Visiting Iguazu Falls is a must on everyone’s South American Itinerary. The sheer size and immense power of Iguazu Falls are just some of the reasons why this natural wonder is one of the planets most awe-inspiring sights!
What is so special about Iguazu Falls? Well for starters, there are approximately 275 individual waterfalls stretching an impressive 3km wide and standing 82m at its highest point.
Iguazu Falls are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it was also selected as one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature. So yes, you are going to want to put Iguazu Falls on your bucket list as it’s a once in a lifetime experience.
I spent two days exploring Iguazu Falls National Park, on both the Argentinian side and the Brazilian side, and have put together this easy guide to visiting Iguazu Falls including how to get there, the best time to visit, how much it costs and what to expect!
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WHERE IS IGUAZU FALLS & HOW TO GET THERE
Iguaza Falls, also known as Iguaçu Falls, lies split between the border of Argentina and Brazil in South America.
From Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls it is approximately a two-hour flight or a sixteen-hour drive.
From Rio de Janeiro to Iguazu Falls the flight time is around two hours and fifteen minutes or an eighteen-hour drive.
Fortunately, there are two international airports at Iguazu Falls, one on the Argentinian side (Cataratas Del Iguazu International Airport) and one on the Brazilian side (Foz do Iguacu International Airport), making it conveniently easy to reach this incredible chain of waterfalls in South America.
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DO I NEED A VISA FOR ARGENTINA & BRASIL?
Depending on which country you are a passport holder of, you may or may not need a visa to enter Argentina and Brazil. To find out more information and get your visa online in advance, see the links below for both Argentina and Brasil visa requirements.
The falls from above – Visiting Iguazu Falls
Devil’s throat Iguazu Falls
BEST TIME TO VISIT IGUAZU FALLS
Iguazu Falls is a destination that can be visited all year round, however, the best time to visit Iguazu Falls is in the cooler winter months between May and September, which is also mid-season with fewer tourists.
High-season at Iguazu Falls is generally in the summer months between December and February, so you can expect very hot days and a lot of tourists during this time.
Iguazu Falls National Park is open 7 days a week from 8:00am to 6:00pm on the Argentina side and from 9:00am to 5:00pm on the Brazil side.
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IGUAZU FALLS ENTRANCE FEE
Iguazu Falls Argentina Side:
The Iguazu Falls entrance fee on the Argentina side is $800 Argentine Pesos (USD $18) for adults and $200 Argentine Pesos (USD $5) for kids up to the age of 12.
Iguazu Falls Brazil Side:
The Iguazu Falls entrance fee on the Brazilan side is $70 Brazilian Reals (USD $18) for adults and $11 Brazilian Reals (USD $3) for kids up to the age of 11.
ATM machines can be found at the entrance to Iguazu Falls if you wish to withdraw money, otherwise paying by debit or credit card is also an option.
ARGENTINA SIDE VS BRAZIL SIDE
Both sides of the falls offer a different perspective of this natural wonder of the world and that’s why I recommend allowing at least two days to make the most of your experience when visiting Iguazu Falls.
The Argentina side of Iguazu Falls offers several walking trails to different viewpoints, a boat ride along the Iguazu River to the base of the falls and a train ride to the top of the falls, all of which will take you one full day to do.
Whereas on the Brazilian side, there is a shuttle bus service from the entrance gate that will drop you much closer to the falls and there is only one walking trail that takes no more than two hours to complete, including stops to take pictures.
Scenic helicopter flights also operate on the Brazil side of Iguazu Falls that will set you back USD $120 for a fifteen-minute flight over the falls.
The veil of the falls – Visiting Iguazu Falls
View of Devil’s Throat from Iguazu Falls Brazil side
IGUAZU FALLS TOURS
Booking a tour of Iguazu Falls is more expensive but it does come with its benefits. The majority of Iguazu Falls tours include pick-up and drop-off from your hotel or the airport and an experienced tour guide, making your adventure a stress free and enjoyable one.
If you are looking for one or two day tours of Iguazu Falls you can book online in advance to avoid the hassle of having to organise a trip once you have arrived.
I recommend finding a tour that best suits you on the Get Your Guide website. They have thousands of travel deals worldwide that are affordable and reliable!
Click Here to search for all Iguazu Falls Tours and book online ahead of time.
VISITING IGUAZU FALLS – ARGENTINA SIDE
Visiting Iguazu Falls is a once in a lifetime experience that I guarantee you will never forget! It doesn’t matter how many photos or videos you have seen from these falls, they don’t do it any justice and to see Iguazu Falls with your own eyes is 100% worth it.
One of the best things to do at Iguazu Falls on the Argentina side is taking the speed boat ride up the Iguazu River to the very base of the falls, soaking you head to toe!
A speed boat ride at Iguazu Falls is USD $60 and the adventure takes around 1.5 hours.
You can purchase your boat tickets at the same time as paying for your entrance ticket. Once you have your ticket, head to the pick-up point, just five minutes walk from the main entrance, and a 4WD people carrier will pick you up and drive down through the jungle to where the boats are located.
Before jumping on the boat, each person is given a dry bag to put all non-waterproof valuables in and a lifejacket.
