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  • Writer's pictureRita Cardoso

Brazil - Parque das Aves, Foz do Iguaçu

Parque das Aves, in Foz do Iguaçu, is a unique institution that is extremely focused on the conservation of birds in the Atlantic Forest, not forgetting other species that live there, such as crocodiles, butterflies, among others.

This institution carries out conservation work for the species, sheltering and rescuing birds and reinserting those that still have the possibility of surviving alone in Nature, not focusing only on exposing the animals. Here, visitors have the opportunity to see the animals up close, entering their habitat, the Atlantic Forest, of which the Iguazu Forest is an excellent representative and one of the most important remnants. Just to get a little idea:

"The Atlantic Forest is the 2nd most biodiverse biome on the planet and concentrates the largest number of endemic species, that is, species that only occur in that place. The diversity of species that we find in the Atlantic Forest is something incredible and charming. 8% of all species on the planet live here." Source: https://www.parquedasaves.com.br/nosso-trabalho/o-parque-e-a-mata-atlantica/

What to see?


In Parque das Aves, there are 5 immersion aviaries with many species of exotic and colorful birds, with 52% of the birds present being rescued from trafficking or mistreatment and would no longer be able to survive alone. In these places, we can see the birds up close and have more immersive experiences such as feeding parakeets, or feeling the low flights of the great colorful macaws, or perhaps even being lucky enough for a butterfly to decide to make us its perch. There is also the other less happy possibility, but which is said to be a sign of luck, of having a bird above us and doing its business on top of us. I wore a hat the whole time to protect my head, but I saw those who were less fortunate. :) We can also see the flora of the Atlantic Forest up close, since only 8% of the Atlantic Forest in the world remains, highlighting the extreme importance of conserving trees and plants. The entire park has a circular trail, in which everyone follows the visit in the same order. To enter these enclosures there are transition zones with a door on each side to prevent the animals from passing through. There is also the possibility of a guided tour with an environmental educator, more private and personalized, with access to different parts of the park, other information and different connections with Nature.




Where is it and how to reach?


The Parque das Aves is located right in front of the entrance to the Iguazu Falls, making it perfectly possible to walk from one to the other and thus combine visits on the same day. If you go by car, the car can be parked in the same place without problem. There are several parking lots with a daily rate of between R$25-30, approximately a little over €5, some of them in the shade.


Prices


The visit through the normal circuit costs R$80 ~ 14-15€. The Conecta visit with all its extras costs R$550 ~ €100. You can buy tickets at the entrance to the Park at the time of the visit, or online. When I went, I didn't notice any differences between those buying at the time and those who already had tickets, as there was no queue, I went at 9:30 in the morning, and even then there were already quite a few people inside the park.



The Park


The park has a good circuit system, not wasting too much time wandering where the next attraction will be, nor being disorganized. It also has several hydration points where we can fill our water bottles, several bathrooms and good access. At some points there are benches where we can rest, or sit and contemplate nature, and there are also kiosks or restaurants. We also have the option of entering with our own food and sitting at tables in the shade, right at the entrance/exit of the park. There is plenty of shade, making the visit pleasant, even on very hot days. In all places where there is infrastructure there are free WiFi points inside the park.


Personal Considerations


Personally, I enjoyed the visit, as it is a little paradise for exotic birds and animals, which are conveniently located just a click away to take beautiful pictures. I also liked the purpose of the park, the mission of conservation, rescue and trying to get the birds back to nature when possible. Of course, ideally, I always prefer the option of seeing animals in nature, in their natural environment, with as little intervention as possible, but this is not always a possibility, so I was pleased with this opportunity, to be able to see these endangered species in a protected environment, which in other way I might otherwise never see. There are a lot of people visiting, making it difficult to observe some animals, having to do it more quickly so as not to block passages and not allowing time for the contemplation that I would have liked to have done. Being a park in the Iguazu Forest, in the Atlantic Forest, there is plenty of shade, which for me is a great advantage on hot days. Also, as this is an Atlantic Forest area, don't forget to put on some insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites that could transmit, for example, dengue fever or yellow fever.



Recommendations:

  • Check the weather before you go and bring comfortable clothing suitable for the weather.

  • Try to go at times of lesser flow of people to enjoy it calmly, first hours in the morning or last of all.

  • Go prepared with comfortable shoes to do the trail.

  • There are places of protected landscape, bring your rubbish and anything else you can find.

  • Take food and a bottle of water if you want to save money, because inside the park the products are always a little more expensive, water can be filled up at the hydration points.

  • Take insect repellent to prevent unwanted bites.

Click here to see my list of suggested places to visit in Foz do Iguaçu.


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