Iguasu Falls, Argentina-Brazil. Grand tour • 360° Aerial Panorama
This panorama can be opened in several different resolutions. High resolution panorama with the best quality is about 7 Mb large and it is suitable for fast internet connections and modern computers. For slower internet and old weak computers we created the smaller low resolution panorama. Some small details have been sacrificed but the size of low resolution panorama is nomore than 2 Mb.
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In January 2008 we photographed Iguazu Falls (also known as Iguassu and Iguaçu) located on the border of Argentina and Brazil. This was one of the first AirPano virtual tours. We got only two aerial panoramas in the tour, because of local restrictions for shooting from a helicopter. At that time there was the only helicopter company Helisul, located at the Brazilian side. Unfortunately administration of Brazilian Iguazu Falls Park requested 20 thousand US dollars for a permit to open helicopter doors. Obviously, we didn't have such money, and so I had to struggle shooting spherical panoramas through a small passenger window. Besides, it was prohibited to fly under 500 meters above the waterfalls (which would disturb the nature), as well as crossing the Argentinean border that runs through the middle of the Iguazu River. These restrictions kept our pilot away from most interesting spots of the waterfall.
I took another attempt in a few days. Available helicopter, however, didn't have passenger headphones. I had to cancel the flight, because it was critical to communicate with a pilot during our trip. As I was scheduled to leave Brazil on the following day, the director (an old lady) promised me to refund 500 dollars deposit for the cancelled flight. When I returned to Iguazu Falls a year later, the lady conveniently forgot about her promise and I never got my money back.
It was obvious that a large helicopter was not enough to shoot Iguazu Falls properly (especially from the Argentinean side). We decided to take a second chance and sent our RC helicopter team to Iguazu.
Today we present a large virtual tour that includes aerial and ground photographs taken in 2008 and 2012. Visitors can see details of Iuazu Falls that were not available for public before from the bird's eye view.
And now I give you Stas Sedov, who personally took part in this photo expedition.
Leaving for Iguazu Falls, Dima and I were worried that it would be a dry season.
Dry season in 2006
Big water in 2005
Our mission was to photograph one of the largest waterfalls in the world, and not a little drip of water. Dima planned our trip very well, carefully selecting travel dates. However, no one could imagine that this would be one of the most stressful and exhausting photo shoots in AirPano history...
Here are selected parts of our email communication with colleagues during the trip:
18 June 2012
I arrived to Iguazu Falls. It rains practically non-stop. There were few gaps in the clouds today, but no sun.
I have never seen so much water in the waterfall basin, even though I have been traveling for 10 years. It pours at 3 million liters per second, and the norm is 1,5 million liters per second...
The waterfall is unbelievably cool! A true endless flow of water!
We will figure out how to shoot the waterfall. We have few ideas, but we worry about our equipment very much. Guys, send us some good weather ASAP! We miss the sun a lot!
19 June 2012
It has been raining non-stop since last night. We went to the observation deck under the waterfall. It was impossible to shoot there! I was soaking wet after running there and back! The viewpoint is practically enveloped in a cloud of mist. We have to take this spot off our location list, unfortunately.
Almost entire canyon is covered with think mist created by falling water. In Moscow, you cannot even imagine the way it looks - it is completely different from older Iguazu spherical panoramas.
Here is a video I took with my phone, but it hardly gives justice to what is really happening here:
20 June 2012
Morning. It's raining again. But we have finally caught our "three rays of sun!"
We have waited for quite awhile on the observation deck; lots of tension, everybody's stressed. There was even more water comparing to the day before. It was risky. At times we flew the helicopter in a thick water mist, maneuvering between heavy clouds. The equipment is still functional. In 15 minutes after our lucky moment it started to rain again, so we wrapped it up.
There was a funny incident later at night. We decided to get a snack while waiting for the sun. Dima bought few packs of cookies and a can of soda in a café near the viewpoint, and left it all on a table. We looked away for a moment and immediately heard a light crunch. We didn't understand what it was at first. Quick look at the table - the cookies are gone! Everything disappeared, but the tail of a little thief running for cover in a nearest shrub. What a vermin! And usually these nosy creatures look so chubby and slow, especially when posing for a camera.
Going to study Iguazu Falls from Argentinean side tomorrow. I checked the footage - there is a chance to get close to the Devil's Throat.
22 June 2012
We have finally shot Iguazu Falls!
It was the most challenging photo shoot - physically and emotionally - of my entire career. Out of five days of our trip the weather favored us only once, today. We have been [censored] exhausted while waiting for the sun to come out!
We have tried practically all weather improving tricks known to men: throwing coins into the water; sacrificing an old flash card to the waterfalls; Dima even made a personal (much more powerful) sacrifice - he quit smoking! (Ok, it was only for the duration of our trip).
