Home South AmericaArgentina Hell’s teeth! It’s Devil’s Throat at Iguazú Falls

Hell’s teeth! It’s Devil’s Throat at Iguazú Falls

by Bernard O'Shea

Of  the 300-odd waterfalls at Iguazú, this one’s the monster. For part two of our series on this amazing spectacle, we’re going to peer down Devil’s Throat. It’s gargling and mouthwash like you’ve never seen before!


Its English name doesn’t do it justice: Devil’s Throat. It’s sounds much better in Spanish: Garganta del Diablo. This waterfall is gargantuan: it’s a horseshoe-shaped cliff-face some 50 metres wide and 700m long, with a drop is of about 82m. Not that you can see the bottom, so thick is the mist.

When you enter the Parque Nacional Iguazú in Argentina, you should make the Devil’s Throat your first place to visit. It’s one of the farthest points in the park (mini-trains do a shuttle from the park entry area to the viewing points at the top of falls) and for most people it’s the highlight of the visit.

The first part of the walk is serene and gives no hint of the spectacle to come:

Don’t be fooled: rapids lurk ahead.

But keep walking, keep walking!

Lovely day for a stroll, hey?

As you get closer, the water gets more frisky, and excitement builds in the air. You can start to see the mist arising from what looks like a whirlpool.

Getting closer!

It is at this point that you suddenly realise you are going to get soaked, and if you haven’t brought a raincoat and headgear and protective covering for your cameras, phones, watches (and, ahem, when you get to middle age, your spectacles), well, you’re in trouble. But ready or not, you keep walking into the mist, the whirlpool is sucking you in, the anticipation is mounting, this is what you have come thousand and thousands of kilometres for to see.

Spray time.

Just look at that thundering spray. We’ll let the pictures tell the next bit of the story.

Devil’s Throat viewing point.

Open wide, say ahhh!

The birds love flying (or should that be bathing?) in the mighty mist. Can you see them in the picture below?

It’s a playground for the swallows.

You can see why it is called Devil’s Throat. If you were a fisherman in a boat, or someone who had fallen into the water and been swept down the river, would you like this to be spat out into this?

The abyss.

Devil’s Throat, Garganta del Diablo, is an amazing sight. The viewing platforms can get crowded. You may have to wait until you get a spot on the railings. And when you are in prime viewing position, you could easily stay there for hours.

Heads down everybody!

What an awesome place, and what must have it been like to be one of the builders constructing the walkway? TTW

Part one: Do the Iguaçu-Iguazú wet shoe shuffle

Text by Bernard O’Shea, who travelled at his own expense. More information at cataratasdoiguacu.com.br and  iguazuargentina.com. Photos © Bernard O’Shea.

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