Iguazú Falls, Argentina

The Iguazú Falls, located in the middle of the rainforest, on the border between Argentina and Brazil, very close to the junction with Paraguay, is a UNESCO World Heritage natural wonder. In Guaraní, Iguazú means ‘great waters’. They are 17km north of Port Iguazú and 1350km from Buenos Aires. There is a national park on the Argentine side and another park on the Brazilian side. It is a set of 275 waterfalls of about 3 km, the best known is ‘The Garganta del diablo’ (Devil’s Throat) which is U-shaped and 700 meters long, 150m wide and 82 m high. The set of cascades pours up to 6 million liters of water per second. The majority of the falls are on the Argentine side and there are several tours that allow us to approach up to a few meters from the falls. The circuits were built in the middle of the forest and below the branches of the river (Paranà river whose Iguazú river is a tributary). A train takes you to different points of visit. In the parks there are over 2000 floral species, 400 bird species, and a wide variety of mammals, reptiles and insects. Many filmmakers from around the world have chosen this wonderful place to shoot their films.

Tips

It is a great place to visit in a long weekend but if you can not take several days, at least dedicated 2 full days to the falls to have the opportunity to visit both sides, it’s worth it! The bigger park is in Argentina since the falls are almost all in Argentina but the vision you can have of the whole Brazilian side is simply breathtaking.

Do not miss the boat trip to get even closer to the falls. Of course you are going to get wet but it is a beautiful feeling and the sound of the falls is sometimes deafening. You will not regret for a second this experience.

If you are allergic to insects, wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants but a cool fabric because it is almost always warm and it is quite humid. It’s best to wear sport shoes to better walk the circuits and not to slide in wet places.

It is not recommended to feed the animals. One of them; the coati, who is quite accustomed to the tourist and always approaches knowing that people always tend to give them something. Try not to change their natural habitat.

Nature park of the Visitation Island, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The nature park of the Visitation Island in the heart of Sault-au-Recollet (established in 1984) is a large park located in Montreal, Ahuntsic-Cartierville and Montreal North. The island of Visitation, the old hydraulic installations, now abandoned, the island of Cheval-de-Terre, connected to Laval by the Central Prairie River and woodland left in its natural state along Des Prairies River, are part of the park it has 34 hectares. In 1736, the Sulpicians (lords of the places), connect the island to the shore by a causeway to be able to control the current strength. Simon Sicar, engineer, erect the dam and built a sawmill near the island. He then built a stone mill to grind grain and another to card wool. In 1806, a house was built for pressing apples to make cider but there remain only the basics of masonry. There is a dam at the hydroelectric plant of the Des Prairies River. There are several places and walkways from where you can observe nature and its inhabitants.

Tips

It is a perfect place to walk in summer or visit by bike, there’s a path along the river and you can visit the historical monuments mills sites, the house of the press and the miller’s house. There is also a small train with entertainment for children and other organized activities which you can view online on the park site.
There is a bar and terrace with tables next to the historic site of the mills on the edge of the water.
In winter you can practice cross-country skiing. There is a cottage that remains open to change clothes.

The Blue Hole, St. Ann and St. Mary, Jamaica

The Blue Hole is a place hidden up in the mountains with waterfalls and natural swimming pools, on the border of the parishes of St. Ann and St. Mary, at about 25 minutes from the town of Ocho Rios, in Jamaica. You can find two sections; the main Blue Hole and the waterfall of about 20 feet in height. You will find a path going along the river and you can walk from one to another. You can jump into the Blue Hole or just walk around if you prefer; the only thing is that you must be very careful because the rocks could be very slippery. The best thing to do, specially if you are there for the first time, is to hire a guide, he could tell you where it is better to walk or jump. Remember you are in a place that isn’t too commercialized yet and there’s no first medical aid nearby if something happens to you. On the other hand, the good thing is that you are really visiting a place in nature.

Tips

The site is open form 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM.

You must pay the entrance (15,00U$) and provide some extra money for your guide’s tip. If you are going with a group of 10 people or more, you can negotiate the price of the entrance.

Don’t forget to bring your water shoes, your swimsuit, a towel and a waterproof camera.

If you feel adventurous, there is a Tarzan swing you can use to jump into the hole.

Try not to visit the place when the cruise ships are docked in Ocho Rios, you’ll be better when there are a few people visiting the place.