Iguacu Falls Guide, Brazil

Iguacu Falls close up, Brazil

Iguazu Falls in Iguaçu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site bordering three countries, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.  Photo by Chensiyuan.

Visiting Iguaçu Falls, Cataratas do Iguaçu

Devil's Throat, Iguazu Falls, Brazil

The Devil’s Throat seen from a helicopter. Photo by Jim.

These falls are arguably the world’s biggest (certainly in width but not in height) and the area is a thundering charmer – lush, loud and lovely – though a long way to travel if that’s the only south Brazil sight you’re going to see.
The world’s top three waterfalls are Iguaçu, Niagara (USA and Canada) and Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe).
The falls consists of around 270 individual waterfalls and cascades. Walkways are an easy way to get close and the rainforest environment complements the magnificent ambience perfectly.

Posing point, Iguazu platform, Argentina

Jim just about as close as you can get to the falls without swimming.

Activities

Iguazu walkway, Argentina

The walkway from the Argentinian side.

The two most obvious things to do are take a walk beside the falls from various viewpoints as well as a wet boat ride up the Devil’s Throatto get a fish-eye view of the power of the falling water.

In addition tourists can easily cross over into Argentina or Paraguay for short visits. Paraguay is hardly of interest offering little more than a seedy, tax-free market and bars, but Argentina has five excellent marked walking trails ranging from a short viewpoint visit to a 7km hike to the base of the falls with swimming a possibility. Another terrific Argentine option is a free train ride up to the start of a 1km wooden catwalk over the river.

Border crossings between the three countries is generally quite casual. Although the Argentinian side offers more to do the view from the Brazilian side is better.
There may be queues on either side of the border, depending on the time of the day and holidays so check with someone like your hotel receptionist and get there early.

Other things to do here include abseiling and white water rafting but little else.

Getting there

Foz do Iguaçu International Airport is served by various domestic airlines from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Recife, Salvador, Cascavel, Porto Alegre, Londrina and more.

The airport is just off the main road between the town of Foz do Iguaçu and the entrance to the Iguaçu National Park and taxis are readily available, as are car rentals. Either pay by card at the desk inside the airport or pay the driver in cash.
The airport is also on a cheap bus route that runs every half hour between Foz do Iguaçu and the National Park entrance.

Places to Stay

Iguazu falls in far south Brazil

Hotel das Cataratas, Brazilian side. Photo by Jim.

Those with fat wallets would be more than happy to stay at the fantastic luxury Hotel das Cataratas, more or less on top of the falls and with all the facilities you could desire, though lesser souls can find budget hostels, guest houses and small hotels in the town of Foz do Iguaçu, just 20 minutes from the falls by bus.