The Iguazu Falls are probably some of the most scenic and impressive waterfalls in the world. Why? Imagine a tropical rainforest, where white water cascades through black stones and green jungle, springing up rainbows. Iguazu has a number of massive waterfalls and a number of small, quiet falls that complete the picture.
The Argentine side has better and more versatile views. The only reason to visit just the Brazilian side is the extra visa cost for Argentina (for US passports holders) if you have no plans to go to Argentina in the next 5 years.
Where to Stay
The location is great as it is right inside the park, but keep in mind that it’s 30 minutes from town and the local taxi mafia charges $75 to get there.
There are a number of other options in Puerto Iguazu, in different price ranges, and there is a bus service to the park entrance during park opening hours.
Your trip to the falls
1) Plan a full day – not more, not less.
2) If you like warm weather – go in summer; the combination of waterfall spray and the heat make for a fun day in a natural water park.
3) Sign up for the boat ride that takes you into the spray of the waterfalls. It’s about $25 but worth every dollar. The agile boats will take you right into the main spray. You will get completely wet, so bring a swimsuit and put your clothes into the provided dry bags.
4) There are a number of well-marked trails that are all worth it. If you start around 10AM, you can do them all, with ample time for pictures until park closing time at 6PM.
5) The sun is intense even through the clouds; you WILL burn without highly-effective sunscreen. There aren’t a lot of mosquitos but buy some mosquito spray for $3 to be on the safe side.
6) The food is bad and expensive but I guess you expected that much. Don’t plan on eating much in the park. Water costs about $3, so bring some of your own – you’ll need it.
The Iguazu Falls are well-organized, not very crowded and a very impressive site in the Argentine jungle. It’s like a fun natural water park that does have it all – sun, water, adrenaline rides, (bad) fast food and impressive views.
Since it’s right in between Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, plan for it on your next South American vacation. There is an airport on the Argentine side as well as on the Brazil side. It’s advisable to book a domestic flight from each side and cross the border locally, which is usually a quick, no-hassle affair. Now that TAM has merged with LAN, it’s worth checking if you can find Avios availability. If not, transfer Starpoints to LANPASS but note that LAN Kilometer redemptions require you to book round-trips and such trips have to start and end in the same zone, so you can’t just book it as one itinerary.