Our Recommendations for your visit to Iguazu Falls
The glorious Iguazu falls lie on the Argentina-Brazil border, up north the province of Misiones. Declared a World Heritage Area by Unesco in 1934, these 275 waterfalls form one of earth’s most unforgettable sights. Excellent walking circuits on both the Argentine and Brazilian sides allow visitors to peek over the tops of raging sheets of water, some with sprays so intense that it seems as if geysers have erupted from below.
Different airlines fly daily from Buenos Aires City to Puerto Iguazú (an average of 9 direct flights per day). The flight takes 90 minutes.
The town of Puerto Iguazu serves as the main base from which to explore Iguazu National Park. On the Argentine side, the Grand Melia Iguazu Hotel is the only hotel inside the National Park, the rest of the hotels (wide range of hotels with a variety of services and amenities) are located in the small town of Puerto Iguazu, 18 km (11 miles) away from the national park.
From Rio de Janeiro, it takes 2 hours to fly to the Brazilian town of Foz de Iguazu. On the Brazilian side, the 5-star Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas is the only hotel in Iguassu National Park on the Brazilian side.
How long to stay at Iguazu Falls?
Many people wonder whether they should spend one or two nights in Iguazu. In our experience, you need 1 full day for the Argentine side of the falls and a half day for the Brazilian side.
Two days on the Argentine side means that you can take as long as you want, without rushing anywhere.
If you have 3 full days in Iguazu, you should consider visiting the Jesuit ruins where the missions of San Ignacio, Santa Ana and Loreto were built and which serve as a spectacular insight into the history of our country.
Better safe than sorry
We strongly advise you not to visit Iguazu in one day, without staying overnight, because of possible flight delays that will ruin your plans. Flight delays are very frequent and there is a risk of not arriving in time to explore the National Park. If your flight is delayed and you arrive at Iguazu when the National Park is about to close, you will have the following day to visit the falls.
Your first stop will likely be the visitor’s center, where you can get maps and information about the flora and fauna of the area. Next to the visitor’s center, you will find a restaurant, snack shops and souvenir stores. A natural gas train takes visitors to the path entrance for the Upper and Lower Circuits (1-mile path each; it takes 2 hours to walk each circuit) and to the footbridge leading to the Devil’s Throat (3 km; 1 ½ miles).
Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) is the mother of all waterfalls in Iguazu, visible from vantage points in both the Brazilian and Argentine park. The water is calm as it makes its way down the Iguazu River, and then begins to speed up as it approaches the gorge ahead. This is the highest waterfall in Iguazu and one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles. You might take a raincoat – you will get wet!!!!!
Iguassu Falls – Brazilian Side
Is it worth visiting the Brazilian side?
If you want to have a different perspective of the falls, rent a helicopter or fly over the national park or visit the Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant, you should consider visiting the Brazilian side.
If you want to visit the Brazilian side of the falls you need to consider the following points:
1. To experience a panoramic view of Iguazu falls you should go on an excursion over the Brazilian side of the Park. From the Argentine side, you will get very close to each fall but the panoramic view can be experienced only from Brazil.
2. To visit the Itaipu dam and powerhouse is a short trip from Foz do Iguassu (Brasil). It's only worth going if the water level is high enough for the spillway to be in use. It is an impressive feat of engineering and it is fascinating.
3. If you want to witness a beautiful aerial view of Iguazú National Park, helicopter flights are available from the Brazilian side only. It is the best way to understand the real dimension of the Falls. Another option is to fly over the Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant. Helicopters are not allowed in the Argentine side of Iguazu National Park.
4. Check with the Consulate of Brazil in your country if you need a visa to visit Brazil or if your passport require stamp granting entry. The requirements change very frequently and in order to visit the Iguazu Nation Park in Brazil you will need your passport and maybe a VISA depending on your nationality.
5. Many visitors to the falls also take day trips to the city of Foz do Iguazu in Brazil. It’s a chance to eat more tropical food and also fly to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo or other cities in Brazil.
Iguazu Falls is, quite simply, one of the most incredible natural landscapes we have ever seen. Unlike overhyped destinations that can leave you feeling disappointed, Iguazu Falls instantly turns even jaded travellers into a raving fan.