The Falls of Iguazu are an experience that you can not easily forget. The complex of waterfalls on the border of Argentina and Brazil is one of the largest in the world. The noise and sight of the falling water in a subtropical rainforest can enchant you. You stroll over easy-to-follow hiking trails to lookouts just above and below the falls. The National Park and the nearby tourist town of Puerto Iguazu are excellent. How much time do you need for this trip and what tips can you optimize your stay?
The waterfalls in the Iguazu National Park
The waterfall complex in the Iguazu River, like the Perito Moreno River, is one of the most impressive natural attractions in Argentina (and Brazil). About a width of 2.7 kilometers, about three hundred waterfalls fall down to a maximum of eighty feet. Most of the falls are located in the Argentinian part of the National Park. There you can walk across an extensive network of walkways and jungle paths up and down the falls and see them very close. The Brazilian side offers a more overview of the waterfalls complex.
Garganta del Diabolo (Duivelskeel)
The most spectacular part of the falls is the Garganta del Diabolo, at the beginning of the waterfall complex. In this horseshoe-shaped waterfall of 150 meters wide and 700 meters long, the water falls down to seventy meters. A walkway of one kilometer over the slow flowing top of the river brings you from the shore to the edge of the waterfall. There you are surrounded by the falling water, the thundering noise and the rising water vapor clouds. The view and the noise of the water can enchant you and you will notice that you are on the rails for a long time and to dream away.
The rest of the National Park
On the other side of the complex, a circuit walks through the edges of the falls, from which you have views of the National Park. Another circuit drops through the subtropical rainforest to lower parts of the park, from where you can see the falls from below. You can also descend to the banks of the Iguazu downhill and take the free ferry to the San Martin island in the middle of the river. There are also commercial boat services that bring you very close to the waterfalls.
Puerto Iguazu is a small and quiet town on the triple point of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Here you will find accommodation for every budget, a selection of restaurants, some bars and supermarkets. The village lives in the tourism that brings the falls, but there is not much to experience.
Duration of stay
If you want to take it easy and see both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides of the falls, you'll have more than three nights in Iguazu. One day you do the Argentinian side and the other day the Brazilian. If you have time left it is worth going to Puerto Iguazu along the river to the triple point. If you have little time, visit the waterfalls from Buenos Aires even in one day, without overnight in Puerto Iguazu.
Due to the relative proximity of Buenos Aires, the waterfalls of Iguazu fit every Argentina tour. The excursion is very worthwhile if you only stay for a short while in Buenos Aires or go to Argentina for walks in Patagonia. For travelers traveling from Argentina to Brazil (or vice versa), Iguazu is an option as a stopover. Furthermore, the waterfalls are ideal for a trip through northwest Argentina (Mendoza and Salta).
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Tips for an optimal experience
The waterfalls of Iguazu are easily accessible. From Buenos Aires, multiple flights depart throughout the day. The flight time is less than two hours. The bus leaves Buenos Aires for almost a day. There are also flights from Salta and Cordoba. From Sao Paulo you can fly to Foz do Iguaçu, the border on the Brazilian side of the falls.
The tourist industry of Iguazu revolves around the falls. The transfer between the airport, Puerto Iguazu and Iguazu National Park runs like a clockwork. You can rent a car, take a taxi or arrange a minibus with a tour operator. Ideal for the independent budget traveler are bus services. From the airport, a minibus leaves you on the sidewalk of your accommodation. Tickets can be bought at the desk right next to the luggage hall exit. From 7 am to 7 pm, departure from the bus station in Puerto Iguazu buses to the entrance of the National Park.
From Puerto Iguazu, the Brazilian side of the falls is easily accessible. There are bus links to Foz do Iguaçu border and directly to the falls. Whether you go there by taxi or tour operator. For a visit to the Brazilian side, you'll have enough half-day.