Nature Interpretation Center
The Nature Interpretation Center is also known as the Visitor’s Center, and is called “Yvyrá Retá”, which in the native language means “The country of trees”.
The Center is located in the new reception area, about fifty meters after the access portal. The Visitor’s Center is the most important building. It extends over a covered area of approximately 870 square meters (1040 square yards) consisting of the reception, two other rooms at each side, and restrooms and an auditorium at the back.
Around the building, there is a two-meter wide gallery. The materials used for setting the information boards were chosen following a system of vinyl fabrics fastened on stretcher frames, which allows covering big surfaces and creates a powerful visual impact.
The Visitor’s Center is a place designed for the audience to become familiar with and think about different topics. In the tour, it plays a specific and supplementary role in presenting general aspects of the area, nature concepts, such as climate and geology, valuable resources not readily noticeable, such as endangered species, preservation issues, and the area’s history among others.
The Center is open every day throughout the year, the operating hours in the Iguazú Falls area being adjusted to the time of the year. It has staff from the Administration of National Parks and interns in charge of welcoming visitors. It also has a self-guided tour.
Information is displayed in two rooms, biological diversity is presented in one of them and men’s involvement with nature in the other, thus showing the forest wealths, the several resources that men have used through the years, and environmental care activities.
The message given by the Center can be clearly and quickly understood in a visit of about 20 minutes long, taking into account that visitors’ greatest expectations are seeing the falls and the other attractions, such as the Rainforest Ecological Train. A determining factor is the short period of stay of the excursion tours. Due to that, the interpretation board visual aids are of great importance, being presented in large dimensions so that visitors can get the message quickly, at first glance, helped by the texts in different level and sizes according to topic details.
The visitor starts the tour at the left room, where information about the great rainforest biological diversity is available, organized as follows:
how the great diversity of animals and plants live together in the forest; the diversity of environments benefiting life diversity; insects diversity. Apart from the vinyl boards, there are also animal sculptures in gypsum and resin to make the visit more enjoyable.
The second room offers information chronologically, starting with the people who inhabited the forest, the need for preservation and protection, and the important job of the National Parks, thus raising awareness in the community and communicating that nature is the most precious and valuable resource to humanity.
In this room, musical instruments, traps and a canoe can be seen, items that were provided by the guaraníes communities.
To remember those that are gone, two embalmed Brazilian merganser (extinct in the area) were added.
In the main room, a lectern will be located to give information about the park daily activities.
It is highly advisable that all visitors make the Nature Interpretation Center tour before doing all the other circuits. Therefore, the Nature Interpretation Center “Yvyrá Retá” should be the main tour in a way that it awakens curiosity and sensitivity in those who will shortly after get in direct contact with this valuable natural, cultural heritage the Park represents. Visitors also have the opportunity to come back later to the Nature Interpretation Center and go into details through the topics considered most interesting.