Saturday, July 7, 2012

Niagara Falls, the most famous waterfall in the world.

Niagara Falls may not be the largest nor the tallest waterfall in the world but it is undoubtedly the most famous one. A visit to Canada would not be complete without a visit to this famous natural wonder. However, if you are visiting the western side of Canada, you have to also know that Niagara Falls is on the eastern side which means it will take you 4 hours to reach by plane. In fact it is 3400 kilometers away from Vancouver, the base of my visit to Canada!

The Niagara Falls consists of three waterfalls: the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. It is definitely better to see the Falls from the Canada side. Located on the Niagara River which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world.

If you are not from Canada or the US, the best way to see Niagara Falls is to fly to Toronto. From the airport, the cheapest option is to take the public bus #192 (Airport Rocket) to Kipling Station and continue on Bloor-Danforth (Green) Line to Bloor-Yonge Station and then transfer to the Yellow Line to the Dundas Station. The whole journey only costs $3.00 and takes about an hour including the transfers. From the Dundas Station it is a short walk through the Atrium to the Coach Canada bus Terminal where you can catch a bus to Niagara Falls. The return ticket is about $18 including taxes. At Niagara Falls you can take a public bus with a fare of $2.50 to your hotel or take a cab.

The highlight of the visit would be the Maid of the Mist ride. It is a truly an experience not to be missed. The ticket costs about $20 but it is definitely worth the money. They provide you with a raincoat but be prepared to get drenched anyway. The boat brings you very near the Falls where the mist form the Falls will rain on you like a hurricane!

From the Skylon Tower you can see spectacular views of the Falls. There is a fee to go up to the Tower but diners at the Restaurant up there need not pay the entrance fee. Since we planned to go there during lunch, we opted to take the buffet lunch. It costs $27.50 per person but be prepared to pay about $35 after taxes and tipping.

To get a close look of the Horseshoe Falls, you can also walk right up to the side but it would mean battling with the torrential splatter of the water from the Falls.

There are day tours from Toronto but I prefer to stay a night so that we can view the Falls during the day and also at night when the Falls are illuminated and there is also a fireworks display during summer months.There are some entertainment outlets in town if you are staying in Niagara Falls

 There are many hotels in Niagara Falls which is a holiday town. From the reviews of previous guests, we opted for Hampton Inn. It is a wise choice. Good location, clean and nice room not to mention free buffet breakfast and free coffee anytime of the day. I spent about $160 for a suite with two queen beds.

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