Straddling the border between Brazil and Argentina and surrounded by lush, dense rainforest, the Iguazu Falls are amongst the world’s most awe-inspiring sights. Located only a stone’s throw away, the recently opened Awasi Iguazu offers no- nonsense luxury and a seemingly endless array of activities to best experience this natural wonder. South America expert, Maudie, tells us more.
Located in a conservation area of just over 600 hectares, close to the thunderous Iguazu Falls, Awasi Iguazu is a jungle oasis where warm, welcoming and authentic service is at the heart of everything they do. As part of Awasi’s signature service, each villa comes with a private guide who stays with you throughout your stay, effortlessly tailoring your activity schedule to you. So, whilst the interiors are exceptionally beautiful, it is the people that will stay with you long after you’ve left. Our guide, Maria, has lived and worked in Misiones for many years and kept us entertained with her boundless knowledge and wonderful company throughout our stay.
Whilst Awasi hotels in Chile are famed for their range of excursions, the big draw to their newly opened Argentinian hotel is of course Iguazu Falls. Whilst the Atlantic Rainforest and surrounding reserves offer visitors the chance to get back to nature, it is only to be expected that the majority of guests at the hotel want to spend most of their time in Iguazu National Park. There is no getting away from the fact that the Falls are touristy, they are visited by a staggering 1.3 million people each year, but Awasi organise excursions so well making the experience as personalised as possible.
If you have two nights to play with, spend the first day visiting the lower and middle trails around the Falls, taking in the awe-inspiring views, before experiencing the famed Devil’s Throat viewpoint later in the day. Just before the sun sets you might have a good chance of spotting exotic birdlife such as toucans. You will also have time to visit the nearby Guarani community thanks to their partnership with Awasi, giving guests the chance to learn more about their culture and its intrinsic link to the jungle and nature. Any lectures – we enjoyed a fascinating talk from a renowned jaguar photographer – or other activities such as bird watching and jungle walks, can be tailored to your timings.
If you have the luxury of three nights, you will have more time to enjoy your jungle hideaway. Enjoy the serenity of your villa and private pool or get off the beaten track with one of Awasi’s private personalised excursions by speedboat, kayak or foot in the nearby forest reserves. As you’ll have explored the full 6km of trails on the Argentine side, you might not feel the need to do the 1.5km Brazilian trail as well (you’ll simply get a different view point) but for keen photographers or for those in search of a thrill, consider the helicopter flight that will give you the full view of the Falls (not included in your stay but happily organised at the hotel).
Once at Awasi, everything is included. For food connoisseurs, the Relais and Chateaux dining delivers the wow-factor at every meal, and the sommelier and bar staff really know their stuff. Even out in the remote Alto Parana, Maria served up a splendid picnic table, complete with cold beers and chilled wines to offset the topical heat. Cocktails aren’t on menu, but can be created to your tastes and dinner is always complete with wine pairings. Everything at the hotel is so beautifully thought out, making Awasi Iguazu a must-visit destination in itself.