A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about filet mignon

Iguaçu - Parque das Aves, and the falls from the hotel

A taste of things to come


View Pantanal and Amazon 2022 on Grete Howard's travel map.

After a good night's sleep, we wander down to the pool area for breakfast in Restaurant Ipé. The pool looks quite inviting, as the pool boy removes the POOL CLOSED sign, turns all the mattresses down, opens up the parasols, and turns on a coule of fountains.

large_46288d90-081d-11ed-90be-d5c1fadde4f9.jpg

large_56a54960-081d-11ed-90be-d5c1fadde4f9.jpg

At the restaurant, Melissa (the maître d' from yesterday lunchtime) greets us: “Good morning Mrs Howard, did you sleep well?”

The buffet is massive, with 20 different breads, cold meats, cheeses, cereals, and a counter where chefs to cook items to your liking.

large_467fd550-081d-11ed-90be-d5c1fadde4f9.jpg

At Melissa's suggestion, we order a tapioca pancake – a first for us. It is quite pleasant, and nowhere near as dry as it looks.

large_46389320-081d-11ed-867d-6fbc6648eac3.jpg

We are joined outside on the terrace by some gorgeous colourful birds.

large_465e4390-081d-11ed-9212-f9f5f33525d4.jpg

large_465a24e0-081d-11ed-ab3d-65e67deee6a1.jpg
Green Headed Tanager

large_46197260-081d-11ed-9212-f9f5f33525d4.jpg
Mr and Mrs Saffron Finch

large_460749f0-081d-11ed-b9ca-33b2ff465bb1.jpg
Plush Crested Jay

large_45ea7320-081d-11ed-90be-d5c1fadde4f9.jpg
Greater Kiskadee

Parque das Aves
This bird park came recommended, not just by Trip Advisor writers, but also the hotel staff. Set within the 40 acres of sub-tropical rain forest, the park provides shelter for around a thousand birds (150 species) from all over South America. The privately owned park focuses on reversing the conservation crisis that these birds and the Atlantic Rainforest are experiencing.

Our first impression is not the best: being Sunday, the entrance is heaving with groups and families on a day out. It seems they have lost our reservation, so we face a long wait just to get in.

large_f5590ce0-083b-11ed-973e-15a8bc4372c4.jpg

To be fair, as a result of the sprawling grounds, it does not feel all that crowded once we get inside.

large_f5da4ad0-083b-11ed-973e-15a8bc4372c4.jpg

Some of the birds are within reasonably-sized cages, but there are also some enormous walk-through aviaries where the birds fly freely all around you.

large_bc4aba20-083b-11ed-973e-15a8bc4372c4.jpg
Scarlet Ibis

large_c45634b0-083b-11ed-8176-6f4c98aebca4.jpg
King Vulture

large_b5c23610-083b-11ed-8176-6f4c98aebca4.jpg
Chestnut-Bellied Seed-Finch

large_b5bbcd70-083b-11ed-973e-15a8bc4372c4.jpg
Black Fronted Piping Guan

large_bc728d70-083b-11ed-8176-6f4c98aebca4.jpg
Buff Necked Ibis

This area used to hold flamingos until a couple of months ago when a jaguar managed to get into the enclosure. I remember reading about it in the news at the time.

large_8152f170-083c-11ed-909a-f7181ebecf99.jpg

As well as birds, the park is home to reptiles, turtles, snakes, and butterflies.

large_c3f5ec40-083b-11ed-8176-6f4c98aebca4.jpg
Black Bellied Sliders

large_b6118e90-083b-11ed-8176-6f4c98aebca4.jpg
Broad Snouted Caiman

At the halfway mark is a nice little café where we sit down to rest my weary knee. David has been carrying a foldable stool for me, although there have been plenty of benches around too. While we are drinking our cool orange juices, David notices that his shoes are coming apart.

large_e93b6570-083b-11ed-973e-15a8bc4372c4.jpg

The large enclosure housing parrots and macaws, is definitely my favourite part of the park. I desperately try – totally unsuccessfully – to capture these brightly coloured birds in flight as they whizz past me with their wings-tips almost touching my face.

large_ac65e6a0-083d-11ed-a416-f34060385edc.jpg

large_aca8bc00-083d-11ed-b898-c18b104e7037.jpg
Red and Green Macaw

large_aca7f8b0-083d-11ed-a416-f34060385edc.jpg
Chestnut Fronted Macaw

large_abbd98b0-083d-11ed-a416-f34060385edc.jpg
Jandaya Parakeet

large_abf2d980-083d-11ed-a416-f34060385edc.jpg
Blue and Yellow Macaw

large_abcd2910-083d-11ed-bed8-7bf9e3b1a758.jpg
Blue Winged Macaw

large_65d22140-084c-11ed-a836-83f6d0411ada.jpg
An unidentified bird in the park

By the time we reach the exit, David is completely sole-less on one foot, so we stop in the gift shop at the national park entrance. Carini arranges a Personal Shopper for him, and he comes out, not only with a new pair of walking shoes but also with a long-sleeved top for the jungle.

large_e90e13e0-083b-11ed-8176-6f4c98aebca4.jpg

large_e8b4f760-083b-11ed-8176-6f4c98aebca4.jpg
David wearing his new shoes and carrying his heavy (?) shopping bags.

large_14c3ead0-0924-11ed-81ec-8dc5b68bf6b0.jpg
New shoes

large_14a7b040-0924-11ed-bf26-6f81c72b658a.jpg
Getting ready to keep the insects at bay in the jungle with a long-sleeved top

Lunch
We head back to the hotel for lunch by the pool. We don't want a proper meal as such, just a little snack, so we order from the pool menu: fried potatoes with a tasty dip and Brazilian pastels (savoury pastry squares) to share.

large_5d93fdf0-084c-11ed-ba21-47bce2ba3a36.jpg
Notice how my bag has yet again got its own chair?

