The Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls is no less breath-taking than the Argentinean side and you may consider staying overnight on the Brazilian side having explored and stayed on the Argentinean side.
There is no getting away from the beauty of Iguazu and marveling at its sheer power, however, you may begin to wonder if there is more to this area than just the Falls?
Well, we have some great news for you…there are some some great experiences waiting for you! Here are our top 5 alternative activities in Iguazu Falls to explore the vibrant, cultural and of course stunning surrounding area of the Brazilian side of Iguazu.
♦ Iguazu Falls Bird Park
The Bird Park (Parque das Aves) in Foz do Iguaçu is an unmissable opportunity to get face to face with some of the world’s most beautiful birds, in what is not only an ecological sanctuary but a highlight outside of the Falls. Just minutes from the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls, the sound of the thundering waterfalls is replaced by the exotic calls of toucans, macaws and over 1,020 birds.
Set in 16.5 hectares of the Iguazu National Park jungle, explore the paved trails through the aviaries which occasionally enter open aviaries where you can take the best pictures and sometimes hold some of them.
The Bird Park also houses over 25 species of butterflies and has a reptile house so that you can get to see some of the other wildlife found in Brazil.
♦ Itaipu Dam
Named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Itaipu Dam is recognized as one of the greatest civil engineering achievements of the 20th century. Harnessing the mighty Parana River that feeds Iguaçu’s 270 waterfalls, the Itaipu Dam is a spectacular structure that also offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
Taking 14 years to complete, the Itaipu Dam was built with enough steel to construct 380 Eiffel Towers!
If you are staying overnight on a Friday or Saturday on the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls, there is a special sound and light show at the dam which is lit up by almost 1,000 spotlights. Near to the Itaipu Dam is an Astronomy Hub which marries together an observatory, planetarium and naked eye observations as well as a nearby Eco-Museum where you can explore the region’s history, its people and the joint-construction of the Dam by Brazil and Paraguay.
♦ Three Borders Landmark
See Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay at one incredible viewpoint at the edge of the Iguazu Falls. With each country having their own landmark to show the meeting point of the three borders, on the Brazilian side, you can see all three. This unique viewing point offers great views over the Parana River and is built around obelisks painted with the colors of their respective flags.
Visiting the meeting of these three frontiers at sunset makes the experience even more memorable as you watch the sun go down over the point where the Iguaçu River and Parana River meet.
Inaugurated in 1903, the landmark on the Brazilian side is intended to represent equality and respect between the three nations and therefore the three obelisks form an equilateral triangle as well as being one of the best activities in Iguazu.
♦ Buddhist Temple in Iguaçu
With extra time on the Brazilian side of Iguazu, away from the bustle of the National Park on the banks of the Parana River is a beautiful Buddhist Temple. Built by the Chinese Community from Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, the Buddhist Temple has an extensive park of 50 hectares and is considered to be one of the greatest Buddhist study and meditation centers in Latin America.
The most notable structures at the temple are the 7ft. tall Maitreya Buddha and the other 120 Amitabha Buddha statues arranged around the Plaza of the Buddhas.
Built with typical Chinese architecture, the imposing Ksitigarbha Shrine is a 2-story building and an area devoted to the Buddhas. This Sanctuary is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to take in some time to meditate and relax surrounded by the harmonious park and temple.
♦ The New Cataratas Park
Opened in June 2014 for the 100 year anniversary, the Foz do Iguaçu Park is a great complex to visit if you are traveling to Brazil with children.
With 8 buildings, the attractions of this entertainment park are receiving their finishing touches but already open to explore are the Valley of the Dinosaurs and the Dreamland Wax Museum.
The Dreamland Wax Museum is made up of 16 scenarios with actual dimensions of world-known and Brazilian personalities including the Popes John Paul II and Francisco, Brazilian aviator Santos Dumont and Brazilian sportsman Ayrton Senna. In the Valley of the Dinosaurs walk among 20 life–size dinosaurs showing robotic simulations of various species including the spectacular 12ft. tall T-Rex.