IGUASSU FALLS TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS

The Iguassu Falls (or Iguazu Falls, in Spanish-Argentinean; or Iguaçu / Iguacu Falls in Portuguese-Brazilian) are situated in south Brazil, at the Iguassu river, 650 Km/390 miles from the Brazilian coast, near the boarder with Argentine. They are part of a National Park with the same name, divided between Brazil and Argentine.

Iguassu Falls waterfalls and South Brazil mapThe Falls appear a little before the river Iguassu meets the river Parana, when part of the Iguassu plunges in itself for nearly 1,8 miles/3 Km, and forms 275 interlinked cataracts, immense precipices and an unexpected and breathtaking natural spectacle. The Niagara Falls, compared to the Iguassu Falls are a «leaky faucet», to use the words that Eleanor Roosevelt allegedly used, when facing the place. The Brazilian Iguassu Falls are, undoubtedly, one of the greatest natural phenomena of our planet.

Besides, Iguassu benefits from the spectacular forest nearby – a forest with a rich flora and fauna (the toucans are extremely numerous) and hundreds of butterfly species. The mist and foam caused by the falls boils up and causes almost permanent rainbows, providing to the surrounding forest an additional green. The Iguassu place was once sacred to the native Guarani Indians. Their drums, venerating the huge beauty of the place, are rarely heard today. But its sacred and magnificent beauty remains. 

location

Iguassu Falls map: Brazil, Argentina, Paraguai and other references for its location

Map of Iguassu Falls:

  • The Iguassu Falls are in the river Iguassu (1) 
  • There is at the region another big river: Parana River (2) 
    Iguassu River and Parana define the borders of three neighbouring countries: Brazil (3), Argentine (4), Paraguai (5) 
  • There are three cities in the region, each for each country: (6) Foz do Iguacu (Brazil), (7) Puerto Iguazu (Argentine), (8) Ciudade del Est (Paraguay) 
  • There are two big local Parks, bordering the Iguassu river: the Brazilian (9) and the Argentinean (10) 
  • There are two international airports: the (11) Iguacu Intl Airport (Brazil) and the (12) Iguazu Intl Airport (Argentine) 
  • Hotels are mainly located in the cities or near the road that links the (13) Falls and the Foz do Iguacu (Brazil) or the road that links the (14) Falls and Puerto Iguazu. 
  • The Devil’s Throat (15) is at the heart at the Falls. 
  • The access to Argentine (or to Brazil, if you are in the Argentinean side) is made by crossing the bridge Tancredo Neves (16). 
  • The access (from Brazil) to Ciudad del Est, in Paraguay, is made northward Foz do Iguassu city (17) 

When to visit

The best time to visit the Falls depends on what you value most. The high season is in January and February, when most Brazilians and Argentineans are in holidays. Typically, the Falls are their peak (due to rain) which increases their impressiveness.

But this period has also disadvantages: it's the most crowded period, with more expensive hotel rates, and temperatures and humidity are also at their peak; besides, the rain may also cause trails and activities to be closed.

In other words: it may be more advantageous to go during drier months, namely transitional monts. You may get a more pleasant temperature, lower prices, less people and a lower probability of a troubling rainy day. See, for more details: The best time to visit the Iguassu Falls

duration

Many people arrive at Iguassu in the morning and depart that same day, at night or late afternoon. That’s a way of getting a big picture of the place. But it’s also a very restrictive option and a tiring one. The Iguassu Falls deserves at least a one night stay. And two or three days aren't too much. There are several optional tours and visits to occupy them well.

For more details about tours, see:
The Brazilian side of the Falls: visits and tours
The Argentinean side of the Falls: visits and tours

pre-organized tours?

You don’t have to have a pre-organized tour. There are buses (at the airport or at the local bus terminal), every few minutes, to take you to the key visiting points, either in the Brazilian or the Argentinean sides. And there are also plenty of cheap taxis and tourist offices (at the airport and the bus terminals). You will not have a difficult time visiting the main spots and the several complementary options, such as the Bird Park, the Iguassu Dam, and so on...

Pre-organized tours do exist though; in order to avoid unpredictabilities, they may be the best option.

Argentinean side

Crossing the frontier is easy, and you don’t need a visa to do a one-day visit trip. The Argentine side of the Falls (the Iguazu Falls, as the Argentineans say) is more extensive then the Brazilian, and the Devil’s Throat and the local Argentinean Circuits in the Falls deserve at least some hours of your presence. The views from the Brazilian side are more spectacular, but the Argentinean side should also be visited.

See:
The Argentinean side of the Falls: visits and tours

accommodation

The Tropical Cataratas Hotel, is a renowned hotel, and a top reference, situated close to the Falls, in the heart of the Brazilian Iguassu Park, just a couple of minutes from the viewing sites, on foot. But it is also an expensive hotel. You can choose a more distant accommodation, and use the taxis and the buses for the several short circuits you will have to do. There are multiple and good alternatives.

See:
Hotels in Iguassu Falls

Visiting options

The main highlights are, of course, the Falls – both in the Brazilian and in the Argentinean side. Besides the Falls there are the Parks (with their luxurious subtropical forest), tours around the Parks and on the rivers Iguassu and Parana, and a pack of related options, including visits to the three cities around the Falls.

For the many possible tours and visits, see: 
The Brazilian side of the Falls: visits and tours
The Argentinean side of the Falls: visits and tours

other nearby brazilian destinations

Most of the visitors of the Iguassu Falls are also interested in other Brazilian destinations. And there are plenty of opportunities, depending on the extension you want to give to your vacations and your style and preferences. Multi-destination vacations involving Iguassu but also Florianopolis and Rio de Janeiro (and Buzios and Angra dos Reis, near Rio) are very common. But you can opt for other packages, packages involving the Amazon and some Northeastern tropical beach resorts in Bahia, for instance.

See: 
Tour involving Iguassu and nearby Brazilian main travel destinations

flights and buses

Sao Paulo airports have several daily connections to Iguassu Falls and it’s the best hub for those who come from abroad. But Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Florianopolis and other south Brazilian cities also have regular flight connections with the Iguassu Falls. And you can consider a flight travel from Buenos Aires, or a bus trip, if you are in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or other south Brazilian place. The problem with the buses are the distances and the time: the travel Sao Paulo and the Iguassu Falls is about 16 hours (four hours more, for a travel from Rio de Janeiro).

Paraguay, near Iguassu Falls

Ciudad del Est, the main Paraguayan city reference in the region, is just some minutes away from Foz do Iguacu and the Brazilian airport.

See: 
A visit to the Paraguayan side 

 

 

 

Top .... Home Page