There is a reason former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed “My poor Niagara!” upon seeing the jaw-dropping Iguazu Falls for the first time, as this impressive collection of 250 waterfalls could easily surpass the magnificence of Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls in the minds of many. Straddling the border between Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls is located in Argentina’s jungle state, Misiones, in the northeast of the country. Bound by the Iguazu National Park, these thundering cascades fall from heights of up to 80ft to crash into the churning river below. Recently named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Iguazu Falls is something of a tropical paradise, and, although certainly a tourist destination, most definitely unmissable.
Upon arrival to the new Visitors Center on the Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls, take a short train ride to Cataratas Station. If you prefer you can, instead, enjoy a short walk through the Green Trail that leads to the beginning of the path towards the upper and lower trails. Both trails have more than 1000 meters of catwalks, offering magnificent views of the falls, always detached from the jungle´s surface to protect the fauna by preventing disruption of natural trails. To end this amazing experience, take a further 18-minute train ride to the Devil’s Throat and then a walk along the catwalks over the islands. These circuits provide a unique experience of feeling part of the natural surroundings, watching and sensing its magnitude from up close.
On arriving at the visitors center, you will board the panoramic buses to begin the tour of the park, before descending to the walking paths. From the first balcony, you´ll encounter views of the Argentinean falls. Then after 950 meters with stunning views over the Iguazu River, you will cross over to the Brazilian side. The walkway entering the river next to the Floriano fall gives the visitor a rousing reception and a gorgeous panoramic view of the lower Iguazu River and the Devil´s Gorge Canyon. The elevator and the stairs lead to the shopping and restaurant area upstairs.
Set off on a river adventure, bouncing into the lower Iguazu River Canyon in powerful boats. Alongside San Martin Island, you’ll reach the Tres Mosqueteros Fall. From here, you’ll get a jaw-dropping view of both the Argentine and Brazilian Falls, as well as the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat). It’s something that will leave you speechless. Next, you’ll take a natural shower, crossing the bottom of San Martin Waterfall, the most massive cascade that any boat dares to navigate. It’s an unforgettable experience and a surefire way to understand the real power of these mighty falls. The trip begins and ends at the dock in front of San Martin Island.
Created in 1994, the Birds Park aims to recreate the optimum conditions for the reproduction of birds, especially endangered species, and also to guarantee the preservation of 40 acres of native jungle. It has become an ecological sanctuary set some 300 yards from the entrance of the Iguazú National Park on the Avenue of Cataratas, only 10 miles away from the city of Foz do Iguazú. More than 900 birds of 150 different species, mostly subtropical, are kept and protected in such a magnificent way that it feels as natural as possible. You will be able to see rare and colorful tropical birds fly in large ponds integrated into the lush subtropical rainforest. You will also have the opportunity to enter the nurseries to learn more about their habitats. Besides birds, caimans, anacondas, pythons, marmosets, and butterflies will delight you too.
You will fly for either a 10-minute or 45-minute aerial over the Iguazu Falls, one of the most dramatic and picture-perfect waterfalls in the world, getting an incredible view of the majestic falls framed by the green mass of the jungle. Don’t forget to bring your camera and get ready to be awed by the jaw-dropping stunning views as your helicopter floats above the 270 feet (82 meters) high falls. The unique geological formation is outstanding, and the grandeur of this particular bird’s eye view is overwhelming. This unique experience offers a lifetime of memories for its fantastic panoramas over the Iguazu Falls and the surrounding wilderness. Definitely, a once in lifetime experience!
Spend a day outside Puerto Iguazu discovering the rich history of the Iguazu Falls region. Learn about the famous Jesuit mission of 1632, which aimed to spread Christianity throughout Argentina during the Spanish colonial period. Walking through the World Heritage listed Jesuit Ruins of San Ignacio Miní, you´ll learn what it was like to live in a Jesuit village, thanks to the excellent buildings restoration work. You will get the chance to see the court of arms, the central quarters, the town council, the church, the aborigines and Jesuits´ dwellings, the hospital, the school, the workshop, and the store. During the evening, storytellers will leave you fascinated with incredible facts about the origins of this civilization and the expulsion of the Jesuits.
Considered one of the World’s Seven Modern Wonders and the world’s most productive hydroelectric facility, the Itaipu Dam is a site not to be missed. Located just under 10 miles from the downtown of Foz do Iguassu, this experience will give you a stunning view of the Paraná River right at the border between Brazil and Paraguay.
Just a couple of hours from the Iguazu Falls, deep in the Misiones Jungle and entirely surrounded by nature is Yacutinga Lodge. The Iguazu River curves through the lodge forming beautiful waterfalls that run across the Iguazu National Park in both Argentina and Brazil. At Yacutinga, the immeasurable force of nature captivates travelers from across the globe with the expectation of seeing the miracle of life itself. This natural environment and harmonious experience will leave you speechless.
Given Iguazú Falls’ jungle setting, the region has a tropical climate and in the lead up to the summer months and beyond, from around December to March, it is sweltering and very, very humid. December, January, and February are high season in both Argentina and Brazil, and the summer holidays mean that lots of locals choose to vacation here, so the crowds can be massive and the prices can be higher. For a more personal experience with the falls, it is best to visit them in either spring or fall, so from September to November or from March to May. Rainy season falls in the winter months from June to August, and this can cause occasional flooding which can make the walkways slippery or even close the park. We will tell you what to pack, as sunscreen and bug spray are essentials for any time of the year.
Flights from Buenos Aires arrive daily at Puerto Iguazú International Airport, located just 10.5 miles (17km) away from the city. We will book the flight and hotel transfer for you as part of your itinerary, so you can sit back, relax and take in the contrasting colors of the bright red iron-rich earth and the lush green jungle vegetation on the way from the airport into the park. If you wish to visit the Brazilian side of the Falls, you should find out if you need to get a visa. Argentina does not require a visa for US citizens, but Brazil does, and the paperwork will need to be done in advance. Just ask our travel expert, and they can advise you on the necessary requirements.
Iguazu National Park, Puerto Iguazu, and Foz Iguazu are all used to catering for tourists, so the tourist infrastructure here is very well developed. The roads in the area are paved and clearly marked, and many of the area’s hotels are located along the main road from Puerto Iguazu to the entrance to the national park. The town has a host of eateries, from local joints to food stalls and high-end restaurants. Make sure and try some of the local river fish surubi, which you can find on most of the menus in town.