Visit One of the World’s Greatest Natural Wonders in Luxury with Gran Meliá Iguazú

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Visit One of the World’s Greatest Natural Wonders in Luxury with Gran Meliá Iguazú

When I think of a natural wonder, I usually think of dirt roads, yurts, and scenic desert vistas. The Iguazú Falls in Argentina offers that overwhelming sense of wonder with paved trails and plenty of luxury, if you so choose. I will always choose modern comfort and luxury when it is available, and viewing Iguazú Falls from the Gran Meliá Iguazú makes a fantastic trip even more amazing.

I was told that a drive to this park from Buenos Aires is about 20 hours. No thanks. I opted for the national airline, Aerolineas Argentinas, and it took about two hours—a much better use of time. There are other budget airlines that offer a cheaper flight, but I was fine with my choice, plus I was surrounded by retirees, coming to view the falls after their cruise to Antarctica.

(Side note: many of the other tourists you meet from the US in Argentina will be on their way to, or returning from, a cruise. I had no idea what a huge port for cruising Buenos Aires is, but now I do!)

Once I touched down, a car picked me up and drove me about 20 minutes into the Iguazú National Park. The hotel is deep in the park, and you feel completely apart from civilization until you pull up and see a gorgeous resort waiting for you. To see the falls, you simply walk into the hotel and the entire back of the hotel is filled with windows and sliding doors, giving you an almost completely unobstructed view of the falls.

Gran Melia Iguazu lobby

Courtesy Meliá Hotels International

Unless it is raining, there is no reason to stay inside. You’re here for nature, after all. If you still want to stick close to the resort, though, the highlight of the viewing experience is from the infinity pool. You can sip on a cool drink while watching the majestic beauty of this massive waterfall system.

This trip was not without a snafu. Unfortunately, I arrived at the hotel without my luggage. The good news was that the resort’s store is stocked with clothing and swimsuits. So, I was still able to change out of my airplane clothes and enjoy the pool.

Of course, if you go all the way to the jungle of Argentina, you will want to get up close and personal with the largest broken waterfalls in the world. This is easy to do since you are literally inside the park. Most of the walkways throughout the park are paved and easily navigable, so you don’t need to be an experienced hiker to explore the park. The superior circuit takes you mostly above the falls; it has a grate-type walkway so you see the falls below your feet. It’s incredible.

Iguazu Falls walkway

Walking over the water. Courtesy Keri Lumm

The wildlife is almost as incredible as the nature. I saw a toucan hanging out in the jungle, coatis, and a monkey carrying a baby on its back while hopping from tree to tree. It felt like a zoo without the cages. I’m not going to lie, I did jump when a coati walked across my path. They are harmless, like South American raccoons, but it still gave me a bit more of a surprise than I was hoping for at that moment.

a coati at Iguazu Falls

A coati. Courtesy of Keri Lumm

There is beauty to enjoying a national park where you are isolated, but when you are traveling alone, a paved walkway and other tourists gives that beauty a feeling of safety. I felt completely comfortable walking around this park solo.

Walking right back to the Gran Meliá Iguazú was a welcome treat. The Merkado restaurant offers traditional dishes and you can watch the falls while you dine. I enjoyed this restaurant for breakfast, but decided to try the special outdoor barbeque they were having the evening I was there. It is not inside the restaurant, but served outside. This is not offered every night, but they serve traditional dishes cooked by starlight. I went with a grilled steak, roasted veggies, and Argentina’s iconic chimichurri sauce. I doused everything in it, and yes, it was the best I’ve had. For panoramic views of the falls and some sushi, there is the Alter bar on the top level of the hotel where you can enjoy both.

After visiting the Iguazú Falls there’s no question why it’s considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world. And if you want to see the falls in comfort and style, the Gran Meliá Iguazú is an ideal place to stay. If you can find the time to get to Argentina, this stop is worth including in your trip.

Keri Lumm is a professional chatterbox who loves watching TV & movies, reading about pop culture, and gawking at any craziness on the internet. You can follow Keri on “Twitter”:

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