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.

Festival des Neiges of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Fête des Neiges de Montréal is an event that takes place every year over several weekends. This time, it will be done at Espace 67, the new field for events at Parc Jean Drapeau, from January, 18th to February, 9th. There are a lot of winter activities there: slides, dog sleds, skating, ice sculptures and shows, among others. There is a gourmet space with several restaurateurs but you can also bring your lunch and have it at the chalet in the space reserved for that.

Tips

The best way to get there is by metro and get off at Jean-Drapeau station. If you prefer to go by car, you have to pay for the parking.
Purchasing your pass will give you unlimited access for the duration of the event. Children 2 and under do not pay and there is the possibility of buying a little bit cheaper family package for 4 people (2 adults-2 children).
You can bring your skates, your utility sledge or your snowshoes or simply rent them on site.
Open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 

 

Park Güell, Barcelona, Spain

Park Güell is one of the achievements of the catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It was built between 1900 and 1914. Originally, it was to be a garden city that Eusebi Güell asked him to build on a hill in the South of the city (El Carmel). This should contain a chapel and 60 houses. But the cost of construction increased in big proportions that only were completed three houses and Güell Park. In 1923, the Park became property of the city of Barcelona. With his imagination, Gaudí made an original work with curves that fit with the nature like the columns in the aisles, for example, simulating tree trunks and the two houses at the entrance, in the form of fungus. There are 3 remarkable fountains and the best-known has a salamander. There are large stairs that lead to the Hypostyle Hall to the hundred Doric columns where there are actually just 84. The room had to serve as a market. The columns have 6 m high and 1.20 m diameter and the vault is built so that rain water is recovered in tanks located under the market to allow watering free and ecological gardens, as well as the power of fountains. The vault is decorated with four ceramic suns of 3 m in diameter. The central square, with the longest corrugated bench of the world (110 m); measures 86 m long by 43 m wide. The trencadís, a mosaic technique using broken and mismatched pieces of earthenware or colored glass, is used extensively on buildings, fountains, the main bench and other buildings in the park. The House-Museum of Gaudí in the Güell Park was built by one of his collaborators, Francesc Berenguer. This museum includes an important collection of works by Gaudí and of some of its employees. The Museum is spread over three floors including two dedicated to Gaudí. On the ground floor there’s an exhibition of furniture designed by Gaudí for Batlló and Calvet houses and on the first floor, the office and the house of the artist where he lived his last years.

Tips

The best way to get there is with the bus as the nearest metro station is a bit far from there and you need to walk 10-15 minutes and you’ll have an escalator on the highest part of the climb.
The park is open every day but the access to the area from the main entrance to the esplanade (part of monuments by Gaudí) isn’t free since October 2013. It is nevertheless possible to see the monuments from the tops of the park and the main entrance. You can buy the ticket at the entrancet or by Internet.
If you want to have beautiful panoramic photos of Barcelona, the park will give you this possibility.

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