Rio de Janeiro and Iguasu Falls

Eshaia's birthday gave the whole family an excuse to visit Brazil and Argentina to check out the winter in South America (early July is the middle of winter in the southern hemisphere).

After arriving in Rio de Janeiro (via Houston and Sao Paolo), we headed up to Corcovado to visit the famous Christ the Redeemer - the statue is bigger and more impressive than we had ever imagined.

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Corcovado is visible from many parts of the city and the views from the top are truly breathtaking.
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We stayed in a nice hotel right on Copabana beach and even though it was winter time the beach was quite lively.
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We also spent a fair amount of time walking the streets, making new friends and sampling wonderful foods and drinks.
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At night the beach lights up beatifully, but we'll have to come back in summer to see it really come alive!

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Iguasu Falls are an amazing waterfall near the point where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet. We flew from Rio to Foz Do Iguacu and stayed at the Bourbon Cataratas Resort. The two sides of the falls (one in Brazil and one in Argentina) are quite different so we spent one entire day on each side to make sure we didn't miss anything.

On the Argentinian side you can take a cute little train to get from the park entrance to the falls.
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It is difficult to do these falls justice in pictures; you really need to visit to appreciate the incredible size and beauty of this natural wonder.
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We had plenty of time to pose for pictures and get on the boat ride that took us so close to the falls that we ended up completely soaked.
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The Brazilian side of the falls in particular boasts large numbers of these raccoon-like creatures.

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The critters are very cute and quite tame.
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One last look at the waterfall, and it's almost time to head home. We'll come back to Brazil before long, though, that's for sure!

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