Using Awasi Iguazu as a base, the article covers writer Sarah Gilbert’s experience as she explores Iguazu with our expert guides, discovering both the famous Iguazu Falls and more off-the-beaten-track spots in the region, as well as her experience of the hotel itself.
The piece opens at the Iguazu Falls themselves – “A vast plume of spray was rising above the deceptively tranquil Iguazú River. As I got closer, the cacophony of churning water began to rise to a crescendo. Then I gasped. I’d just got my first glimpse of the seething cascade” – writes Gilbert.
It isn’t long before the article moves from the Falls to our lodge – “My base here was Awasi Iguazú, an exclusive lodge ten years in the making”.
“Just 14 lofty-ceilinged villas are hidden amid tropical foliage, with décor inspired by local flora and fauna and Guaraní crafts. Plunge pools offset the steamy heat, you wake to birdsong and you get your own passionate, knowledgeable guide so you can explore at your own pace”.
One of the article’s aims is to explain how we are helping to open up the area and show our guests that there is much more to see beyond the spectacular waterfalls. Our guides, in this case Caro and Jimmy, did a sterling job showing Sarah some of the less famous sites on offer, whilst she also very much enjoyed the evening lectures at the lodge: “One evening, Wilson, a Brazilian biologist, gave a passionate talk about some of the forest’s unique flora and fauna. It has around 20,000 plant species – more than 50% of its tree species are found nowhere else in the world – and more than 2,000 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, including jaguar”.
The Awasi USP being that each room is given its own private guide and 4WD, it is always wonderful to hear how the expertise and energy of our guides makes the trip – “Biologist Caro enthusiastically revealed some of the forest’s secrets, from the minuscule spores on the back of a leaf to a prehistoric tree fern and fungi as pretty as any flower, even the ones dubbed pig’s ears”.
“On a visit to the community of Jasy Bora (Beautiful Moon), close to Awasi, squealing children played barefoot tag in the russet-red earth while handicrafts were displayed on a ramshackle stall” she writes, about a visit to our neighbours in the local Guarani village.
The article goes on to talk about other excursions Sarah did from Awasi, such as kayaking or trekking through the jungle spotting wildlife.
Jimmy took Sarah to the ruins of the Jesuit missionary settlements of Nuestra Señora de Loreto, a haunting memorial to the efforts by the Spanish to spread Christianity to the New World – “Only the centre of the sprawling site has been reclaimed from the jungle and that afternoon it was only Jimmy and I wandering among the crumbling red stones, shaded by lofty trees entwined with lianas and outsized guembé. Blissfully bucolic, it seemed the perfect spot for the Jesuit’s utopian experiment”.
Last but not least, Gilbert comes to the gastronomy in our Relais & Chateaux restaurant headed up by chef Aaron and his team – “Back at the coffee-coloured river, a traditional Argentine asado had been rustled up on an alfresco grill – savoury corn cake and succulent cuts of beef, all washed down with a robust Malbec”.
The article was published in the print edition of the well-known British travel magazine.