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This past week the UC-EAP Argentina students travelled with Expanish to Puerto Iguazú, Argentina to visit “Las Cataratas de Iguazú” (the Iguazú waterfalls).  After eating dinner on board the bus and catching just a bit of shut-eye the students awoke in the sunny Misiones province. We checked in at the Hostel Inn Iguazú and then all the students headed straight for the hostel’s huge pool.  We spent the next few hours swimming, playing volleyball in the pool, relaxing, and soaking up the sun.

In the late afternoon we all boarded the bus once again and headed to the “Hito Tres Fronteras”.  The “Hito Tres Fronteras” is the magical spot where the borders of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil meet.  One can stand in Argentina, but clearly see buildings (and sometimes even people!) in Brazil and Paraguay as well.  Students took photographs and watched the sun set over the three countries.

Then we all returned to the hostel for a group asado, or Argentine barbeque, complete with lots of salads and all different cuts of meat.  After the barbeque we were treated to a wonderful samba show! Samba is a traditional Brazilian style of dance that is very fast paced and in which dancers usually wear brightly colored costumes.  Several students participated in the show, learning how to samba as the Brazilians do.

The next day we all woke up early, grabbed a quick breakfast at the hostel, and boarded the bus to head to the Parque Nacional Iguazú, which was just a short drive away.  Once inside the park we all got on the train and then hiked the last bit of trail to “La Garganta del Diablo” or The Devil’s Throat, Iguazú’s largest waterfall.  La Gaganta del Diablo is a truly awe-inspiring waterfall— it makes you understand why the Iguazú waterfalls were recently voted one of the seven natural wonders of the world!

Later in the day students took advantage of different activities offered in the park, such as the Gran Aventura, which is a ride through the jungle on a 4×4, then a thrilling boat ride up to the base of several waterfalls.  We ended the day by hiking both the lower and higher circuit trails, to get views of the waterfalls from both below and above.  We were very lucky in that we had perfect weather and students were able to see several rainbows (caused by the sunlight mixing with the mist coming off the waterfalls).  Everyone left the park late that afternoon exhausted but happy.  Students spent the night exploring the town and mingling with the locals.

The next morning everyone checked out of the hostel and then students had a free day.  Many students stayed poolside, to take advantage of the last few hours they’d have in the Misiones sunshine, but others opted for more adventurous activities such as rappelling, or zip lining through the jungle canopy. Later that afternoon we all boarded the bus, said goodbye to Iguazú, and headed to the amethyst mines in Wanda.  Students toured the mines, learning how amethyst is made (gaseous bubbles trapped below the earth’s surface), how it is mined, and finally how it is cut and polished to make in to beautiful jewelry.  After a bit of shopping, we all got back on the bus (for the last time) and headed home to Buenos Aires.