Tours and Activities:
Safari in the forestMarcelo SolaPablo Etchevers
Profiting from the touristic offer of Iguazú National Park which is great and varied, we decided to go on a safari through the forest and get away from the waterfalls environment.
In order to do that, we contacted the excursions operator called "Explorador Expediciones" which is responsible of coordinating these kind of tours in the reservation area of the park.
The safari is a tour which is 20 kilometers long in a 4x4 Jeep along Yacaratiá Grande path which is closed to private vehicles to avoid alterations in the environment. Thus, you are provided with the opportunity of being in contact with nature at its purest state.
We met Mauricio - the guide-driver of "Explorador Expediciones"- with whom we decided to feel Misiones "jungle" the best we could. Mauricio, appart from showing us his skills as driver, allows us to discover that he is passionate for his work. This young and expert guide is an excellent interpreter of nature and is the link between us and the surroundings.
Little by little, we enter the fauces of the virgin red land where more than 2,000 vegetal species live. Its main feature is the variety of levels of stratification, occupying almost all the space in between the land and the highest tree-tops which are related one to another with a thicket of climbing plants, lianas and epiphytes.
We must make the first stop to observe fresh footsteps left by a jaguar. The expectancy to see it grows at this moment but Mauricio explains to us that watching it would be very difficult since this kind of felines have night habits.
Suddenly, a small piece of land moves and from its bowels a "tiger ant" comes out- one of the biggest and most primitive in the world- being 3centimeters long. We put it in our hands and let it walk to appreciate closely its measurements.
We continue our tour and Mauricio's explanations as well. He tells us that "among mammals of exclusive terrestrial habits living in the area, we can find tapirs, stags, peccaries and felines such as jaguars and pumas". The area we are crossing is rich in birds, with more than 500 species among which outstand colorful hummingbirds, fruit birds, parrots, toucans and "trogones".
The wild tour takes us along Paraná primary forest and the hight of the vegetables of the region stand out as they struggle to get the sun rays. Palmettoes, "yacaratías", "palos rosa", araucarias and tree ferns seem to spread all over the area.
Mauricio lends us some binoculars so that we can observe the show of colorful butterflies that fly to settle on the top of a trunk. We admire the curious camouflage of Hamadrya butterfly which makes it vanish on the bark of the trees.
Since we are in a subtropical climate, a warm drizzle fell and later turned heavier making us look for shelter under the tree tops.
The guide provided us with raincoats and, thus, we could protect from the intense shower. Inside the forest, we could smell the typical smell left by a herd of peccaries to mark their territory and, wanting not to disturb them, we left the place.
When the shower stopped, we went on with the expedition surprised at the foliage that seemed greener that ever.
As we were returning, the guide explained the importance of the preservation of the area we had visited since in it, there are species in danger of extinction which are protected in Iguazú National Park, having the conditions to grant their survival.
We ended up the safari more than pleased at the lived moments and grateful to Mauricio for his explanations.
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