This wonder of nature was the highlight of my trip to Brazil, so I thought I should write this Iguazu Falls Guide. As you are well aware, if you are a frequent reader of my blog, I am a big consumer of fabulous views that involve waterfalls in particular.
I have visited many over time, but none compare to what I experienced in Iguazu.
Although neither the tallest nor the biggest, Iguazu forms the largest waterfall system in the world. Therefore, you will be amazed by the panorama of 150-300 waterfalls. The number varies depending on the season and the precipitations.
Iguazu Falls Guide
Best view of Iguazu Falls
Located right at the intersection of two Latin American countries, you can admire Iguazu Falls from both Brazil and Argentina. Although most of the Iguazu river basin is located in Brazil, Argentina owns 80% of the waterfall.
This means that from Brazil you will have a wider view of the waterfalls, while in Argentina, you can see them from above. The experiences are very different, as well as the opinions regarding the best view of Iguazu Falls. In this article, I talk about Iguazu Falls Brazil side.
I visited Iguazu Falls during my two-week trip to Brazil, after Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. I left them at the end, knowing they are the best of the best. They were on my wish list since forever, and I was worried that the reality might not be as beautiful as they seemed online.
But the reality was much better, the waterfalls being of an unreal beauty, fully understood only in the case of interaction on the spot and not through the pictures.
How were Iguazu Falls formed?
The realistic story implies the existence of a volcanic eruption that produced a kind of crater, forming a difference of level up to 82 meters, as much as it has the waterfall at its highest point. However, the legend of the place has another explanation.
The main characters are a deity and the one he was in love with, a mortal. The latter falls in love with another mortal, arousing unwavering jealousy to the deity. So, on a fateful day, while the lovers were on a date on the river Iguazu, the deity got so mad, splitting the river and sentencing the two to death.
Fun facts about Iguazu Falls:
- the existence of Iguazu waterfalls was first counted by a Spanish in 1541, on his name Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
- The waterfall became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984
- Iguazu is much taller than Niagara Falls (82 meters / 51 meters) and wider than Victoria Falls (2.7 km / 1.7 km)
- Iguazu waterfall is part of the 7 New Natural Wonders of the World
- the most dramatic and tallest drop of the waterfalls is Devil’s Throat. Here, the water has a U-shape, similar to Niagara, but much more impressive
- when she visited Iguazu, Eleanor Roosevelt, the first lady of the United States of America exclaimed “poor Niagara!”
- it is almost impossible not to witness a rainbow over the water when you visit the waterfall
- The waterfall was also part of some very successful film productions in Hollywood: Indiana Jones, Miami Vice, Black Panther, etc.
- inside the National Park, there is a very rich fauna, so you have every chance to see pumas, jaguars, eagles, and many opossums.
My experience at Iguazu Falls
If you choose to visit the waterfall only in Brazil or only in Argentina, then one day is enough. If you want to enjoy this wonderful force of nature in both countries, then you need at least two days.
On the Brazilian side, the visit lasts between 2 and 6 hours, depending on all the things you want to do and how long you are willing to walk.
In the first phase, you will ride the bus to Macuco Safari, if you want to rent a boat and go on the river. Otherwise, you will descend at Trilha Das Cataratas, from where you can start exploring the area and observing the waterfalls from different angles.
Although not as complex as those in Argentina, in Brazil there are also platforms built over the waterfall in the Garganta del Diablo area. It’s a good idea to have a poncho here. Otherwise, you will get completely wet.
Also here you have maximum chances to admire a perfect rainbow right above the waterfall. The moment is simply magical!
What to bring at Iguazu Falls
- a poncho
- a camera
- phone and camera protection
- comfortable shoes
- sunglasses against splashes of water
- comfortable clothes, maybe even a bathing suit underneath, given the huge possibility of getting wet
How to get to Iguazu Falls and how much it costs
Iguazu Falls entrance fee is 70 R$. For a boat ride and a meal at the park restaurant, you will have to pay separately.
From anywhere in Brazil you can fly to Iguazu Falls, more specifically to Foz do Iguaçu International Airport. If you buy the tickets in advance, you may find it very cheap. For example, 300 R$ round way from Sao Paulo. The length of a trip is one hour and 40 minutes.
From the city to the waterfall you will take the 120 or Uber bus. The distance is about one hour and will leave you at the entrance to the park.
Best month to visit Iguazu Falls
With a subtropical humid climate, all year long you will find positive temperatures. But winter (July-September) is quite hot in Brazil, and summer (December-March) is raining heavily. Therefore, the best month to visit Iguazu Falls is any period between these two seasons.
Things to do around Iguazu Falls
Foz do Iguazu is not a very big city, so there are not many things to do, except for the splendid waterfalls and other few activities. Since I spent only one full day there, I managed to add only two more tourist attractions to my Iguazu Falls Guide.
- Parque das Aves
The largest bird park in Latin America is located near the waterfalls and can be visited daily from 8:30 to 5 pm. The price of a ticket is 45 R $.
Besides the touristic feature, the people here are dealing with the conservation of certain species of endangered birds. The park is very well structured, and you have the opportunity to admire them close. You can even enter the stalls arranged for them.
- Marco das Tres Fronteiras
You don’t always have the opportunity to see three countries in the same place, so you should add Marco das Tres Fronteiras on the list of things to do around Iguazu Falls. This is a kind of park, built to mark the intersection of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.
Each of these countries is symbolized by a milestone, in the colors of the flag and each has a similar park. Basically, from the Brazilian shore, you can look at Argentina and Paraguay at the same time. I say shore because the countries are separated by the Parana and Iguazu rivers.
Admission to the park costs R $ 28.5 and is well worth it. And if you want to have dinner with a multinational view, then go to Cabeza de Vaca restaurant.
Where to stay in Foz do Iguaçu
We stayed at Pousada El Shaddai, located very close to the departure terminal of bus 120. It is an accommodation with breakfast included and with a very good value for money. You can search ⇒ here all the hotels in Foz do Iguaçu for the best place to stay in Iguazu Falls.
Where to eat in Foz do Iguaçu