The Awesome Accidental Adventure
I love traveling alone. There is no one to get mad at me when I do dumb things.
I arrived into Foz do Iguaçu late, after a long day of travel, and started the next day on little sleep but eager to spend as much time as I could exploring the waterfalls. I filled up my water bottles and grabbed my day pack and set off for the Brazil side of Iguazu Falls.
A very short walk from my hostel took me to the central bus terminal where I paid the R$3.75 to hop on a well marked and easy to find city bus labeled “Iguazu Falls”. 30-45 minutes into ride to the National Park where the falls were located we stopped at what looked like to me as an entrance to a big park, I asked someone who looked like they could be a tourist, in my best Portuguese, if this was the stop for the park. He replied with a hasty thumbs up before escaping off the bus.
Lost in my travel euphoria, I hurried to the counter and purchased one ticket for R$30 which surprised me because I had been told entrance to the park was R$60. I wasn’t going to argue the price and took my ticket and hurried through the turnstile expecting to start my waterfall exploration.
That’s when I noticed something was up. The pamphlet in my hand, the sign in front of me…. Alright, I was in my own world. Apparently, I had wandered a very short walk from the national park and direction of the falls and instead had wound up at Parque das aves, the largest bird park/aviary in South America.
At first I was taken back, I wanted to rush out and get my money back, but then it hit me… “I am at the largest freakin’ bird sanctuary in South America.” This could be pretty cool.
I asked one of the park staff how long it would take to walk the park and she informed me about an hour, which still would leave me plenty of time to see the Brazil side of Iguazu Falls in the same day.
Normally, I am not a fan of zoos, watching animals in small little areas looking depressed, but this was very different. You walk along a path entering different “rooms” leaving you face to face with these awesome birds.
The majority of the parks 150+ species are endangered and the park has a mission of rehabilitating these birds and growing the wild populations.
Added bonus, there is a butterfly “room” with hundreds of a variety of species of butterflies in one space. This was something I had no idea that I needed in my life. If someone would have put “room full of butterflies” on the list of things to do while in Brazil I would have called them crazy. Standing in the middle of the area surrounded by every color of butterfly imaginable was awesome.
I wound up walking through the park twice, the park is not huge, and I wanted to go back and get some more pictures because I was a bit overwhelmed the first time through. Bring the battery charger for your phone for this one, especially if you plan on going to the falls after.
What an awesome accidental adventure and my fun in Foz do Iguaçu was just beginning.
Info for Parque das aves: Av. das Cataratas, KM 17.1, Foz do Iguaçu, PR,ao lado do Parque Nacional Phone +55 45 3529-8282