A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the meeting point of the two largest countries in South America, Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazú Falls are among the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, with good reason: the landscape, the power, it’s all one of a kind. In this Iguazu Falls travel guide you will find the best hotels in Iguazu as well as things to do in Iguazu and things to see in Iguazu.
This is a majestic place composed of a series of different-sized waterfalls, the largest of which is larger than Niagara. Because of its location in the jungle, it’s also a spot to really connect with nature and even feel small at the immensity of the world surrounding us. There are also many fantastic views where you can take some truly breathtaking pictures – and so many things to see in Iguazu. This is very much a destination for those craving a little adventure, and it’s far more rustic than many of the more usual destinations – but still very much worth the trip! Enjoy this Iguazu Falls Travel Guide!
If you enjoy reading about my adventures like this one, check out my other adventurous posts for more!
Traveling – How to Get To Iguazu Falls?
As the falls are shared by two countries, there are actually two nearby airports: one on the Argentine side, and another on the Brazilian one.
In Puerto Iguazú, on the Argentine side, the airport mostly receives Aerolíneas Argentinas flights, the country’s public airline, and a few from Austral Líneas Aéreas and LatAM (formerly LAN). There are direct flights from Argentine cities like capital Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Córdoba, Rosario and Salta.
Foz do Iguaçu, in the Brazilian state of Paraná, receives flights from different South American cities, including Peruvian capital Lima, Uruguayan capital Montevideo and, of course, many large Brazilian cities, such as Rio de Janeiro , Sao Paulo, Curitiba and Porto Alegro. Some of the airlines serving the airport are TAM, Gol, and LatAm. The airport is located at the road intersection where you can choose to either go to the city or the waterfalls.
On either side, you can either take a fixed-rate taxi or rent a car to your hotel.
You can also reach Puerto and Foz by bus from both countries. Another nearby location is Ciudad del Este, actually located in Paraguay and only a bridge away from the Brazilian side. It hosts connections from Brazilian cities as well as Asunción, the Paraguayan capital.
Iguazu Falls Travel Guide – Some Recommendations
– As a UNESCO site and one of the most recognizable destinations for adventure lovers in South America, there are a lot of tourists here, specially during the austral summer, so it’s important to book ahead whenever possible. Buy your entry tickets in advance, and get a two-day package so you can really see the Argentine and Brazilian sides!
– Book with a good agency. We used andbeyond and they were great!
– Book a private tour guide or walk alone; once again, the crowds in the large groups are really too large, and it’s difficult to really see and enjoy the whole journey if you have to wait for a lot of people so I would recommend a private tour or doing the tour alone. It is actually quite easy to get around with the map of the site!
– Be sure to check if you happen to need a visa for either Brazil or Argentina: this border is lax, specially on weekends, but it’s not open like in Europe, so different regulations may apply. Prevent ugly surprises!
– Bring water and some snacks as it is a long day and the food in the park is not impressive!
– As it happens often with safari-like trips, it’s always a great idea to start early and really make the best of the day
Living – Best Hotels in Iguazu on Argentinian Side
Keep in mind that this is as rustic as it gets: you’re right in the middle of the South American jungle! Don’t necessarily expect the most luxurious places to stay, and remain open to the experience.
La Cantera Jungle Lodge – A Great Place for Jungle Vibes
When doing an adventure like this you should of course get the right jungle vibes by choosing a hotel adding on to this experience. La Cantera Jungle Lodge, is a perfect option. The fact is that it was built to harmonize with nature, preserving as much space as possible: in the 3 hectares of space comprising the hotel, there are trees planted over 300 years ago, and many others that are protected because they host endangered species.
In general, it’s a fine place to stay in the area, but once again, very rustic, a quality seen very often around these parts. It’s well located in the sense that it’s very private and there’s a true jungle feeling to it. It is located in the middle of nature and there are not much around so once here, this is where you will be most of the time. But do not be afraid, it is the perfect place for a couple of nights. There is a nice pool and the food is good!
Exploring: Things to do in Iguazu
Enjoy this marvel of nature – there are so many things to do in Iguazu! The 275 falls are located 17 km away from Puerto Iguazú. There are several buses that will take you there from the city, and all taxis will also give you a ride to the park, as it’s the most common attraction.
Most of the falls, about 80% in total, are located in the Argentine side. It takes about six hours to see the whole side, and it’s a fairly well organized site: there’s even an eco train line across the different parts of the park. There are different available experiences, focused on different things: there are trails across the jungle, boat trips where you can get soaking wet, and a few different areas to take pictures. Get your trekking mode on!
It will take you about an entire day to see everything and truly enjoy it, without feeling rushed. It’s well worth to buy a two-day ticket and also see the Brazilian side, home to some of the best views in the park!
Iguazu Falls Argentina Side – Things to See
Garganta del Diablo: The Devil’s Gorge
Arguably the most impressive part of the entire Iguazú park, this is the place you won’t want to miss during your trip. I recommend to start here. Take a short train ride to the entry point and start your trek to this spot (takes approximately 10 min). Soon you will here the sound of the falls getting louder and louder. There’s a huge platform where you can see the falls from the top, and it’s incredible to really listen to the sounds of nature in all its glory – plus seeing the strength of this massive chain of waterfalls.
There are also night tours during clear full moon nights, quite a romantic experience! t is a magic experience but get ready to get wet!
Upper & Lower Circuits
Two of the most easily recognizable tracks in the Argentine side of the park, it offers two different experiences. From the Upper Circuit, you can walk alongside the upper rim of the waterfalls and see them from the top.
The Lower Circuit, as its name would indicate, takes you to the bottom of the falls, with particularly lovely areas like famous falls Salto Bossetti and Dos Hermanas. The treks here are lovely giving you an amazing nature experience together with stunning views of the waterfalls. You will get impressed by the size of this place – it is a true natural wonder!
This is also where you can take the free ferry to San Martin Island – a must in terms of things to do in Iguazu.
San Martin Island: Shower!
Much like what would happen to you if you went to a water park, the ride to this island offers a literally immersive experience: you’ll get soaking wet during the voyage, as you’ll be going right through the waterfall! Once there, the area offers lovely views of the waterfalls from different sides, perfect for a photo op. I am not a water person but when here you just have to do it! Totally different experience to see the falls from below.
Trail Into the Jungle: Sendero Macuco & Verde
There are two main trails where you can walk around and see some of the more exotic sides of the rainforest, as well as its inhabitants.
The Macuco Trail is by far the most iconic of the possible things to do in Iguazu. You can do it by yourself on foot at no extra cost once you’re inside the path: it ends in the river bank, at a point where you can see one of the many falls.
The Green Trail goes between the Central Station and the Waterfall area, and it’s 600 meters of seeing the flora and fauna of this magical place, taking a break from the trains.
Brazil Side – Iguazu Falls Sightseeing
Smaller than its neighbor, you can still find beautiful views here, including some from below and above the Devil’s Gorge. You can see the entire side between 2 to 4 hours, and it’s a different perspective from the larger Argentine side. We did not have time for the Brazil side this time but would have loved to see this spectacle from the other side too!
I made 2 more amazing stops on this trip, I hiked Inca Trail and visited Costa Rica so be sure to check out my blog posts of these. If you have endless wanderlust, you’ll also enjoy reading about the other wonders of the world that I have explored.