Iguazu falls can be seen from the Brazilian side as well as the Argentinian side. We hear Brazil is good for the Panoramic shots, but Argentina for everything else. You can visit both if you desire. How can the falls be described: jaw-dropping, incredible, and unforgettable.
The falls are 190m of cascading waterfalls, with power and depth. We had previously been to Niagara, but this is absolutely better.
The falls are part of a broader national park, and UNESCO heritage site, which you pay 600 peso to enter (per day of visit). It is about 20 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from the town of Puerto Iguazu. You can organise a bus or taxi in, or tours. Guided tours are really not necessary if you read about the falls before your visit, and can read signs – you’ll be right. Within the park there’s a few trails to walk. Only one of them has stairs, so most of it is wheelchair and elderly friendly. You can also get a train to the climax of the falls, Devil’s throat. The train leaves every 30 minutes and takes about 20 minutes travel (mainly because it is slow). From here you see the falls from above.
You can do ecotourism tours and birdwatching or a guide if you simply want more information. Throughout the park there’s some fast food places and a restaurant to eat at, though we recommend having lunch at the Melia hotel within the park. It’s the same price and so much better.
There’s plenty of flora and fauna to spot, we saw a crocodile, turtles, plenty of birds and coatis. Be careful the coatis can bite, just keep your food away and don’t annoy them and you’ll be fine.
Make sure you pack your bug spray and hat, as well as a poncho or raincoat. It can get humid and sunny as well as rainy. It is a rainforest.
We visited overnight, arriving at 9:25 am. On this day we did one of trails and the boat ride. We could have easily fit everything else in too, but wanted to enjoy our hotel a bit too. On the following day we did another trail and the train trip and had lunch at the hotel as well as a masage at left at 6pm. It was completely do able to stay overnight only.
It’s 100% worth a visit.
What to do
Iguazu Jungle (boat trip)
We wanted to go on the boat ride because it takes you under the falls. We first began with a drive in a truck through the jungle (information provided in Spanish and English).
You then are given a waterproof bag and walk down some stairs (quite a lot) to the boat. Hop on the speedboat and it takes you on a trip through the rapids to both the Brazilian falls and Argentina Devils Throat falls.
Getting up close makes for great photos. The driver then drives you straight into the falls. It is awesome fun and pretty crazy! We were warned you would get wet and thought we were prepared. We were covered full head to toe in a poncho. They give you a waterproof bag. Note you will get wet – very very wet! You may as well wear a bikini and thongs because you will get soaked right through. Totally worth every dollar you pay. Hold on tight to your phone and leave your cameras at home if they’re not waterproof.
What else to do?
Some attractions we didn’t have time for but come thoroughly recommended include:
- Guiro Oga – animal rehabilitation centre
- Casa Ecologica de Botellas – house made of packaging
- Museum tower
- Mano Das Americas – point where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet
If you’re staying in Puerto Iguazu, some food options we read about include:
- Feria – if you want some Brazilian food
- Tatu Caretta – for Asado
- La Misionera – empanadas
- Maria Preta – dinner for steaks
Where to stay
Most accomation options are in the town of Puerto Iguazu. You then need to get a bus, taxi or tour group into the falls. You then pay your 600 peso entry each time you enter the park (daily). The other option is the Melia hotel (old Sheraton) inside the park.
We chose to stay here because it is the only hotel inside the park. This makes the trip to Iguazu easy because you pay your entrance fee and then you’re in the park. Elsewhere you pay everytime you want to enter.
The lobby of the hotel has a view of the falls, as does your room if you choose a falls view. As the hotel is pricy, we selected the room facing the jungle. The hotel wasn’t very busy and they offered us to upgrade for $80 (most hotels just give you free upgrades in that instance). The hotel is then in walking distance of al the activities; train, bush walks and boat tour so it’s the perfect location.
The hotel has (and is) undergoing renovations. The lobby, dining hall and half the rooms have been completed. The renovations and styling really is beautiful, very country cottage/Hampton’s style and feels very stylish. The rooms look lovely too. The half of the hotel is being renovated but it isn’t disruptive at all.
Big rooms and bathroom with a TV and desk. There’s a safe, mini bar and laundry service.
The outdoor pool is being renovated but there is an indoor one (could be a bit warmer) and it would be good if they had a spa bath. There are massage, facial services at reasonable prices and they do a good massage. There’s also a huge bathroom with. Wet and dry Sauna and the area makes you feel so relaxed.
The gym is excellent – fully equipped with machines and weights, and a view of the falls.
Staff here are lovely, particularly the bellboys who were so happy and eager to help.
The dining room was comfortable and the food here was excellent – for the same price as junk food in the park, you can get delicious fancy food here. Begins with a free bread basket with cheesy balls too. We ordered some lovely lemongrass prawns and grilled vegetables with hummus, as well as the amazing steak. Good wines and cocktails on the menu as well.
The buffet breakfast was outstanding, everything you can expect from a buffet and more. I was impressed to see oatmeal and egg whites for those in a health kick. There’s also Champagne to make brunch cocktails.
We loved this hotel and can’t fault it.
Iguazu is brilliant and should not be missed. Feel free to ask any questions you may have