Brazil

A day at Iguazu Falls

We had been wanting to see Iguazu Falls from the very start of our year long adventure in South America. But, It’s a long way from anything. To get there we needed to drive for two whole days covering over 1000 kilometers. We weren’t so sure we had made the right decision in going after 1 full day of driving. But, after having being totally mesmerised by the 275 individual falls and thousands of litres of moving water. I can now say that is worth every effort to get there, but perhaps flying is a good option to consider. Hopefully this post can help you on how to make the most of an Iguazu Falls Trip.

While both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides are amazing, we found the Argentinian side far more impressive. It’s from the Garganta del Diablo viewing platform where you really get a feel for the sheer amount of water moving and the power behind it, but be prepared to get wet! 

From the Brazilian side there is just the one main viewing platform but it’s here where you can get the best unparalleled panoramic view of the enormous falls. We’d recommend that you visit Brazil first or if you just want to visit one side, then we, along with most other travellers that we met, recommend the Argentinian side.

Iguazu Falls

How to make the most of an Iguazu Falls trip

To make the most of your Iguazu Falls trip arrive early as it gets busy and the chances of rain are higher in the afternoons. Iguazu Falls is one of the premier tourist attractions in South America. We sure as hell wanted to see it and I’m sure you do too. So come prepared to share the falls with plenty of other tourists but with a little patience it’s possible to still enjoy the serenity of the park.

It’s likely to be hot and humid at any time of year. Always be prepared for rain. After all, all of that water has to come from somewhere.

Bring a picnic lunch with you to help save a few dollars. As you’d expected prices at the falls are higher than in town and not the best value for money.

Beware of the Coatis (A small raccoon like animal) and their sharp claws trying to steal food. They are renowned for being aggressive in an attempt to steal your lunch.

The viewing platfrom fromthe Brazilian taken during our Iguazu Falls trip

Iguazu falls - Argentina

There are 4 sections of walkways inside of the park: the devils throat, the upper section, the lower section and also the Macuco Trail & Arrechea Waterfall.  For an extra cost you can also take a boat right to the base of the falls.

There is a free train within the park to take you to the lookout areas. It’s marketed as a scenic tourist train but it’s really nothing more than a form of transportation. When you first arrive in the morning get your ticket from the information booth that’s located about 500 meters before the main station – you can’t get them there. If you want to take one of the first few trains in the morning get a ticket ASAP or risk having to wait. The train has 2 stops – The Top Garganta (devil’s throat) section and the Upper Section. The first train leaves at 8.30am and the last at 4.00pm.

We’d recommend starting your Iguaz Falls trip with the impressive Garganta del Diablo viewing platform. To get here take the train or walk along the green trail which will take around 45 minutes.

Although the park seems huge and overwhelming at first, it’s really not that big. Take your time and enjoy it, there really is no need to rush. If you really want to take your time and enjoy the park over two days, be sure to validate your entry ticket at the box office before leaving making the second day entry half price. 

There’s not a lot to see or do in Puerto Iguazu. 2 full days is a good amount of time to spend here, one for each side of the falls.

Iguazu falls - Brazil

To get to the Brazilian side of the falls there are plenty of options. A day trip from Argentina is easy to do by tour, taxi or bus. Buses run every 30 minutes. If you wish to stay on the Brazilian side you can do so in the town of Foz do Iguaçu.

Once at the falls it’s pretty straight forward negotiating your way around. There’s not much that we can add to help you on how to make the most of a day at Iguazu Falls on the Brazil side as it’s really just the one lookout.

The view of the very top of Iguuazu Falls from the Devels thoat Lookout on the Argentinian Side

How to get to Iguazu falls

The first option is to take a tour. Most companies offer both sides of the falls over one or two days, making the logistics hassle free. Tour Radar is one company that offer a range of different options but there are also plenty of other options once you arrive in town.

The second option is to do your own Iguazu Falls Trip. In Argentina you can take a bus from the main bus terminal in Puerto Iguazu to the falls. The cheapest option is the El Pactico local bus. Once at the falls pay your entrance fee US$20 and return by bus. Buses run regularly leaving every 20 minutes or so and take around 25/30 minutes to reach the falls.

It is possible to visit the Brazilian side in the same day but we wouldn’t suggest doing this.

To get to the Brazilian side for Puerto Iguazu (Argentina) take a bus from the main bus terminal in town. Cruzero del Norte and Rio Uruguay are two companies will take you directly to the falls in around 45 minutes.  If you want to spend the night on the Brazilian side It’s also possible to take a bus to the town Foz do Iguaçu first then, from there take bus 120 to the falls.

There are also plenty of taxis and collectivos offering this service. You won’t have to walk far from your hostel before they find you. 

A boat approaching the base of the falls. Iguazu Falls trip

where to stay

For the Brazilian side the Tetris Container Hostel is a fantastic option. 

In Argentina we suggest looking at Nomads Hostel or Oasis Bed and Breakfast.

Thanks for reading! I hope this has helped clarify a few thing on how to make the most of your Iguazu Falls trip. While you’re here why not check out our other posts on Argentina or Buenos Aires.

Ruby & Josh

TWO LOST FEET

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