If Saltos del Monday (Monday Falls) was located just about anywhere else on Earth, it would be crowded by marveling visitors. But it just so happens that this magnificent Paraguayan waterfall is located just a few miles from the thundering Iguazu Falls, one of the most famous falls in South America.
And so, this breathtaking cascade in Paraguay is mostly ignored by tourists who race to more famous waterfall parks in nearby Brazil and Argentina. While the waterfall is not quite as powerful and impressive as its neighbors, this watery wonder is a quiet, relaxed affair, free from the chaos of crowds.
Saltos del Monday may be little-known globally, but for the pre-Hispanic Guarani natives, the local waterfall held mythological significance and served as an important meeting place. (More recently, the site was the setting of a B-list Paraguayan horror film well known among young locals.)
At the small, wooded Saltos del Monday park, visitors can take short hikes through rare Atlantic Forest, picnic under towering trees, or descend steel steps to watch the chocolate-colored Monday River roar down vegetation-covered cliffs. Watch for unique birds called Great Dusky Swifts, as they swoop in and out of the waterfall—they make their nests behind the falling water to defend their young from jungle predators.
Know Before You Go
Admission to the park is 35,000 GS (about $6 USD) for foreigners. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.