What it’s like to have Iguazu Park all to yourself.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits of staying at the Sheraton Iguazu Resort & Spa is that you are granted exclusive early access to falls since the hotel property is actually located inside Iguazu National Park. What this means, particularly for photographers, is that you get to take photos like this:

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Now that may not mean much unless you compare it with this photo. Not only is it near impossible to get any slow shutter photos of value, but each and every walkway is riddled with people during the normal park hours. alone time (2)

I offer this photo as well, for comparison. You can see the hordes of people on both the upper and lower viewing platforms of the Salto Bossetti waterfall (the same falls in the two pics above). alone time (3)

And yet another croded viewing platform.

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The advantage of staying at the hotel inside the park means that if you wake up early enough, or hang out late enough (there’s really no one actually that concerned with early birds or strays, to be perfectly honest), you get to take pictures like this. This is a photo RonDawg shot of me in front of Salto Bossetti. It was definitely our second fave waterfall, right behind “Gushy McGush.”alone time (5)

I don’t believe that any non-Sheraton guests could pull this off, because there is a big park entrance where you pay your fees to get into the park. Since the Sheraton is located in the park, you just mosey on down over to the trail heads. There is one big “no pasar” sign, but we encountered a park official who shot us a smile and a “Buenos Dias,” and went on his way.alone time (6)

This is probably our third favorite waterfall behind Gushy McGush and Salto Bossetti. This is Dos Hermanas, or, “Two Sisters.” We liked it for obvious reasons. alone time (7)

This is another of our faves. Probably my fourth fave. I don’t recall the name, but some of my fave shots from this trip are of Ronna standing up top on the bridge by herself. We took those on another day though.

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On this particular day, we woke up early and caught the morning mist over the falls. It was a really nice contrast to the bright skies and rainbows that we caught the day before and the day after. I’m always stoked for bright skies when I’m playing in waterfalls, but sometimes the photographer in me hopes for these kind of moody shots with perfect lighting.

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Our fave lookout. Or, one of them 😉 alone time (10)

Here’s that same shot from the beginning, but in B&W. alone time (11)

The thing about these falls is that we couldn’t help staring at them. They’re so majestic and so mesmerizing, we’d just stand and stare. I found myself doing that in Iceland quite a bit as well. There is just something so enchanting about the fall of water from dozens of feet up.

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See what I mean?alone time (14)

We actually weren’t trying to take these kinds of pics. We just couldn’t help but stare. alone time (15)

This is the opposite view looking back toward Brazil from the same spot.alone time (13)

That morning mist tho.

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We also spent some time on the upper walkway as well, before people joined in the fun. alone time (17)

Check out how empty this spot was and keep it in mind when you compare it with the crowded shot a few pics down. alone time (18)

We actually spent quite a bit of time camped out at this spot. I took a few shots with my telephoto. alone time (19)

Did some slow shutter shots. alone time (20)

Zoomed in down on the falls below. alone time (21)

And then switched to my 10-20mm wide angle for more slow shutter action. You can see the clouds were starting to break in this pic.

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Contrast the emptiness with this zoo of a shot from the day before. With this many people, it’s pretty near impossible to get a decent selfie with no photo bombers. DCIM100GOPROG0750714.

See what I mean? DCIM100GOPROG0840797.

I actually was able to shoot this one later afternoon because most of the non-Sheraton guests had to rush back to their rides when the park closes at  6pm. All of the lower lookouts are really close to the falls and you pretty much get drenched. It feels amazing.DCIM101GOPROG1021030.

Ahhhh. DCIM101GOPROG1151105.

We also did a bunch of GoPro vids and selfies, naturally. DCIM101GOPROG1181124.

Ronna’s on a 5-month trip and she’s mostly been using her iPhone as her main camera. It’s compact, takes quality pics, and it’s always around.DCIM101GOPROG1211181.

“Hoooooo!!!” was pretty much our general sentiment every which way we looked. DCIM101GOPROG1231188.

And some more crowd-free selfies … DCIM101GOPROG1271216.

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Crowd. DCIM101GOPROG1731581.

No crowd.

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And let’s just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful these falls are from every. single. angle. DCIM101GOPROGOPR1228.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR1330.

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I know it’s cheesy and a little ridiculous, but I took advantage of being alone and selfied the heck out of this place. Sure, Ronna was there, and sure we had tripods and selfie sticks and Joby gorillapods (aka VAB’s), but every once in a while you just need a standard run-of-the-mill handheld phone selfie.

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Ronna isn’t quite as cheesy as me, and was pretty reluctant to do it … but after I pointed out the very low odds that she’d ever get the opportunity to take a selfie at Iguazu Falls (with NO ONE else around for miles) … she buckled. This photo is one of the highlights of my trip.alone time (46)

Okay I probably overdid it just a little 😉  We  had the falls to ourselves so long that I utilized every camera device I had. Cell Phone.alone time (47)

GoPro. alone time (48)

DSLR. alone time (49)

Ronna’s selfie came out so cute =) I doubt she regrets letting me talk her into it 😉 alone time (50)

Getting that shot. alone time (51)

I fully realize this post is really long and full of pics of me and RonDawg, but like I said, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You gotta make the most of it. DCIM101GOPROG1271216.

And lastly, my fave photo that Ronna shot of me. I love the scale and perspective of the falls in this pic. There’s no way we could have shot this with the crowds, so I’ll be forever indebted to her for getting us that room inside the park =)

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