I don't know which of the tricks finally worked, and who heard our prayers, but today the sun showed up by the end of the day, even if only for a couple of hours. We did our best to make use of this time and to shoot as many locations as possible from the Argentinean side of the waterfalls. Too bad, we didn't have enough time to photograph everything we wanted.
At night, while processing images, I noticed a peculiar effect - upside-down rainbows! They looked normal from the ground level, but from a higher angle (from a helicopter) a rainbow arches not up, but down. Amazing!
It is raining again outside, so we are going home tomorrow...
23 June 2012
It is late at night, I am writing from the capital of Brazil. We merely made it from Iguazu Falls - as if the waterfall didn't want to let out team go.
Under the morning rain (as you probably guessed by now) we arrived to the airport to learn that our flight was cancelled. They offered us to take a 4PM flight.
Clouds lifted a bit, and sun picked out for a moment. We grabbed out bags and ran back to the park, to the waterfalls. I assembled our helicopter on the floor in a car rental office while Dima signed papers.
When we entered the park, sun was still out, shining bright. We were very excited. Well, as you can easily imagine, the sky got quickly covered with dark clouds with no hope for an outbreak.
After an hour of waiting I proposed to shoot anyway, while waiting for the sun. Agreed - we take off.
The helicopter flew far away from the observation deck - so scary! Ok, it looks like we've got the pictures, time to go back. I land the helicopter and remove the camera to check our "masterpieces." What the hell? The focusing ring was messed up completely. All images can go down the drain.
Alright! I prepare for the next flight. Now we got a strong wind and light rain. We thoroughly check the camera and lens before take off. Everything is fine.
We take off and start shooting. There was a moment when the helicopter almost crashed due a strong turbulence, but we managed to keep it up. We land and remove the camera - what the hell??? All our camera settings were off! The humidity might have caused it, but we didn't care - all images could go down the drain again. The following five minutes were filled with loud cursing in Russian. Finally, I tell Dima "The waterfall simply doesn't want to surrender to us. Let's wrap it up before we crash the helicopter." Dima agreed.
Well, we couldn't help it and stayed for another 15 minutes or so. There was an opening in the clouds. What do you think? We flew one more time.
It was probably the most thorough and precise pre-flight check we have ever done. We checked every single detail three times. While at it, a heavy cloud of mist came from the waterfall and we were forced to take the helicopter higher to keep the lens relatively dry.
Fortunately, this flight went well. We quickly packed our gear and left for the airport under heavy raindrops.
In the airport we found out that our flight was delayed for another hour and a half, so our trip to Iguazu Falls turned to be one day longer. There was no more sunlight. On the way back, when I looked out of an airplane window, everything was covered with clouds. It was raining again at Iguazu...
Iguazu Falls in South America crowns the final stretch of the river bearing the same name. Fifteen kilometers downstream from the waterfalls, the Iguazu River (also known as Iguassu or Iguaçu) empties into another waterway of the continent - the Paraná River. Both create a sort of T-shaped crossroads where the three Latin American states come together: Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. Huge frontier markers on the three riverbanks are painted in the national colors of the respective nations.
It is far from being unique that a waterfall creates a state borderline. For example, Niagara Falls is a natural border between the United States and Canada. Yet comparing to Iguazu Falls, the famous Niagara Falls "look like a kitchen faucet," as Eleanor, the wife of the American President Franklin Roosevelt, once said. The First Lady of the United States had not overstated. The height of the Niagara Falls on the Canadian side reaches 53 meters, whereas on the US side (because of piled rocks beneath) it shows only 21 meters. Iguazu Falls, however, drops from the heights of 60 to 80 meters.
It is not surprising that, translated from the language of native Guarani Indians, Iguazu means "big water." Fantastic beauty of the site is multiplied by a colorful rainbow, which can often be seen above the sparkling mist and lush tropical vegetation along both riverbanks. It is believed that Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was the first European to find this natural landmark of South America. He reached the waterfalls in 1541 on his voyage through the jungle up the Paraná River in search of the legendary treasures of Eldorado.
If Iguazu were a single curtain of water, it would be the widest waterfall on the planet. However, this is not the case. Today the title of the widest undivided waterfall in the world belongs to Victoria Falls (1800 meters) in Africa. By the way, it is also a natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
As for Iguazy Falls, it consists of over 270 separate waterfalls with total width of 2700 meters. Numerous islands of different size separate waterfalls. In turn, the islands are connected by footbridges, where one can enjoy a closer view of the falling water. The biggest waterfall of the Iguazu cascade bears a grim name - the Devil's Throat (Garganta del Diablo in Spanish or Garganta do Diabo in Portuguese); it also serves as a border between Brazil and Argentina. The width of "The Throat" is 150 meters, and its length is 700 meters. The shape of the Devil's Throat resembles a horseshoe and includes fourteen powerful waterfalls.
