A few hours after finishing my classes for the year here in Argentina, I caught a bus to the north of the country, which I've been eager to explore for quite some time.
My first stop was Posadas, the capital city of the province called Misiones.
Posadas is a quiet town, but large enough to have everything you could need. I stayed with Fabricio, an Argentine who, although not from Posadas, has lived there for several years.
He was kind enough to show me around the town, and give me all the information I needed to explore the region farther.
One of the main attractions were some of the Jesuit ruins about 50 k.m. outside the city. Although they were mostly a collection of stones piled up to form walls, it was interesting to learn more about their cultures. Apparently, the Jesuits were a group of Catholic missionaries (which is perhaps where the name Misiones came from) who arrived to 'do the work of Christ'. They built up villages from scratch, forging their way through the jungle. Perhaps their most important contribution was protecting the local aboriginal tribes from the Spanish and Portuguese colonizers. As a consequence, Guarani, the aboriginal language, is still the official language of Paraguay, whereas aboriginals in the rest of Argentina were either assimilated or exterminated.
After leaving Posadas, I continued north to the Iguazú waterfalls, which border with Brazil. They are very impressive, but at the same time very developed, to the point where it can lose it's charm a bit. Still, some of the hikes through the rain forest and away from the waterfalls were very lovely. The variety of insects that you meet along the trail is amazing. There are also many interesting animals, but they tend to be a bit shyer. I saw a sign saying don't feed the monkeys, but unfortunately no monkeys came by to say hello, so it didn't really matter.