Iguazu Falls are on many people’s bucket list. They were certainly on mine when I spent a bit of time in South America.
The waterfalls lie between Argentina and Brazil on the Iguazu River and is an international border between the two countries. As a result, there are two national parks where the waterfalls are located: Iguazu, on the Argentinian side and Iguaçu, on the Brazillian side. The falls as a whole are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites and have been since the 1980s.
If you have the time, you can visit the falls on both sides. If you are limited to one day, you will need to make a decision, which might be based on where you are or if you have a preference for one side over the other. For example, if you are in Brazil, you might decide to visit, Iguaçu or travel to Puerto Iguazu, if that is your preference.
Whatever you decide, you will most certainly be amazed at the shear scale – the size, sound of the water gushing, volume of water, number of rainbows, amount of spray from the force of the flow that makes it look deceiving like steam, not to mention the beautiful lush, green landscape, and the exotic animals you pass as you wander around the parks.
Cataratas do Iguaçu
Your visit to the falls begins with a shuttle bus ride from the Visitor’s Centre. Then, slowly but surely, the true magnitude of the falls is revealed as you walk along the trail through the park. From this side, you can appreciate the shear size and scale of the falls. You will need about half a day for this visit.
Because, Iguazu is such a popular tourist attraction, there are buses from different parts of Brazil and Argentina that go there. From the main bus terminal in Foz do Iguaçu, there is a bus that stops outside the falls.
Parque Nacional Iguazu
This is where the majority of waterfalls are and the park is massive so you will need to have at least a day to make the most of it.
Because the park is so big, you can board the land train to begin your journey. There is an island called San Martin that is worth exploring, if you have the time. Be prepared to get wet as you get close to the falls, whether you go on a boat ride or stay on the trail. Taking a waterproof for yourself and your camera is a sensible idea.
There are many buses from different parts of Argentina to Puerto Iguazu and from there it’s possible to get a local bus to the park. You can also get a bus to Foz do Iguaçu and then get a bus, as mentioned above, to the park on the Brazilian side.