It is interesting that people just recently began using waterfalls for their needs. For example, the Itaipu hydroelectric dam was opened only in 1991. Built by Brazil and Paraguay, the Itaipu Dam generates 12 600 MW powering almost 40% of Brazil and Argentina. The Itaipu Dam is also one of the largest dams in the world; both nations consider it a masterpiece of modern technology.
The Iguazu National Parks located on both sides of the waterfall were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1984 - 1986. In 2011, Iguazu Falls was announced as one of the winners of the "New Seven Wonders of Nature."
Unfortunately, the Natural Wonder of Iguazu Falls is very fragile. Approximately 1,5 to 3 tons of water flows down the Iguazu Falls every second depending on the season. However, every 40 years a drought turns Iguazu Falls into a basalt cliff. Last time it happened in May - June 1978: not a single drop of water has fallen into the Iguazu chasm for 28 days... On the other hand, major floods fill the waterfall up to the brim. The only waterfall immune to weather in Brazil and Argentina is the infamous "Devil's Throat."
Most of the waterfalls are located on the Argentinean side of Iguazu (2 100 meters long). Being much lower, Brazilian side, however, is considered most spectacular, as one can enjoy a better view of the waterfalls. You have an opportunity to look at the famous landmark of South America from above and see that Iguazu Falls are stunning from every angle.
"Esto es la obra de Dios. Y nosotros, que también lo somos, nos extasiamos con la Creación, ....pero mucho más maravilloso es el Creador."
Jose Navarro, Spain
"¡¡¡¡ MARAVILLOSO !!! Como Argentina mi orgullo es enorme !!! GRACIAS."
EvA Maria Vaccaro Segura, Argentina
"majestic panorama ."
Alicia Davidson, USA
"estuve en dos ocasiones pero hoy vi otra cosa para mi si antes era maravillosa esto es diez veces mas muchas gracias por lo que me han dado."
jose soldano, Argentina
"Siempre he deseado conocerlas,espero ir pronto,espectacular"
Maria Teresa Nucete V, Venezuela
"Um trabalho deslumbrante e de grande sensibilidade. Parabens e obrigada por compartilhar estas belezas conosco."
Luciana Aragon, Brazil
"I Am Thankful I can see the beauty all around me. There are those whose world is always dark.Tank You Allah :-*"
Peyman Ahmadi, Iran
"Hi airpano team, my heart-full congratulations to you people, you are doing very nice, smart amazing work as "panorama's".It's great.i got one thought while watching this waterfalls panorama that,it is even beautiful if there is waterfall sounds. .... Then i hope you will find more beautiful places and make more panorama in india. Thank you and all the very best."
sasikumar sagabala, India
"Soy guia de las Cataratas desde hace 34 años y me agrado muchisimo ver este trabajo tan elocuente de mis cataratas Gracias"
Carlos Piedrabuena, Argentina
"ESTO ES MEJOR QUE VISITARLAS PERSONALMENTE, SE APRECIAN EN TODA SU MAGNITUD. ES UNA OBRA DE ARTE NATURAL. GRACIAS"
PEDRO LUIS CHIESA, Peru
"uma verdadeira obra prima da natureza!"
caio marcos, Brazil
"UNIQUE.. THANK YOU!"
Efstathia N Stroumpou, Greece
majid] kakaiee, Iran
vicente cinos, Spain
n m, Slovenia
"Bom pa cacete; doidera"
joel jesus, Brazil
"It is unbelivable what the science can offer us nowadays - fantastic"
Bruno Gombac, Slovenia
"¡Ya me gustaria ir a verlas llevo diciendo mucho tiempo Majestuoso pero nunca llega el momento"
ascension Silveti SORAZU, Spain
windy kartini, Indonesia
"Son estas cataratas maravillosas"
Angeles Sierra, Mexico
"Estupendo! Obra fantástica da natureza. Vamos preservar."
Arlene Pereira, Brazil
Leo Underdown, USA
"Espectacular! Estuvimos en junio del 2013 y fué increíble por la cantidad de agua, no se pudo llegar a Garganta pero se vió algo único.Gracias Dios por lo vivido."
sarita núñez, Argentina
"I've been asking my friends to send me some picture who live there thank you I live in New York my wife is from foz and my second home is 15 minutes from the iguasue foz I've been there I a lot but I can only imagine the what it sounds like .when I talk about the falls I tell people you can't believe your eyes this is truly the 7 wonder of the world"
John Collins, USA
"Acho o lado argentino mais bonito que brasileiro, pois o lado brasileiro e um salto salto somente,sendo que o argentino são vários salto, vale a pena conhecer, enfim tanto o lado brasileiro quanto argentino são maravilhosos."
