Iguazú National Park

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Iguazú National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Cataratas027.jpg
View of a section of the waterfalls
Map showing the location of Iguazú National Park
Map showing the location of Iguazú National Park
Location within Argentina
Location Misiones Province, Argentina
Coordinates 25°37′00″S 54°20′00″W / 25.61667°S 54.33333°W / -25.61667; -54.33333Coordinates: 25°37′00″S 54°20′00″W / 25.61667°S 54.33333°W / -25.61667; -54.33333
Area 550 km2 (212 sq mi)
Established 1934
Governing body Administración de Parques Nacionales
Type: Natural
Criteria: vii, x
Designated: 1984 (8th session)
Reference No. 303
State Party: Argentina
Region: Latin America and the Caribbean

The Iguazú National Park is a national park of Argentina, located in the Iguazú Department, in the north of the province of Misiones, Argentine Mesopotamia. It has an area of 550 km2 (212 sq mi).

History[edit]

The park was created in 1934 and it contains one of the greatest natural beauties of Argentina, the Iguazu Falls, surrounded by the subtropical jungle. Across the Iguazu River lies its Brazilian counterpart (Iguaçu National Park). Both sites were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, in 1984.

The area of the park was inhabited 10,000 years ago by the hunter-gatherers of the Eldoradense culture. They were displaced around 1,000 CE by the Guaraní, who brought new agricultural technologies, and were displaced in turn by the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadores in the 16th century, though their legacy is still alive in this area (the name of the park and the river is Guaraní y guasu, "large water"). The first European to visit the zone was Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, in 1542; Jesuit missions followed in 1609.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The park lies within the Alto Paraná Atlantic forests ecoregion.[1]

The fauna of the park includes several rare and threatened species: jaguar, jaguarundi, South American Tapir, Ocelot, tirica, anteater, the Black-fronted Piping Guan, the Harpy Eagle, and the Yacare Caiman. One can also find birds like the Great Dusky Swift and large toucans, mammals like the coatí, and a diversity of butterflies. The Vinaceous Amazon, named for its wine-colored plumage, is occasionally found in this park.

The Iguazú River ends in the Paraná River 23 km beyond the falls, after a 1320 km course. Inside the park it becomes up to 1,500 m wide and turns first south, then north, forming a large U-shape. Its banks are densely populated by trees, including the ceibo (Cockspur coral tree), whose flower is Argentina's national flower. The flora of the park also features lapacho negro and lapacho amarillo (family Bignoniaceae), as well as palmito trees and the 40-metre-high palo rosa (family Apocynaceae).

Recreation[edit]

Admission for non-Argentine residents is ARS $130 (around USD $25), and ARS $50 the following day if one gets their ticket stamped before leaving the park on the first day, the admission includes transport on the Rainforest Ecological Train which permits visitors access to different walkways. The park only accepts Argentine pesos for entrance. Park hours are 8.00 to 18.00 between April and September, and 7.30 to 18.30 between October and March. To get from Puerto Iguazu, Argentina to Iguazu Falls National Park, one can utilize the Rio Uruguay bus service which departs from the main bus terminal in Puerto Iguazu and runs service approximately every 30 minutes between 7.15 and 19.15. Each way ticket is ARS $25 pesos as of March 2012. Bus tickets can be purchased at the bus terminal, or on the bus. Exact change is necessary.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]