The potatoes and dip are so good we order another portion.

large_5d978060-084c-11ed-a836-83f6d0411ada.jpg

Out of the corner of my eye, I see something moving on the hill behind the patio: coatis. Lots of them running down towards the pool.

large_53c15d40-0923-11ed-81ec-8dc5b68bf6b0.jpg

They seem to be attracted by a particular bush, or rather the yellow fruits dropped on the ground underneath the bush.

large_540432a0-0923-11ed-8e3f-671e26902a27.jpg

large_53c70290-0923-11ed-bf26-6f81c72b658a.jpg

Its flexible, pointed, pig-like snout, used for sniffing out food under leaf litter and in crevices, has earned it the nickname “hog-nosed raccoon.”

large_53c63f40-0923-11ed-a7bb-d33c4698baf3.jpg

Meanwhile, up by our table, hummingbirds flit in and out of the climbing flower, so fast, and severely backlit, that I really struggle to be able to capture them with my camera. With a fair amount of help from Photoshop and Topaz later, I manage a semi-decent picture of the Panalto Hermit.

large_bf07d3e0-0923-11ed-8e3f-671e26902a27.jpg

We take a bag of ice back to the room with us for my poorly knee.

large_1497d1c0-0924-11ed-8e3f-671e26902a27.jpg

Unfortunately, it doesn't remain on my knee for very long, after a few minutes, an ice cube landslide occurs, and they all end up on the floor.

large_14aa2140-0924-11ed-a7bb-d33c4698baf3.jpg

Iguaçu Falls
After resting my knee for a while, we wander down to the falls. That's the beauty of staying in the Belmond Hotel, you can visit the falls any time of day or night. When we arrived back from the bird park earlier, there were dozens of people at the viewing platform, now there are only a handful. I find a lonely abandoned chair and sit myself down, put up my tripod, and spend the next couple of hours photographing and watching this magnificent spectacle.

large_cd3a25e0-09a4-11ed-9acb-9552916d3cff.jpg

Iguaçu Falls (spelled Iguazu in Spanish) is a series of 275 cataracts on the border between Brazil and Argentina, and together they become the biggest waterfall in the world. 80% of the falls are in Argentina, but the best views are from Brazil.

large_538c9790-09a5-11ed-bc42-d528eacc7717.jpg

large_52ba2c60-09a5-11ed-9acb-9552916d3cff.jpg

large_53898a50-09a5-11ed-98e4-cb8fb136715c.jpg

On both sides of the border, a number of different walkways lead out to vantage points where you can get incredibly close to the cascades (often getting very wet in the process)!

large_2e5c85b0-09a6-11ed-8b0c-9d7c814cddf8.jpg

large_2dac6f90-09a6-11ed-9acb-9552916d3cff.jpg

large_2da877f0-09a6-11ed-bc42-d528eacc7717.jpg

large_4e7a1c40-09a6-11ed-8b0c-9d7c814cddf8.jpg
Queueing up for selfies

Eleanor Roosevelt is said to have exclaimed on first seeing these falls: "Poor Niagara! This makes Niagara look like a kitchen faucet."

large_98d91ca0-09a6-11ed-8b0c-9d7c814cddf8.jpg

Photographs cannot do this natural wonder justice, in fact, not even a video can convey that feeling of power and magnitude!


By the time the light fades and I decide I have enough photos of the waterfalls to last me a lifetime – or at least until tomorrow – there is only me left at the falls. I go back to the room for a shower and get changed for dinner.

Dinner
I start with a Caipirinha, naturally, when in Brazil and all that! We order a bread basket while we wait. The selection of five different types of bread comes with a trio of dips: spiced butter, whipped cream cheese, and a red wine reduction. It is so good!

large_20bebc00-09a8-11ed-b2c3-f5441853a76b.jpg

The waiter then brings some thin flatbread with garlic and Parmesan cheese.

large_20db1da0-09a8-11ed-a99f-a3bed5d959f6.jpg

For mains we both choose filet mignon on a bed of Gorgonzola ravioli. The waiter asks if we want side vegetables, but having gorged ourselves on bread, we decide not to. Just as well, as the portion is enormous: one fillet would have been plenty. I struggle to finish it, but it is so superb that I battle on until the end.

large_20f66dd0-09a8-11ed-b6e0-c103a68850f9.jpg

David still has room for dessert, whereas I settle for another drink instead.

large_20e5cc00-09a8-11ed-8967-abecefd1d6f6.jpg
Apple crumble brûlée with pistachio ice cream

When we return to the room, housekeeping has yet again been in for turndown service, and in addition to a chocolate on the pillow, they have given each of the items I left on the little table each own face cloth to rest on. How sweet.

large_210efee0-09a8-11ed-b2c3-f5441853a76b.jpg

Goodnight from Iguaçu. Thank you to Undiscovered Destinations for organising this trip for us.

large_UD.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 20:57 Archived in Brazil Tagged waterfalls birds wildlife shopping ice breakfast dinner parrots argentina lunch birding brasil iguazu jay south_america caiman tanager ibis coati iguacu iguassu finch bird_watching hummingbird macaws parque_das_aves bird_park undiscovered_destinations parakeets tapioca_pancake kiskadee sliders broken_shoes new_shoes elanor_roosevelt filet_mignon turnback_servce Comments (6)

(Entries 1 - 1 of 1) Page [1]