Entering the birds park on the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls might feel like entering a brand new world.
Green and Water
Paths of green are everywhere you go. You’re not always certain where it is you’re going, yet you follow the trees, you follow the path, you follow the occasional sign, written both in Portuguese and English.
At times, you spot some bodies of water.
You wonder how it must be like to visit the jungle in real, authentic life.
Can you notice the wildlife in the picture above? Close-up pictures are coming later in this post.
The Joy of Butterfly Discoveries
Look at photos from people’s trip to the Iguazu Falls, and you might see and abundance of butterflies. It might seem to you as if having a butterfly come rest on your hand was a routine kinda experience there.
This is because many people visit the Iguazu Falls during summer. While the weather remains pretty much the same year-round, and it can rain as well as shine year-round, butterflies are abundant in this area mostly during the South American summertime.
If you travel as winter ends in this special part of the world, you might only get a rare glimpse of butterflies here and there. You’ll see more butterflies in the butterfly section of the birds park on the Brazilian side – and you might see some more in nature walking some of the trails on the Argentine side. Walk slowly, silently and patiently, and you might just get to experience this delight.
The Unexpected Wildlife of the Birds Park
It’s possible that all you’ll know about this park when you come in is that it contains birds. That was the case for me. I saw a few colorful photos – and decided I had to come visit. Imagine my surprise when I ran into this:
That seemed like a pretty big “bird”! And wait – there’s more!
These were officially not-birds, nor were visitors allowed to get so up close to them we could take photos together – though these are the up-close photos I promised you above. There’s nothing like a camera with a zoom that actually agrees to take photos!
If you look at the photos, you might think a battle was about to ensue. Therefore, you might think, good thing I didn’t come closer. I mean, look at that big one going for that little one!
However, first, take a look to the bottom left of the above photo – Do you see the baby?
Second, let’s take a closer look.
One turtle is swimming, raising its head right toward the so-called danger zone – instead of running in the other direction. Another turtle seems to be looking “danger” right in the… arm? And yet additional turtles are busy sleeping on one another.
You might claim I’m overly optimistic. You might think that the turtles are scared. They’re entering the water in order to run, they’re holding on to each other out of fear – and they can’t stop looking at the danger because they feel paralyzed.
Fine. I get that could be a possibility. I’ve been called an overly optimistic before. Yet take a look at some other turtles nearby. Don’t they look peaceful to you? Would they look peaceful if these turtles would have been in danger?
Here, see? The wildlife are doing wildlife watching themselves!
You might think that the turtles are actually yearning to eat the fish. Yet even if they are, and even if these are the kind of turtles that eat fish, this fish is too far away for these slow travelers to catch it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see what these turtles do eat when I visited the birds park last year. I did get to see food that was left for actual birds in their cages, and, as you might remember, I saw parrots eating some of their food.
If you’re a human and would like to eat as well, you can visit the park’s restaurant. You’ll get a menu with a flamingo painted on it, and you can take a napkin from this parrot-like stand.
Whatever you do, don’t leave your trash out in the park. In one place, I spotted two garbage cans colored to fit their tree environment. The brown one is for organic garbage, the green – for recyclable materials.
The Birds Park is Only the Beginning
The birds park on the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls is only part of what this spectacular area has to offer. As you walk outside, you’ll notice a helicopter on the other side of the road. That helicopter – available on the Argentine side as well, I’m pretty sure – will take you on a 10-minute flight above the falls if you can afford it.
If you can’t, walk further to the right from the helicopter. Pay approximately US$25 and go enjoy a view of the falls from the ground. Both the Brazilian and Argentine side offer various trails and attractions, like taking a boat underneath the falls. Whether you take advantage of all the area has to offer or only a small part of it, make sure you visit both sides of the park. The Brazilian and Argentine experiences are different, and if you have time for both, chances are you won’t regret it.
Would you like to visit the birds park? What part of it would you most like to experience?