From the Niagara to the Rhine, few natural formations fascinate and inspire like waterfalls can. Possessing a unique combination of power and grace, waterfalls represent the delicate balance that brings beauty to our world. They are life in motion and that is embodied in the Iguazu Falls.
For these reasons, it’s no surprise that the largest and most powerful waterfalls have always been the most celebrated. In September 2011, geocacher aviram_c decided to honor the world’s largest, the Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil, with a series of five Traditional Caches on both sides of the border. Although only one cache in the series, The Iguazu Argentine Falls#3 (GC33V3H), remains active, its stunning location is sure to have you fall-ing in love.
The Iguazu Falls can be approached from either side of the Argentinian-Brazilian border. Argentina’s Iguazu National Park and its Brazilian counterpart, Iguaçu National Park, together comprise an area of over 772 square miles (2,000 km2) surrounding the falls. Designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1984, these national parks and their subtropical rainforests are home to over 2,000 species of vascular plants. While caching around the Iguazu Falls, you might also encounter some of the vibrant wildlife—tapirs, giant anteaters, howler monkeys, ocelots, jaguars and caimans are known to patrol the area.
While the Brazilian side of the border is famed for its panoramic view of the falls, the Argentinian side provides more extensive trails and nature preserves. It also grants easier access to Devil’s Throat—the largest of the 270+ cascading waterfalls that make up the Iguazu Falls. The unparalleled size and power of Devil’s Throat results in huge water spouts visible from space! You can even use these water spouts and the rainbows that dance around them as waypoints to guide you to the Traditional Cache that rests at a lookout point just north of Devil’s Throat.
However you decide to make it to the cache site, you’ll want to stop there for a moment and take in your surroundings. Right before your eyes is the largest and most powerful waterfall on the planet—not exactly an everyday sighting. Very few geocachers who have logged GC33V3H go without noting the tremendous roar of the falls. In their log, geocacher Dirkverschuren writes,
Found this cache today while visiting the falls on this side of the border. What a beauty it is. Such nice scenery. Amazing views, wet from the falling water, the thunder of the power of water. Superb.”
Once you’ve fully taken in your surroundings, it’s time to gather your bearings and begin the search for GC33V3H. Well-marked trails and a robust system of bridges will guide your search for the cache, meaning you don’t need to stray far off the beaten path. If you come to visit the falls as part of a guided tour, breaking away from your group without looking suspicious might be the most difficult aspect of this find. You’re looking for a small plastic container in close proximity to the water—don’t be surprised if the logbook is a bit damp.
GC33V3H highlights some of the most incredible aspects of geocaching. Even in the most inhospitable surroundings, geocachers have an innate knack for recognizing natural beauty. What’s even greater is how we come together to share these locations and create memories with one another by enabling exploration. An entire experience encapsulated by one container, one logbook, and an unforgettable view.
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