Trip in Argentina – Iguazu falls, the waterfalls between Argentina and Brazil

Trip in Argentina – Iguazu falls, the waterfalls between Argentina and Brazil
Iguazu Argentina

Last year, when I was still working in an office in London, I spent three weeks vacation in Brazil. Of the various places visited during the trip, the one that left me without words was definitely Iguazu (or Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu), on the border with Argentina and Paraguay, and its wonderful waterfalls.
Today, exactly one year later, I am back in this wonderful place.

 

I have been moving around South America for some months now.
Coming back to Iguazu was not among my plans but I could not resist the temptation to relive all those emotions and so, leaving by bus from Buenos Aires, after 18 hours of travel, here I am again in the humidity of the subtropical forest, at the mercy of an assortment of mosquitoes … but happy.

It’s very hard to describe what you feel when, for the first time, in front of your eyes, you are presented with the spectacle of 275 waterfalls, that reach almost 100 meters height and that make the Niagara seem a municipal pool: condors, eagles, butterflies of many colors and a forest that is lost on the horizon.
I admit, I did shed some tears of emotion.

 

Iguazu Argentina
Iguazu Argentina

 

How to visit one of the 7 Wonders of Nature

This region, immersed in the subtropical forest and known as the Triple Frontier, is an area crossed by the Parana and Iguazu rivers, that create a natural border between the three countries. Exactly at the border there are three cities: Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), Puerto Iguazu (Argentina) and Foz do Iguacu (Brazil). Both Puerto Iguazu and Foz do Iguacu have international airports.
It is possible to reach the falls (Cataratas) of Iguassu on the Argentine or by the Brazilian side. Personally, I prefer the Argentine side, but I still recommend to visit both national parks because it will only take up just a couple of days.

 

Iguazu Argentina
Iguazu Argentina

 

Brazil

Foz do Iguaçu is a city of over 300,000 inhabitants and it is very well served by public services. With a few Real (current currency) you can take an ordinary city bus from the airport to the center of the city (the same buses also lead to the falls).
The Iguaçu National Park is part of UNESCO. The entrance ticket costs 52 Real for foreign tourists and it also includes transportation within the park.
There are several panoramic routes to admire the waterfalls. A Hop-On Hop-Off bus departs from the entrance of the park and stops at the beginning of the various paths. It is also possible do other activities such as climbing, rafting, flying over the falls in a helicopter …. But with additional costs.

In my opinion, one of the nicest things about this park is the view of the Argentine National Park, which includes 80% of the falls. …
The area of the park accessible to visitors is not very big and you can easily do it all in a little over half a day.

 

For more info visit the Park official site.

 

After the visit to the park of the falls, having time available, I suggest you also visit the Parque da Aves (Bird Park), located in front of the National Park of the falls, you just have to go across the road! The visit can be done in just over an hour and it is really worth it. In this park you can see parrots of various colors and sizes, toucans, anacondas, hummingbirds, colorful butterflies and much more.
Important: Parque da Aves does not accept payment by credit card. Only cash but you can also pay with dollars and pesos.

 

Important: Parque da Aves does not accept payment by credit card. Only cash but you can also pay with dollars and pesos.
 

Barbara Polignano

 

Argentina
Puerto Iguazu is a town of just about 80,000 people. Unfortunately the National Park is not accessible by public transportation. You can use taxis or buses that run every 15 minutes from terminal site to the city center, at 200 pesos for the return trip.

The entrance to the National Park, also this is part of UNESCO, costs 260 pesos. If you feel like some adventure, buy the ticket for the “Great Adventure” too: a rubber dinghy ride with “shower” under the falls. It costs 500 pesos but it is an unforgettable experience. The tickets are only available to the first 1000 visitors and can also be purchased at the bus terminal in Puerto Iguazu.

 

The Argentine park is very large, to visit it all would definitely take a whole day. The various panoramic points can be reached through long paths or with an ecological train.

The highlight of the park is definitely the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), the deepest and highest group of waterfalls. After about 1 km walk, you will reach a platform above the falls. The beginning of the path to the Garganta can only be reached by train, often after a long queue! I advise to visit the Garganta del Diablo in the afternoon, in order to admire the dozens of rainbows that form the on the falls.

 

More info here: Iguazu Argentina
Important: the National Park in Argentina does not accept payment by credit card, only cash.

 

Barbara Iguazu

 

Crossing the border

If you are in Brazil, you can visit the Argentine side (and vice versa) in several ways: buses, taxis, guided tour. In any case, remember to bring your passport to cross the border!

 

  • The taxi has a fixed cost on both the Argentine side and that on the Brazilian (currently, 300 pesos in Argentina and the corresponding Real on the Brazilian side).
  • The tours are generally offered at hotels and hostels and costs vary according to the services included. Prices start almost always from a minimum 100 euros per person.
  • The bus is probably the most economical means, but be prepared for long waits at customs. The driver will ask you to get off the bus and cross the border on foot to have your passport stamped; in “theory” the bus will be waiting on the other side of the border, in practice be prepared to wait for another bus. This also applies on the return.

 

I recommend you do the move by taxi and split the costs between friends or hostel fellow companions. Moreover the taxi drivers know the employees of the customs and everything becomes easier, especially on the Argentine side, famous for the long and tedious bureaucracy (alas inherited by us Italians).

 

Iguazu Argentina
Iguazu Argentina
Iguazu Argentina
Iguazu Argentina

 

Itaipu hydroelectric plant

If you have time to lose (like me) take a trip to the gigantic Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant, located exactly on the border between Brazil and Paraguay and considered one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World.

 

The dam is shared equally by the two countries and can be visited from both sides. The visit is free in Paraguay. It’s a masterpiece of impressive engineering, which has excited a lot of my male travel companions (I started to yawn after the twentieth minute of visit … ). More info here:

More info here: ITAIPU official website

 

In conclusion , if you are in South America visit this region. The Iguazu Falls will remain impressed in your memory.
P.S .: Beware of monkeys and raccoons ! Your breakfast bag could disappear from under your nose in less than a nano second!

 

Barbara Polignano

Autrice del blog Travelling with a wine glass viaggio con un bicchiere di vino e alla scoperta di nuovi nettari in giro per il mondo. Scrivo di viaggi, di vino, amante dell'Argentina di cui conosco ogni angolo, fino alla fine del mondo! Consulente per idee di viaggio personalizzate in Argentina, per maggiori informazioni clicca qui

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