15. Secret Garden – Iguazu Falls, Argentina

15. Secret Garden – Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Secret Garden Posada

Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

3 nights paid cash (use Xoom to get the “blue market” rate 8.2 Argentine Pesos per 1 USD instead of official 5.5 Argentine Pesos per 1 USD rate).

Standard Room

As I mentioned in my last post, when we arrived in Puerto Iguazu Airport, it was cold and raining.  A cold front had moved in, and while the temperature there is typically 75F high and 50 low that time of year, for the first couple days we were there highs did not get past 48, lows around freezing, and alot of cold rain!  In fact, the first snowfall in almost 40 years was reported nearby.  Needless to say, it was a tough time to see the beautiful Iguazu Falls.

Just one of many amazing snapshots of Iguazu Falls.  This angle being taken from the Brazillian side of the falls.

When it finally stopped raining, I stopped to get some snapshots of where we were staying, the Secret Garden.  It was 750 pesos per night for a quiet, standard guestroom.  The proprieter, John Fernandes, has 3-4 rooms he rents out.  For the 750 pesos a night, you also get a fresh continental breakfast in the morning, and an evening happy hour at 7PM with fresh, delicious Caipirinhas and homemade snacks like parmesan cheese balls, or bacon crumble cheese bread.  This gives you a great chance to unwind after spending all day at the Falls, and to meet the other guests.  During our time there, we met two Italian couples, and a couple from Texas.

John was in Buenos Ares attending to personal matters, so he delegated in his place a family friend named Bernardo to look after us.  Bernardo was a gracious surrogate host.  When we arrived, he gave us a quick tour of Puerto Iguazu in John´s borrowed truck.  When it was pouring rain, he gave us a ride to the downtown area to grab a bite to eat.  And during the happy hour, he sat down to chat with us and share with us stories of growing up in Argentina.  It was a treat to meet him and stay at this guesthouse.

Two marginal downsides to the Secret Garden are the internet only works in the public area of the property, and not in the rooms.  Additionally, there were no TVs in the room.  Normally, this is not a big deal because it is pleasant to be in the public area of the property, which is 90% outside in a beautifully maintained garden.  And you are hardly there anyway, exploring the falls and the surrounding region.  However, with record lows, really cold rain, and wind, ones hands get cold quickly using the Internet in the covered but cold public area.  And a TV would be nice to pass the time waiting for the weather to subside.  These are only marginal downsides, and during 95% of the year aren´t even noteworthy.  We just happened to be there during the big wet freeze!

Entrance to the secret garden from the street
Fresh fruit and jams for breakfast, along with strong Brazillian coffee
A view of the entrance to our room
The property´s mascot, Roxie the dog.
A view of the guesthouses from the public area.  Note the cold wetness…
The room itself, was comfortable in a basic kind of way.

We spent one day touring the Brazillian side of the falls, and the next day the Argentine side.  The falls are truly epic, and the national parks in Brazil and Argentina are very well maintained and signposted.  This was truly a majestic place.  On the second day, on the Argentine side, the sun finally came out, and it started to warm up.  So we had the unique experience of seeing the falls during an unseasonable swollen period due to the rain, both in with heavy clounds, and in bright sunshine.  It was truly a neat experience!

Our flight to Sao Paulo, was very early in the morning, and we were up at 4AM the morning of the flight.  We had arranged a taxi through Bernardo, and by 4:30AM we were off to the Foz de Iguacu airport, across the border in Brazil.  It was an early one for sure!

14. AEP – IGR on LA in Y

14. AEP – IGR on LA in Y

Buenos Aires (Aeroparque City Airport) - Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

LA 4026

Departure Time: 12:20 PM (Actual 1:20 PM)

Airbus 320

Economy Class Seat 2L

Duration 1 hour, 40 minutes

Another day, another LAN Economy Only flight within South America.  This is the last of our LAN flights, and the last of our flights as part of our OneWorld Explorer Award until we resume the open-jaw we start at IGR in NOU (Noumea, Caledonia – about 8,000 miles away).

AEP did not have a lounge for LAN passengers to use, so we cleared security and went to the gate.  The flight was delayed about an hour, and it was unclear to me the reason of the delay.  I was thankful there was even a flight, given the current bickering between Politicians in Argentina and LAN Airways.  Basically, the government of Argentina nationalized Aerolineas Argentina a few years ago.  Literally, they stole it from the person who owned it, and said we are going to own it now for the public interest.  So the government has an interest in the success of Aerolineas Argentina, which has a hub at AEP airport.  They don’t like LAN’s presence there, competing with their stolen loot, so they have been cage rattling politically as of late to try to get them out of there.  Rumor has it LAN may discontinue flights in AEP in the coming days.

Boarding was via remote bus, and we climbed the jetway stairs and boarded our seats in row 2.  The flight was overall uneventful, with a couple trip report posts written, and another LAN snackbox consumed.

IMAG0683Departure board at AEP airport for our flight to Iguazu Falls.

IMAG0684Line forming for boarding the remote bus for the Iguazu Flight


These remote buses to be ferried out to the gate are getting oldIMAG0689

Another snack basket down


There were two really cute Argentine sisters on the flight, in the row across from us.  The cabin crew was very kind with them, and even presented them with a “my first flight” certificate at the end of the flight.  It was very cute.

When we left Buenos Aires, the cold front we had been experiencing had just ended.  About mid-way through the flight, we caught back up with it, and by the time we landed in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina, it was pouring rain and very cold, around 45F.  We were thankful we had requested our posada to arrange a taxi pick-up, so we didn’t have to schlep it on the bus in freezing, heavy rain.  It would go on to rain for the next 18 hours straight…