Top Ten Brazil Classic Adventures

Bike Iguazu Falls
By Shawn Blore

Anyone who's seen The Mission will instantly recognize the falls of Iguazu. The Iguazu River—which here forms the border between Brazil and Argentina—roars over a sheer precipice three miles wide and 270 feet high, vaporizing enough of the river to create a thick warm mist and permanently glowing rainbow.

It's the mists that create the great hidden secret of the Iguazu area—mostly missed by tourists eager to click the perfect shot and move on—a pocket microclimate of near-rainforest lushness. Mountain bikes are the best way to explore this tiny Eden, particularly on the Argentinean side where there are numerous trails leading from small riverside swimming pools all the way back up to the top of the gorge. The forest is home to monkeys and peccaries and tapirs and over 400 species of tropical birds. Many of these creatures can be hard to spot, of course, but the same can't be said of the abundant population of glorious tropical butterflies. Count yourself unlucky if—at some point during the day—you don't find yourself pedaling through a colorful cloud of insects, many of them shaded iridescent blue.


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