The most famous residents of Iguacu's humid subtropical forests—the parrots, toucans, lorikeets, flamingos and other brightly colored tropical birds—can be difficult for the casual traveler to spot in the rain forest. Since 1994, however, those of us without a birder's patience or cunning have been able to enjoy the airy aviaries of Birds Park, Latin America's largest.
Around 150 species enjoy spacious 26-foot (8-meter) enclosures in this heavily wooded, 12-acre (5-hectare) park, all thoughtfully designed by naturalists and the owners. It's a lovely stroll, and photographers will find ample opportunity for the perfect shot. Other denizens from around Brazil include caimans, anacondas, boa constrictors, marmosets and scores of gorgeous butterflies. Other biomes, such as the African savannah and Australian outback, are also displayed, housing ostriches, curassows and other exotics.
The Birds Park is conveniently located next to the national park entrance; visit the falls in the morning and Birds Park in the afternoon. Allow two hours to properly explore the park, longer if you plan to take photos. The site features wheelchair-accessible paths. Some guides speak English. Bring sunscreen, insect repellent and an umbrella if the forecast calls for rain.
Photo courtesy of Jorge Andrade via Wikimedia Commons