Iguazu Falls is one of the most exciting place I’ve visited in my life. I’m even ready to take a 13 hours Brazilian night bus, to be there again. Although no, it’s better to have a flight. Iguazu Falls is a natural landmark of incredible beauty and power! And an absolute must-visit place not even in South America, but in the world.
The uniqueness of this place is not only because of the waterfalls themselves but also in a geographical position. Waterfalls are located on the territory of 2 countries: Argentina and Brazil, and close to the border of Paraguay. In Argentina, waterfalls are called “cascades,” and in Brazil, “Cataratas.” Here, you have a unique opportunity to visit the junction of three South American cultures and try three different national cuisines. For example, the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguacu is the only place in Brazil where people speak Spanish much more often than Portuguese.
How to get to Iguazu Falls?
How to get to Cataratas del Iguazú from Buenos Aires?
The Argentinian city of Puerto Iguazu locates 1300 km from Buenos Aires. One way flight will take a little less than two hours and will cost about $ 40. In Buenos Aires, you will often be offered ready-made excursions to the waterfalls. But I still recommend going there on your own. The airport is not connected to the city by any public transport. Therefore, you have two options: book a transfer from the hotel or take a tourist bus and go straight to the waterfalls.
How to get to Cataratas do Iguacu from Rio de Janeiro?
The Brazilian city of Foz do Iguacu situates 1,500 km from Rio de Janeiro. Therefore, the best way to get from Rio to Iguacu is by plane. If you take tickets in advance, then a one-way ticket will cost about $40. The flight is a little more than 2 hours long. At the Foz do Iguacu Airport there is a bus station. You can take a bus to the city center.
Now attention! There is one more way to get here. The one we did. Budget one. This is a night bus. The journey from Sao Paulo to Foz do Iguacu took us about 13 hours. But! Never do that. Never travel around Brazil with intercity buses, as this can be very dangerous. Just a couple of months ago, my friend took a bus from Sao Paulo to Rio. Somewhere in the middle of the journey, the bus stopped, people with guns came inside and asked passengers to give all their valuables.
Iguazu Falls: plan your visit
Usually, people spend 2 days at the waterfalls. One day to visit the Brazilian side, another – the Argentinean side.
There are many buses running between Argentinean Puerto Iguazu and Brazilian Foz do Iguacu. They depart every 15 minutes, and the journey takes no more than half an hour. Plus, you must definitely go through the border (inform the driver about this so that he stops at the post). Look for bus tickets here.
The park itself is very well and conveniently planed. Special trains for the visitors ride through the park. You enjoy the waterfalls, walking down the special wooden trails. Get ready to be 100% wet. Some of the viewpoints are situated nearby the water flows. Everywhere there are toilets, various cafes and even restaurants with a view.
Tickets for the park to the waterfalls from the Brazilian side cost 17 euros. You can buy them online here.
Tickets to the Argentinean part of the waterfalls cost 11 euros. Buy online here.
Helicopter flights over the waterfall
This is the best experience you can have here. This tour lasts about 10 minutes and costs about 90 euros per person. You can fly by helicopter only from the Brazilian part. The kiosk of the company Helisul Taxi Aereo Voos Panoramicos, where you can purchase a tour is located right at the entrance to the park.
Float to the waterfall
This entertainment is also available only from the Brazilian side. The boat pier is located at the end of the lower route. Boats go straight to the foot of the waterfall and even swim under the water stream. This activity costs 60$ per person. Company official website is here.
Brazilian vs Argentinian part
Since Iguazu Falls are located on the territory of two countries, it is very popular among tourists to discuss which half is better: Brazilian or Argentinian. It is believed that the most spectacular views open from the Brazilian side, although in Argentina there are more cascades.
I have visited only the Brazilian half. And it was awesome. From the Brazilian side, you can come close to the Devil’s Throat waterfall, where you stand being surrounded by powerful streams of water. There is no words to describe it. In general, if you plan to visit Iguazu Falls, then the Brazilian part is a definite must-visit.
The best hotels near Iguacu Falls
Both in Foz do Iguacu in Brazil and in Puerto Iguazu in Argentina, you can find accommodation from 5 euros per night per person. For 30 euros you can rent a decent room with breakfast. But, if you want to get high, then only one hotel is suitable for you – Belmond Hotel das Cataratas.
This hotel is located right on the Brazilian side of Iguazu Park. Hotel guests have an exclusive opportunity to walk around the park after it is closed and enjoy the waterfalls all alone.
The double room price with breakfast included is 345 euros.