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Ready for a breathtaking travel experience after quarantine? Then you have to add the Iguazu falls to your bucket list! The incredible areas on the Brazilian and Argentinian sides are both UNESCO world heritage sites. You can see an impressive 20 big and 255 smaller waterfalls, reaching up to 82 meters in height. Former american first lady Eleanor Roosevelt once exclaimed “my poor Niagara!” when she saw the Iguazu falls, because of how massive they are. You can tour the Brazilian and Argentinian side of the Iguazu falls and enjoy the nature, animals and culture around you. If you want to travel to Argentina, it’s simply necessary that you visit this magical place. This is a trip you’ll never forget! In this blog we explain how you can best travel to and see the Iguazu falls.
About the Iguazu Falls
The Iguazu falls are divided by Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. You can visit them from the Argentinian and the Brazilian sides. We recommend you to visit both sides, but if you don’t have much time then you should choose the side that suits your wishes most. The Brazilian side is great for photography as it’s further away from the falls, giving you a view of how massive they are. The Argentinian side offers more viewpoints, walking routes and activities.
Iguazú comes from Guarani (indigenous South American language). The “y” means water and the “guasu” big, so they perfectly fit their name. The massiveness, power and beauty can be overwhelming when you first arrive. Sit back and take in the power of these waterfalls. They’re so gigantic they look like they go on forever. The sound of the water rushing down blends out any other sounds around you. And you can feel the vibrations of the water throughout your body. This compares to no other place in the world.
You’ll also be impressed by the animals around this area, as they are all very unique. The dainty “great dusky swift birds” can fly into the water mist elegantly without getting disturbed by the high pressure. You’ll also laugh about the sneaky coatis here, who love to steal people’s snacks. In our Howlanders best travel stories blog, our team member Angela tells her funny Iguazu travel story (spoiler, it involves a cheeky coati).
If you want to see more local wildlife, we recommend you to visit the Guiraoga bird sanctuary. This sanctuary rescues injured animals in the area and rehabilitates them. Once healthy and strong, they are released back into the nature around the Iguazu falls. Support the local animals and go check it out- you can even see some macaws and toucans.
Ever wondered what a rainbow looks like from above? The refraction of light against the mist caused by thundering waters causes hundreds of stunning rainbows in the Iguazu Falls. The rainbows look as though they are emerging from the water. Their vibrant colours and sometimes even double rainbows will give your heart so much joy! You can see them from all angles- below, eyelevel and even from above. They also make for great photographs, like the one you can see below.
Iguazu Falls Brazilian side
Most falls are on the Argentinian side, so the Brazilian side is a great point for views and photography. Both sides are definitely worth a visit. We offer a one day tour of the Iguaçu National Park that combines all the important spots to see. On this tour we organise the transportation from your accomodation to the falls, a tour guide in three different languages and the perfect program for you to make the most of this visit. You can sit back, relax and enjoy the views as we will ride a topless panoramic bus with a tour guide showing you the Espacio Naipi, Macuco Trail, Das Cataratas Trail and Porto Canoas Station. After, we arrive at Porto Canoas Station- now it’s up to you what you want to do. You can buy some souvenirs in the handicraft shops for your loved ones, get medical service if needed, or simply enjoy some delicious local food. Rested and re-energised we now get to the most adventurous part of the trip. An electric car will drive you into the jungle and drop you off at the Iguazu river. Now you’ll board a boat and have the most adrenaline rushing ride of your life! Drive 5km along the river and past several waterfalls, and admire them from close up.
Recommendations for visiting the Brazilian side
To avoid tourist crowds in busy seasons you can wake up early and visit the falls right at opening time (Brazil: 9am, Argentina: 8am). If you’re planning on getting some beautiful photos consider the light conditions. Remember that the sun rises over the Brazilian side, and sets over the Argentinian one. Also make sure to protect your technological equipment from the humid air and water splashes.
How to get to the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls
The best way to get to Iguazu falls from Sao Paulo is to fly to the Foz do Iguaçu International Airport (IGU) located between the Foz do Iguacu town and the waterfalls. Foz do Iguaçu is larger than Puerto Iguazú and offers more choices for accommodation and entertainment. To get from the town to the waterfalls you can take a bus from the main bus terminal. It costs only 1$ and drives for around 45 minutes.
If you want to visit both sides of the Iguazu falls, you can take a short 45 minute bus from the Puerto Iguazu bus terminal to the Brazilian side of the falls. The same goes for the other way around. Tickets are bought on board. Make sure you have your passport and valid visas for both countries with you. We recommend you to visit the Brazilian side first, and then the Argenitnian side. This way you can take in the panorama from afar, before experiencing it all from close up.
Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls
While the Brazilian side is popular for photographs of the Iguazu falls, the Argentinian side has other advantages. This side is more developed, with a larger choice of walking routes, viewpoints and different angles to view the waterfalls from.
This tour starts with the ecological train and ride through the jungle to the Garganta del Diablo. Once there you’ll stand on the balcony and have the perfect view on this world famous waterfall. Snap a nice picture with this world famous view (ask our nice guide to take it if you’re travelling solo) and observe the power of the waterfall. Next you’ll walk the upper and lower circuits to see the falls from above and below. Now an ecological safari car will take you through the jungle while your guide tells you about local flora and fauna which you get to see first hand. You can then board the semi-rigid boat and embark on the ride of your life! Finally an adventurous boat ride along Iguazu river will bring you past many impressive waterfalls and ends with you at the foot of one.
Recommendations for the Argentinian side
We recommend you to bring a waterproof jacket- since the Argentinian side is closer to the falls you can get soaking wet from the water mist in the air. An extra change of clothes is also advised as you might get soaking wet on the boat ride. Since you’re in the jungle insect repellent is also advised. Finally, don’t forget to bring your camera to take photos of this once in a lifetime trip.
How to get to the Argentinan Iguazu Falls
The best way to get to Iguazu falls from Buenos Aires is to fly to Cataratas del Iguazu International Airport (IGR). This airport is located about 25km from Puerto Iguazu. If you’re traveling on a budget and want to save some money, skip flying- in the main tourist season flight prices can be high. Instead, take an overnight bus from Buenos Aires to the Iguazu falls. It’s a longer journey, but you save a lot of money. To get from Puerto Iguazu to the waterfalls you can take the bus from the main bus station. The ride takes 20 minutes and costs about $6.
The Iguazu Falls are an experience you’ll never forget, and you’ll tell people about it for years to come. This trip gives you the chance to experience the impressive, powerful waterfalls from all angels and even drive past them on a boat. Both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides are worth the trip, but if you have to choose one we hope this blog gave you more information on both sides. Our tours are perfect because you’ll see so many sides of this area. You get to enjoy the jungle, the waterfalls from different angles and ride along the river. Our guides will tell you all about the nature, culture and history of the Iguazu Falls and kindly answer any questions you’ll have. Also check out our blog post showing you the perfect route from north to south Argentina to see as many of the country’s most beautiful and important places in a short amount of time.