The waterfall itself is a crescent shaped collection of waterfalls nearly 9000 feet in diameter and 270 feet tall. Walkways have been built to lead you to the best views of the falls from all angles. You hike from view to view within the park – from catwalk to catwalk, platform to platform, each view taking what little breath you have away.
You can even be perched over the falls themselves at the Devil’s Throat – which is a thrilling moment – when you ponder safety regulations in construction and the training of engineers in Brazil with more than passing curiosity.
The rain forest surrounding the falls is a mind-blowing collection of plants and animals – many not found anywhere else. 90 species of animals, many endangered include tapirs, toucans, anteaters, howler monkeys, aymans etceteras – and Rodents of Unusual Size – like the ones from The Princess Bride Movie. Okay, not really but sort of ya. There is a gigantic rodent (140 pounds and over 4 feet tall) called a Capybara – and I will tell you that although they look like giant guinea pigs and therefore should be cute and not terrifying – when you are dangling on a ropes course and a bunch are running around under you – you aren’t thinking how cuddly they might be.
Park entry is very reasonable, about $14 USD for adults. Different rates for nationals, and you can purchase your tickets online in advance.
If you are staying in the hotel at the falls you do not have to pay park entry, are allowed to visit the park when it is closed as a hotel guest and can take advantage of the night hikes to the Devil’s Throat. We were so lucky to be there for a full moon as the light catches the mist and creates a rainbow over the falls – at night. At least 100 people had walked out there to see it yet at the moment the rainbow revealed itself there was total silence. It was something that couldn’t be captured on film so you just had to witness it an commit it to memory.