Iguazu Falls – Water, water everywhere

Surely one of the most impressive sights in South America? Eleanor Roosevelt commented upon her first sight of Iguazu, “poor Niagara”. I can see what she meant.

We arrived at the park entrance bright and early to get a jump on the crowds which turned out to be a very good move. Once the gates open there is a mad scramble as everyone wants to get on the first train to the falls. We manage to get on without problems and go  all the way to the end of the track and work our way backwards to the entrance.

Iguazu

The ride in the open sided train is very pleasant ride through the forest enjoying the sunshine and clear blue skies. As we ride along we pass through clouds of thousands of butterflies also enjoying the wonderful weather.

Iguazu - Argentina

A 1km walk along a boardwalk though trees and over water to catch our first sight of the falls; The Garaganta del Diablo or “Devils Throat”

Iguazu - ArgentinaIguazu - ArgentinaIguazu - ArgentinaIguazu - Argentina

The closer we get, the more deafening the roaring from the Devils Throat becomes and the wetter we get from the spray. This will be the first of many soakings we will get throughout  the day as we stand on the various viewing platforms. In this heat the regular soakings are a bonus!  It really is a truly incredible sight and it it very easy to understand Eleanor Roosevelt’s comments.

 

We take advantage our head start on the crowds and head back to the train and to our next destination, the Upper Circuit walk which takes us very close to edge of the falls.

Iguazu - BrazilIguazu - BrazilIguazu - BrazilIguazu Falls - Brazil (65)Iguazu - Brazil

This is followed by the Lower Circuit which, if anything takes us closer and gets us even wetter.  Having overloaded on natural wonders we decide to get the train back to the entrance and the bus back to town.

The next day we get the bus to Foz de Iguazu the town across the border in Brazil. We need to change buses on the way which involves being dropped off just after the Brazilian border and crossing the road to get another bus back to the park entrance. On the way we jump off the bus and get stamped out of Argentina.  Back on the bus the driver announces that it is not necessary to go through Brazilian immigration if we are staying only a day (so we don’t bother).

Iguazu - BrazilIguazu - BrazilIguazu - Brazil

The entrance to the Brazilian side of the falls is much more impressive and better organised than the Argentine side, although clearly it takes longer to get there from Argentina.

Instead of trains, a series of buses whisk us away to the falls.  Our first time in Brazil and our first impressions are very good. We may have to return!

Iguazu - BrazilIguazu - BrazilIguazu - Brazil

The views of the falls on this side are very different, being further away, the viewing platforms provide a much more panoramic view of the falls.

The falls are set within a large area of rainforest inhabited by a wide variety of wildlife.  We see many large birds of prey, a massive variety of butterflies and quite few comical Coatis scavenging around for crumbs left by some of the million or so tourists that visit every year.

Iguazu

After seeing the sights we stop for some lunch in the expensive but pretty good  buffet restaurant in the park.

Iguazu

IguazuIguazuIguazuIguazu - ArgentinaIguazu - Brazil

Tips

  • Try to see the falls from both the Argentina and Brazil sides. They provide a completely different perspective and, after coming all this way it would be a shame not to see both sides as they are very different
  • The entrance points to the falls can be reached either by public bus or by taxi. The bus is straightforward,  clearly cheaper but takes a little longer. A taxi provides more flexibility on times and does save time.
  • I would suggest allowing a full day for each side which means a min of two nights staying in Puerto Iguazu or Foz de Iguazu depending on whether you are travelling form Brazil or Argentina. Or perhaps one day in each.
  • Check your flights regularly. Ours changed three times in the time we were there, once when driving to the airport!
  • Book tables in restaurants  in advance in Puerto Iguazu.   The better places can get packed out in.

Note: We first visited Iguazu on our round the world trip in 2008 and again with friends Leigh and Alan in 2016. This post is an amalgam of both of those trips

 

 

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