Hold on tight!

Here’s the thing. There are hazards at Iguazu Falls National Park in Argentina. Those cute monkeys may look endearing, but keep a tight grip on your lunch bag and your cell phone. If not, you may well lose it to a monkey who has played this game before and may have faster reflexes than you. Little do visitors know, but wildlife in the National Park have become accustomed to people and are now a real hazard. Numerous signs all over the park attest to the risk of trying to feed wild animals.

Monkey, Tufted Capuchin

We spotted the capuchin monkeys inspecting the contents of a plastic bag some distance from picnic tables. When people came closer, they paused, and looked around, before scrambling up a tree.

Monkey, Tufted Capuchin

A few minutes later they moved to a shelter over picnic tables. They peeked over the side to see what they might snatch from unsuspecting picnickers.

Capuchin monkeys aren’t the worst problem at Iguazu. That honor is reserved for the coatis. Coatis, members of the raccoon family, are found in Central and South America. They eat just about everything, are very flexible, and expert climbers. They’re also strong fighters, with sharp teeth. Unfortunately, they have few predators in the park.

We assumed, as in most national parks, that we might catch a glimpse or two of a wild animal. We were taken aback to see at least a dozen of them sunning on the narrow bridge we needed to cross!

We assumed, as in most national parks, that we might catch a glimpse or two of a wild animal. We were taken aback to see at least a dozen of them sunning on the narrow bridge we needed to cross!

Many people visit the national park for a full day and so, at some point, want to have a snack or lunch. Except for a few upscale restaurants with indoor dining, the coatis make it difficult to sit down to eat in peace.

Everyone left the picnic table rather than put up with the coatis.

Everyone left the picnic table rather than put up with the coatis.

Instead, people stood or sat inside take-out food stores to eat in peace. We propped ourselves against an inside cooler and shared a sandwich, enjoying a hassle-free meal.

Instead, people stood or sat inside take-out food stores to eat in peace. We propped ourselves against an inside cooler and shared a sandwich, enjoying a hassle-free meal.

For those who do sit outside, be prepared for company or to ignore what’s going on around you!

For those who do sit outside, be prepared for company or to ignore what’s going on around you!

People visiting Iguazu Falls usually worry before they arrive about getting wet, the many steps down (and back up) at the Falls, how to see everything.

Yes, you will get wet at some of the lookouts.

Yes, you will get wet at some of the lookouts.

As for getting around the park and seeing wonderful things, that’s easily done and the least of any visitor’s worries.

 

 

September 2016

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Argentina, South America - 2016 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Hold on tight!

  1. Funny post. But sad that there isn’t a reasonable way to deal with the population explosion.

  2. Cliff Mail says:

    We encountered thieving monkeys at Angkor Wat – they would run up and snatch plastic bags off people and were none too friendly. Those Coatis sound like picnic terrorists.

  3. plaidcamper says:

    The capuchin monkeys are cute looking, but the coatis? Hmm, no thanks, particularly the gang on the bridge…

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