As soon as we landed in Iguazu Falls, we discovered that we’d picked a fantastic time to visit. Once a month, during the week of the full moon, the park that houses the falls offers moonlit walks to the falls; for an extra few pesos, dinner is included. I believe the total cost came out to $30 USD or thereabouts (around 90 pesos), and it sounded simply amazing- you get to the park after it’s closed, and are led on a 1.6 km “hike” to the Devil’s Throat, which is the largest falls that are part of Iguazu Falls.
I say “hike” because you actually wind up just crossing the river on this narrow metal bridge. Did I mention I’m terrified of heights? Well, walking across the river was a bit scary at night, but much worse a few days later when we attempted the same “hike” and I noticed an abandoned bridge directly next to the one we traversed, close to the falls, with a sign on it stating that the old bridge- which was higher than the one we were on- had washed away during a flood in 1993. A fun experience- and I give you a terrible picture of what we saw (it was really dark; pictures with flash obviously didn’t come out, and pictures without were super dark, so this is the best I could do, pumping the fill light on one of my photos- I don’t really post-process so I’m not very familiar with how to turn these pictures into something better, though I know it can be done).
It was absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring. I looked at it, and the first thing out of my mouth was simply, “If you ever doubted the existence of God. Wow.” I’m not even remotely a religious person, but it was simply that amazing.
After our walk, around 10:30 pm actually – at which time we were all starving – we headed to the restaurant in the park. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of our dinner, because it was only a few pesos more, I really don’t know what I expected but not what we got!
We were greeted at the door to the restaurant by girls giving out your choice of drink: orange Fanta or caiprinhas. I’ve never had a caiprinha (and can’t pronounce it!), but it sounded delicious and refreshing and hey, free alcohol, I’m not one to complain. StB and I both chose alcoholic, while MD/PB and HB chose the Fanta. The drink was heavily alcoholic, however, I think it was tequila? so we both took a few sips before ignoring it completely.
Once inside, we chose a table and sat down; a waiter asked for our drink orders. This part was a bit shady; or rather, unexpected; he never mentioned the drinks were not included, not water or soda, either. But no big deal, I guess.
The restaurant had a buffet laid out on the left side; when I got up to browse, I was disappointed to note that there wasn’t much meat (one chicken dish of which to speak). But reading reviews about Iguazu Falls in general had given us the impression that a lot of the food there was vegetarian, so I began filling my plate. I noticed off deeper into the restaurant was a window opening into the kitchen, and a guy standing on the inside, as though waiting for orders. Above him, a sign read “LA PARILLA” which I knew from my experience thusfar meant “GRILL”. So I wandered over and was thrilled to find that included in the meal was a bunch of typical Argentinian grilled meats!
There was a language barrier as I couldn’t explain to him I wanted a little bit of everything, so I came away with not that much meat, and only one type. Ah well, it was pretty tasty- on my plate you can see potato salad (the hike “guide” had loaded up on potato salad, so I assumed it was tasty!), some sort of.. fish or meat in cream sauce, cauliflower in cream sauce, baked tomatoes, cucumbers and [raw] tomatoes, polenta with tomato sauce. I was definitely happy chowing on this.
The funny thing was, as I was leaving the grill (I was among the first to discover the grill; many of the other tourists there hadn’t seen it), I ran over to my friends who’d loaded their plates with food from the buffet and said, “There’s meat! Go over there!” and the response was, “Oh, man! I shouldn’t’ve grabbed so much of this other food! Damn it!” Hahaha.
StB’s first plate included much of the same items, but also included the chicken somewhere up there and intestine. She wasn’t happy with the intestine, saying it hadn’t been… well, cleaned properly, which turned my stomach right quick. Gross! We found this to be the case whenever intestines were presented to us while in Argentina.
My greedy self’s second plate came to look like this – lots of the bean salad, which was great on the plain cucumbers; more cauliflower in cream sauce- I was attempting to be healthy and there weren’t too many green options at the buffet! and then some of the sauces. I loved the onion and tomato one, and my companions weren’t about to complain about my breath. The meat was a bit more well done than I’d have liked, but again, the language barrier prevented me from being able to say “mediano” which I think means medium (should I say mediano rojo to get medium rare? My Spanish is really, really terrible).
I ended the meal with honey-loupe or some form of hybrid melon fruit, while StB ended it with pineapple, caramelized bananas, and some flan that she said tasted like it came from a box. But honestly – for a few extra pesos or dollars from the moonlit walk itself – this dinner was totally worth it. The food was solidly on the side of good, and the price couldn’t be much better. At the end of dinner, our sodas were 5 pesos each and the bottled water, 6 pesos a piece. We actually got up and started to leave before the waiter came over to present us with the check, since we hadn’t known we’d be paying for them. I mean, we were surprised, but if you break down the actual cost – ~$1.66 for the sodas and ~$2 for the water, which we took with us since we hadn’t finished – it wasn’t bad at all.
Yvo says: If you happen to be in Iguazu while the moon is full, you should definitely do this, since the view itself is breathtaking, and the meal isn’t that bad. It solves the problem of finding food – which from reading reviews of the area on Trip Advisor, seems to be an issue – as well, while giving you something truly amazing to do at the same time.
recommended for the overall