Once everyone is on board and seated, the boat then shoots up the rapids and the skipper will give everyone some time to take pictures of the falls before dunking the boat several times right under the tremendous spray that emits from Iguazu Falls.
Tip: Bring a poncho and a change of clothes if you are planning on experiencing the speed boat ride at Iguazu Falls. You will get wet! There are change rooms down by the river to get changed out of your wet clothes and into some dry ones.
Once you’ve had your fun getting soaked under the falls, spend the rest of the day walking along the circuit trails to several different viewpoints overlooking Iguazu Falls.
You’ll be given a map of Iguazu Falls when you enter the park and it’s really easy to navigate your way around. I have also attached a map below for your perusal.
There is a lower circuit trail that leads through dense rainforest, offering many different viewpoints of Iguaçu and other smaller waterfalls along the way.
And the upper circuit trail takes you across suspended walkways right over the top of Iguazu Falls, getting you as close to the edge as possible.
4WD adventure at Iguazu Falls Argentina side
About to jump on the speed boat – Visiting Iguazu Falls
Iguazu River – Visiting Iguazu Falls
The walkway on top of the falls – Iguaza Falls Argentina
Right on top of the falls – Visiting Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls Argentina Map – Sourced from iguazuargentina.com
VISITING IGUAZU FALLS
ARGENTINA SIDE – CONTINUED
I am guessing you may be getting hungry by this point, so there a number of snack bars and restaurants that can be found in central park to grab some food and take a rest.
Alternatively, it is advisable to bring a packed lunch as the restaurants can be a bit overpriced.
Once you’ve had a feed, jump in the queue at the central station to ride the ecological train ride to the topmost section of Iguazu Falls. Trains depart from the central station every half an hour and it is free of charge.
The train will arrive at the top train station and from here it’s a fifteen-minute walk across the Iguazu River on the suspended walkway until you reach the most epic viewing platform above the falls.
Hold on to your hats as the spray from Iguazu will be sure to soak your face from this viewpoint and you may want to throw your poncho back on to keep you dry.
This part of the falls is the very neck of what is called the Devil’s Throat, boasting immense power and mass water flow that is absolutely phenomenal to witness!
To get back to the main entrance of Iguazu National Park, jump back on the ecological train for the twenty-minute return journey which will conclude your visit to Iguazu Falls on the Argentina side.
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Ecological train – Visiting Iguazu Falls
The walkway across Iguazu River – Visiting Iguazu Falls
Devil’s Throat viewpoint – Visiting Iguazu Falls
Sunset at Iguazu Falls
VISITING IGUAZU FALLS – BRASIL SIDE
Visiting Iguazu Falls on the Brasil side is a much more cruisy adventure than the Argentinian side. Basically, less walking is involved as there is only one trail in and out.
Once inside the entrance gate, there are big green shuttle buses waiting to transport passengers to and from Iguazu Falls.
The bus drops everyone off at a bus station located across the road from a large pink hotel and this is where the trail begins, you won’t miss it.
Follow the trail along the edge of Iguazu Falls and take the time to stop for pictures along the way as this is where you’ll get your best shots of the falls.
At the end of the trail, there are some nice restaurants that are perched right on top of Iguazu Falls, making for an unbelievable lunch setting. Again, the restaurant prices are generally high so bring a packed lunch if you prefer.
And that’s it for the Brasil side of Iguazu Falls. You can find the bus station next to the restaurants and make the return journey back to the entrance gate.
Visiting Iguazu Falls Brasil side
The crowded walkway into the Devil’s Throat
Visiting Iguazu Falls on the Brasil side
View of Iguazu Falls on the Brasil side
Iguazu Falls Brasil Map – Source: cataratasdoiguacu.com.br
WHERE TO STAY IN IGUAZU FALLS
There are two major cities located close to Iguazu Falls and they are Puerto Iguazu, on the Argentina side, and Foz do Iguaçu on the Brasil side, both of which have hundreds of accommodations to choose from.
I have narrowed it down to a few of my favorite places to stay in Iguazu Falls to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Places to stay in Puerto Iguazu (Argentina)
Luxury: Mecure Iguazu Hotel Iru
Mid Range: Hotel Jardin de Iguazu
Budget: El Uru Suite Hotel
For all other accommodation in Puerto Iguazu, Click Here to search on booking.com
Places to stay in Foz do Iguazu (Brasil)
Luxury: Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
Mid Range: Vivaz Cataratas Hotel Resort
Budget: Hotel Dany
For all other accommodation in Foz do Iguaçu, Click Here to search on booking.com
IGUAZU FALLS MAP
MORE CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA TRAVEL GUIDES
If you are planning a trip to Central and South America, be sure to check out my other travel guides below that you might find useful while crafting together your itinerary:
- Mexico: 4 Week Mexico Itinerary
- Guatemala: 2 Week Guatemala Itinerary
- Cuba: 10 Day Cuba Itinerary
- Peru: Backpacking Peru – 3 Week Itinerary
- Bolivia: Things To Do In Bolivia
- Brazil: 2 Day Rio De Janeiro Itinerary
- Argentina: Things To Do In Argentina
- Chile: Things To Do In Chile
WHAT TO PACK FOR ARGENTINA
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
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Before you go, don’t forget to check out My Online Shop!
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Thanks for reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Visiting Iguazu Falls, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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