The Iguazu Falls, internationally admired and well-known, are the great attractions in Puerto Iguazu, a city located in northwest Misiones. Here Hostelling International has three hostels that will get you closer to the amazing scenery offered by the “big waters” (the meaning of “Iguazu” in the Guarani language) inside Iguazu National Park. Founded in 1934, this park protects 165,000 acres of subtropical forest, the landscape of the falling waters –there are around 275 waterfalls-, the thick vegetation and the typical fauna of the region, which includes such endangered species as the yaguarete, jaguar, tapir, anteater, and yacare overo. Besides the higher and lower circuits, the paths and viewpoints that allow you to enjoy the falls over the Iguazu river from different angles and the famous Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) , various tourist companies offer adventure tourism excursions to live this place to the most: safaris on open vehicles through jungle paths, horseriding, sailing that will take you near some waterfalls, birdwatching, rafting, nightwalks on full moon nights and much more. All three Iguazu Hostels of Hostelling International will give you information about these activities and any others travelers can do in the province.
The province of Misiones is stands out for its tourist attractions, the influence of immigrants from the center of Europe(whose importance is seen in the celebration of the Immigrant National Feast, in Obera) and in the plantation of citric trees, tea, yerba mate, spices, tobacco and timber.
Puerto Iguazu, located 300 km from the Posadas, the capital of Misiones, offers many other choices besides the falls to enjoy its red soil and thick vegetation: The Three Frontiers Landmark, a spot where you can see the geographical limits between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil; the Wanda mines with their semi-precious stones; the possibility to meet some Guarani community; Aripuca, a theme park with environmental awareness purposes; and Guira Oga Center, known as “House of Birds”, in charge of breeding and rehabilitating wild fauna.
A little farther away from the Falls, 37 mi from Posadas, you can´t miss to visit the Jesuit ruins of San Ignacio, a construction built in the XVII century whose ruins –one of the best kept- depict what everyday life was like there. This mission, together with that of Nuestra Señora de Loreto, Santa Ana and Santa Maria la Mayor were pronounced World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1984.
Also in San Ignacio, you can visit the house –now made into a museum- of Horacio Quiroga, one of the best Latin American storywriters, who portrayed in his stories the hardships of life in this jungle. You can ask for excursions to these spots in your youth hostel.
Mocona Waterfalls, a little more than 186 mi from Puerto Iguazu Hostels, offers another amazing experience. It is a section of Uruguay River, a canyon three kilometers long with parallel waters falling to its course. As there is no easy access to it, the best choice to visit this attraction is to get a planned excursion. As the visibility of the waterfalls depends a lot on the level of the water, make sure you check this before hiring a tour.