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New country, new challenge - Puerto Iguazu, Misiones and Rosario

ARGENTINA | Tuesday, 10 April 2012 | Views [852]

Jesuit missions at San Ignacio

Jesuit missions at San Ignacio

And so I crossed over to Argentina. For all those who do plan to cross in Foz, you need to specifically ask the bus driver to stop at the Brazilian border. Otherwise they will only take you through Argentinian immigration and you don't get your leaving stamp from Brazil.

Puerto Iguazu is much more attractive town than Foz. There is not much there but it's much smaller, compact and easier to navigate.

As it was raining I decided to take it easy and see the falls the following day. That meant staying there two nights but I thought it would be a good place to acclimatise to a different country and start practising my Spanish. The latter did not go well and 4 days on I still kept speaking to everyone in Portuguese. Spanish is just not coming out of my mouth at the moment.

Since I was spending a chilled out night in the hostel I shared a bottle of Malbec with fellow traveller and exchanged stories of our adventures. I have to say that few glasses of good wine did warm me to the idea of spending next few weeks in Argentina...

Next day the sky cleared and so we headed to the falls.

The Argentinian side takes about 5/6 hours to visit and is well worth it. It's hard to describe the feeling you get watching tonnes of water plummet down. It is pretty incredible.

The best part for me was in the lower trail when you get really close to one of the waterfalls and get completely soaked.

I have not been to Niagara or Victoria falls so it's hard to compare but for me it was the most impressive waterfall I have ever seen . Really amazing experience.

And you get to see the monkeys too!!!

After a little rest in the afternoon we decided to have a girls night out in one of the local clubs. So after some food we headed for the dance floor. It was very much a classic small town club with some really cheesy music but it was a fun night and a proper welcome to Argentina.

In the morning I bode my goodbye to the falls and headed for the Jesuit mission of San Ignacio. Technically you can visit the ruins in a day and continue your journey but I was feeling lazy so decided to stay the night. I also felt like I needed some space so opted for spending a night in a pousada with a single room and double bed all to myself. I slept amazingly well and so was ready by the morning to visit the ruins.

I think I was expecting a little more to be still there but the Jesuits getting kicked out of the country and few wars in between did not help the preservation. However it is an impressive site of the failed utopia and well worth a visit if you are around these parts.

It was scorching hot so after few hours of wondering around the place I indulged in some lunchtime ice cream and headed for the bus station.

I decided to break down my journey to Buenos Aires a little bit and stay at Rosario. I did that without looking at the map and actually thought that Rosario was a bit more mid way. It turns out that its only 4 hours from the capital but since I have already set my heart on visiting it I did not change my plan.

Rosario is the home of the Argentinian flag and the Plaza de Bandera id probably the most impressive site in the city.

But Rosario did charm me with its old colonial architecture mixed with some hideous modern buildings and I ended up spending 4 nights instead of 2 nights there. There are also a few decent modern art museums. Nothing that can rival the European collections but still pretty good.

It's an assuming place and people are really lovely and open. It also has a good bar scene due to the student population and some really cool art deco cafes.

But the best thing is to just stroll around the place as you never know what lurks at each corner. It also made me feel much more at home in Argentina and so after 4 days I became much more optimistic about my time in the country. There is nothing better than chilled out city, good hostel and awesome hostel crowd to welcome you to your new destination.

Tags: argentina, jesuit missions, on the road, puerto iguazu, rosario, rtw, san ignacio mini

 

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