Iguaçu river at the bottom.The falls are the hook in the middle
before the river thins
and meets the Paraná. It flows then towards Itaipu
flooded area at the top
Iguaçu, the name of the river and the falls, is a Tupi-Guarani
word meaning "great water".
Arising in the coastal mountains of the states of Paraná and
Santa Catarina (the Serra do Mar) at an elevation of 1300 metres, the
River Iguaçu follows a meandering course west for 600 km to join
the Paraná river. The falls are 20 km east of this junction,
which forms the tripartite Brazilian, Paraguayan and Argentine border.
The 275 falls are over three km wide and 80 metres high, which makes
them wider than Victoria, higher than Niagara and more beautiful than
either.The falls are unequally divided between Brazil and Argentina,
with Argentina taking the larger portion.
border is spanned by the Ponte da Amizade and 15 km upstream is Itaipu,
the world's largest hydroelectric project. Fortunately the dam
does not affect the flow of water in Iguaçu but has, however,
destroyed Sete Quedas (the world's largest waterfall, with 30 times
of water spilled by Iguaçu).In 1986 the International commission
of UNESCO declared the region a World Heritage Site.
the Brazilian side has a smaller chunk of the falls, it is from
there that you have the Grand View across the river to the roaring
The Brazilian park is also larger, with
1550 sq km of rainforest which shelter a number of different species.
side is noted for its close-up views
of the falls and the forest
of the water varies greatly during the year being highest in winter
in the southern
world's largest hydroelectric works, Itaipu has the capacity to generate
12,6 million kilowatts and supply the energy needs of Paraguay and southern
Brazil.The concrete used in this dam could have paved a two-lane highway
from Moscow to Lisbon.
of flow over the falls is about 62,000 cu.ft. per second for mean anual
volume, which under extreme flood conditions may reach more than 450,000
cu.ft. per second.