off. Although Argentinians are into queuing normally even they will leave their culture behind at this bus stop. At least 50% of the passengers will be foreigners with no tradition of queuing and everyone knows that it’s not a matter of getting on the bus it’s a matter of getting seat.

The process through immigration is the same as coming. Argentinians stay on the bus at the Brazil immigration (and take the seats of those who have to get off if they didn’t have one in the first place) and it’s an even bigger scrum at the Argentinian immigration as their identity cards are checked quicker than foreign passports. Then either with or without a seat you head back to Puerto de Iguazu. Normally all it has cost you over and above the park entrance fees is a lost page in your passport.

Cataratas del Iguazú (the Argentinian viewpoint)

The bus leaves from the same place as for the trip to the Brazilian Falls and the bus is operated by the same company. (There are other companies that make these trips but Rio Uruguay was the one I used.) The cost is AR$ 130 each way, and as above get a return – although the Argentinian Park being quieter there would be no problem in getting a ticket in the office by the bus stop at the park entrance.

Nominally the buses run every half hour, on the hour and half hour but in January the frequency was increased to every 20 minutes and they were doubling up of buses at the busy time around 09.00-10.00. Obviously the earlier the bus the less crowded will be the park when you arrive. The journey takes about 45 minutes.

The ticket windows (only 3 or 4 of them) are just back from the bus stop and the queues are nothing like they are in Brazil – that was crazy. Entrance for a foreign national adult is AR$ 700 – about £14.00.

Once with ticket just walk through the automated barriers and you can go where you want. The Visitors Centre is about 400m into the park on the right hand side where you can pick up a paper plan. My recommendation is – whatever time you arrive – that you head for the Garganta del Diablo first, either by the train or by walking. It is THE area to see and you don’t want to leave yourself short of time.

After the Garganta del Diablo head back to the Cataratas Station and pick up the path that leads to the two walkways – the red one on the map which is the Upper Circuit and the blue one which is the Lower Circuit. Both are worth the effort. 

There are a number of eating and drinking places around the area of the Central Rail Station towards the entrance.

Buses back to Puerto de Iguazu are timetabled the same as leaving the town but in the height of the season more will be made available. The company seems to be able to predict when it needs extra buses as they weren’t just responding at the last minute in the bus station. They know from experience how much time the majority of people will stay in the park and will schedule the buses accordingly.

Previous                                                                           Next