Introduction to Iguazu Falls
Forget Niagara and Victoria Falls, when you see the unstoppable flow of the Iguazú Falls you’ll be stopped in your tracks – it’s not for nothing that Iguazú Falls was recently named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World! Witnessing the incredible power of over 250 separate falls thundering down from heights of up to 80 ft (24m) into the river below is a truly inspiring experience. Some go as far as to call it spiritual. These giant falls are located on Argentina’s tropical jungle border with Brazil. There are beautiful views to be enjoyed from both sides of the border.
The Iguazú Falls National Park is a short distance from the small town of Puerto Iguazú. There’s not much to see in town and most people head out to the Falls in the morning and stay there all day long. You can easily catch a bus from the centrally located bus station as there is a regular hourly service back and forth throughout the day. In the park there is easily enough to see and do to fill two full days. You can hike through jungle trails, picnic in the beautiful park, take boat trips into the Devil’s Throat Canyon, swim and go wildlife spotting. There is also the Brazilian side to explore, if you’d like to enjoy another angle of the thundering falls.
What not to miss in Iguazu
Iguaçu Falls – Brazilian side
The Brazilian side has the best panoramic views of the Falls. The walkways taking you close to The Devil’s Throat is the most powerful and awe-inspiring part of visiting the Brazilian side of Iguaçu Falls.
Boat trips take you almost directly under some of the falls, making it possible to feel as well as see the power and the beauty of Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls – Argentinean side
The Argentinean side allows for a more intimate experience of Iguazu Falls. Walkways take you to many of the 275 separate falls, with views from below, alongside and above them. The undoubted highlight is to stand on the very edge of the Devil’s Throat and look down into the whirling water below.
Itaipu Dam is the largest hydroelectric dam in the world and cost US$20 billion to build. The costs were shared between Brazil and Paraguay as the dam stretches across the 7th largest river in the world, the Paraná, which forms the border between the two countries.
Explore the Jungle Trails
Explore the jungle trails around the Iguazú Falls National Park. Of course you’ll want to spend plenty of time seeing the Falls, but the beautiful and serene jungle trails are worth a hike or bike ride.
What you need to know
When to go
Iguazú Falls has a tropical climate and in the summer months, from around December to February, temperatures and humidity are high. In December and January both Argentina and Brazil have their summer holidays, so the Falls can get crowded with visitors and prices will be a little higher. The winter months from June to August see the most rains, and though temperatures are far from cold, the skies can be grey and on occasion the wooden walkways are flooded. All this can hinder your enjoyment of the Falls, which are best seen with a backdrop of blue skies. Though you can get lucky or unlucky at any time of year, the best time to visit Iguazú Falls is often said to be spring and fall, when skies are usually blue and the crowds less dense.
How to get there
Daily flights from Buenos Aires arrive at the Puerto Iguazú’s International Airport, located 10.5 miles (17km) away from the city.
You may also reach the area by bus, in rides that take 12 hours from Buenos Aires. In case you wish to visit the Brazilian side of the Falls, you should find out if you need to get a visa. For example, Argentina does not require a visa for USA citizens, but Brazil does.
Where to Stay
Almost all tourist infrastructure is located in Puerto Iguazú and its outskirts, 10.5 miles (17km) away from the Iguazú National Park. There are lodgings of all levels and prices, from 5 star hotels, to aparthotels and cabins.
Most tours pick you up from the place you’re staying at to take you to the Falls. Many hotels also offer shuttles that take you downtown, where there are some restaurants and shops.