The Das Cataratas Hotel

Our pick up in Cuiaba went smoothly, and the flight was on time. This was with Azul (what you might call a low cost airline), we had booked it over the internet, rather than through Trailfinders. Trailfinders had offered me flights via Brasilia (basically double the distance and treble the length of time!), but my internet trawl had unearthed this direct flight, and the plane was at least as good as the others.

But no one was waiting to pick us up! Getting a taxi was no problem, but how would we know about the rest of our arrangements? We have since had a call, it seems our guide was there too early (not our fault, we gave them the flight number).

The Des Cataratas Hotel is our bit of luxury for the trip. Not that we booked it for that reason, it`s just it`s the only hotel in the park itself. Other tourists have a longish drive, and the park is only open 9am to 5pm, whereas Des Cataratas customers have 24 hour access, and we`re right by the falls!

I`ve read the guide books and seen it on TV, but nothing can do justice to Iguacu Falls, they are stunning. Niagara is a damp squib compared to this. Heavy rains upstream mean there is maybe double the usual volume of water, in fact one of the boat trips is unavailable (we weren`t going to do it anyway) due to flooding! More about the falls themselves when we´ve been here a bit longer.

The service here is quite brilliant, and the place is lovely. Free wifi, free access to computers, even a printer. But we`re a captive market, and they do charge a fortune. We`ve just had dinner, a Brazilian BBQ (over 40 pounds a head), succulent meat being cooked on what are basically long swords. And I was determined to get my monies worth! The beef fillet was best, but I tried lots of other meats, three platefulls (on top of starters). As soon as you`ve finished, they whisk your plate away, and you just get another. I was just contemplating whether I could possibly eat a second plate of their delicious desserts when a waiter made up my mind for me by offering tea or coffee (my first proper tea in a fortnight). In my defence, I hadn`t had lunch…

Greg

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