Luiz Antonio Alcantara, Brazil
"Beleza de fotos! Natureza no seu máximo explendor! parabens! Lindo Trabalho! Photo beauty! Nature in it's maximum explendor! congratulations ! Nice Job !"
Alfredo Sérgio Silva, Brazil
"Loved your photos absolutely wonderful shots. We will be there in the middle of july. Cannot wait to experience the falls first hand. Thanks Again for the lovely photos and commentary"
Nora Takats, Australia
Varvara, AirPano: Dear Nora, thanks a lot! I'm sure you will be happy to be there.
"espectacular mente bello"
ineuville@hotmailcom ileana neuville, Venezuela
"Belleza de la naturaleza que se da en dos paìses desde mi argentina es expectacular ver esa garganta del diablo que parecerìa que te traga hacìa el fondo de la tierra. Visitè en mes de octubre 2005, hermoso recuerdo."
Alicia Gonzalez, Argentina
"Visite este lugar en tres oportunidades y nunca me voy a cansar de admirar esta belleza que DIOS nos dio. Ahora con estas fotos me quede mas impresionada. BELLO, HERMOSO, MARAVILLOSO. Gracias por deleitarme con tanta belleza"
Juani Benitez, Paraguay
"If possible would have rated "6" on a scale of 5. These pix & entire presentation is fantastic. I visited Iguassu (& Itaipu) in the early 1990's and the impression has been unforgettable but your panoramas restore my memory of the awesome sight in all its glory. Many thanks."
George Reisman, USA
Varvara, AirPano: George, thank you for your kind words! Hope you enjoyed another panoramas.
"wow....amazing...no words to explain the beauty. One of the must see place in the world."
Arun krishnan, India
"te inunda el alma fabuloso"
juan carlos aversa, Argentina
"Congratulations to the photographer, they were really very beautiful pictures! very nice"
behrouz mousazadeh, Iran
"Impresionante. Casi mejor que estar allí."
Serafina Poch Blasco, Spain
"Really Nice collection,very good job. Kindly update some monuments from India also"
Anup Kumar, India
Dupont-Serafini Mireille, France
"Absolutely breath taking-no more words to describe."
Nissim Samuel, Israel
"Very Very Very Wondarfull Videos Mind blowing Vidios..... Very.Very..Very...Very....Very.....Very......Thanks AIRPANO.COM"
Arambakam Subbu, India
"Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. AirPano provides views of the World that are second to none. There is so much indescribable beauty on this planet. You bring it to us in such a unique and fulfilling way!"
Joel Stark, USA
"COMO SIEMPRE EXELENTE SU TRABAJO, CADA VEZ MEJOR, LOS FELICITO DE TODO CORAZON Y MUCHAS GRACIAS POR MOSTRAR LAS HERMOSAS MARAVILLAS DEL MUNDO, UNA DE LAS 7 MARAVILLAS NATURALES SON LAS CATARATAS DEL IGUAZU.-"
COMES CHRISTIAN, Argentina
"Ýõ ðóññêèå ìîëîäöû âû ìîè ñïàñèáî"
íèíà ãîëèíñêè, USA
"We were there in August 2005!Nothing like your pictures . Amaizing pictures , marvalleus experience!!!"
Antonio Garcia Blanquez, Spain
"We were there in August 2005 !! but nothing likes your pictures and 3d views ! really AMAIZING !! Thanks for sharing with us !."
Antonio Garcia Blanquez, Spain
"you are so crazy"
blerina berisha, Australia
nikolay vaschilin, Russian Federation
"I had the pleasure of visiting Iguazu Falls from the Argentenian side March 2013, and it was certainly a fantastic experience. A real natural wonder of the world."
Aldric Woo, Trinidad and Tobago
"My wife is from Brazil and I lived there for 2 years. I only made it to Foz do Iguaçu one time, and it happened to be in 2006 also when it was dry season. It wasn't quite as bad as the dry photo at the top, but closer to it. I've seen a lot of photos of Iguaçu, but none as spectacular as these. Thanks for letting me see what I missed out on."
Mike Domingo, USA
"BEAUTIFUL....THANK YOU VERY MUCH. GOD BLESS US ALL"
CHARLES BROWN, USA
"Es sencullamente fabuloso, He visitado este espectacular sitio 2 veces y ahora en forma virtual, muchas gracias por recordarme tanta belleza, gracias Dios mio por esa maravilla de la creacion."
Olga Rojas Chacon, Colombia