The Iguazu Falls, known as the Foz do Iguassu in Portuguese and the Cataratas del Iguazu in Spanish, is arguably one of the largest waterfalls on earth. The falls straddle the border between southern Brazil and northern Argentina, as well as parts of eastern Paraguay. Fed by the surging Iguazu River that starts in Curitiba, Brazil, and makes its way through the lush subtropical rainforest towards the Parana River, the Iguazu Falls are actually several waterfalls that converge to form an impressive aquatic sight.
For travelers to Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, a stop at the Iguazu Falls is all but imperative.
You can fly to Puerto Iguazu, on the Argentina side, or to Iguassu Falls on the Brazil side, from several major South America travel destinations, such as Rio de Janeiro. Short flights to and from Rio and Iguazu Falls depart daily. If you are flying in from Rio, you’ll fly into the Brazilian side, while if you’re flying in from Buenos Aires, you’ll fly into the Argentine side.
There are multiple daily shuttles available from one border to the next. Keep in mind that North Americans require Brazilian visas to visit Brazil. So if you are an American or Canadian and want to cross over to the Brazilian side, even if just for the day, you will need to obtain a Brazilian visa from your nearest Brazilian consulate well before you leave on your vacation. If you do not have a Brazil visa, you can still visit and enjoy the Argentina side of the falls.
Read more >> The Ultimate Guide to Iguazu Falls
What To Do & See
The Iguazu Falls are not just a bunch of waterfalls — although those are impressive enough. There are two beautiful national parks on either side of the falls, which beckon birdwatchers, nature lovers, avid hikers, and shutterbugs who want to capture various angles of the sprawling falls.
The Iguazu National Park on the Argentina side of the falls features an Ecological Train that whisks visitors from the entrance of the park through 5 miles of Misiones forest to the viewpoint of the Devil’s Throat, the gaping mouth of the falls. The Iguacu National Park on the Brazil side is smaller than Argentina’s park, but it boasts a pier that juts out towards the falls. From either park, visitors can take boat rides to get up close to the falls.
Spend a full day hiking through the Iguazu National Park, looking for reptiles, butterflies, and gorgeous blooming plants and hardwood trees. If you have an extra half day, you can spend it exploring the Brazilian side. There are several ways to tour the Iguazu National Park besides the ecological train ride – you can take a Jeep Safari tour, for example.
Spend the Night
Make sure to give yourself at least one night in Iguazu Falls. Once you arrive in town and transfer to your hotel, you will want to relax and enjoy the town. Puerto Iguazu is small, but there are plenty of hotels Iguazu Falls, plus restaurants and sightseeing opportunities such as a tour of the Jardin de Ozain orchid garden, or to a spa or nightclub. One of the best hotels in Iguazu Falls is the Sheraton Iguazu, which is the only hotel that boasts direct views of the falls. There are other excellent hotels available in the town of Puerto Iguazu as well as on the Brazilian side.
Read our blog post >> Take an Iguazu Falls Tour and Don’t Forget the Jesuit Missions!