The waterfalls in the city of Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil are a wonder to behold. The energy of water, the rainbows that form in their mist, and the sound of the water as it hits the bottom all add up to an amazing phenomenon!
The Iguaçu Falls are made up of 275 separate waterfalls that spread across the border of the state of Parana in Southern Brazil and the province of Misiones in Argentina. These majestic waterfalls come from the Iguaçu River which originates near the city of Curitiba. The Iguaçu River joins the Paraná River where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet. In Argentina the waterfalls are called “Cataratas del Iguazú” in Brazil they are called “Cataratas do Iguaçu”. The name Iguazu came from the Guarani language which translated means “big water”.
It is well worth your time and money to visit this breathtaking spectacular! In fact it was selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2011 by the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation. The Iguaçu Falls are taller and wider than Niagara Falls. When United States’ First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt saw Iguaçu Falls her comment was “Poor Niagara”! Her remark became legendary.
The Iguaçu Waterfalls are one of the most visited natural attractions in Brazil and Argentina. Both the Iguazú National Park (Argentina) and the Iguaçu National Park (Brazil) are worth seeing! You can see the waterfalls in one day if you only visit one side. If you have the time it’s better to spend two full days there and see the view from both countries because you get two totally different views. The Brazil side offers an astonishing panoramic view of these majestic waterfalls and a close-up view of the famous Devil’s Throat. The Devil’s Throat is U-shaped and consists of 14 separate falls that plunge more than 350 feet! The Argentine side offers two different walkways that allow you a closer view of the different waterfalls. “Circuito Superior” is a short walk that takes you through the upper rim of the falls. “Circuito Inferior” is a longer path that leads you through the bottom of the waterfalls. Both are very amazing. Another impressive feature to experience on the Argentine side is the walkway that takes you to the top of the Devil’s Throat. It is an amazing view! The view of the Devil’s Throat on both the Brazil and Argentine side is magnificent. You can experience the vast force and power of the water falling and get sprayed by the mist.
Things to Remember When Visiting Iguaçu Falls:
Before going to see the falls, planning ahead will help you maximize your time and have a more enjoyable trip. Visiting during spring and fall is advisable as summers are intensely hot and water levels during the winter are lower.
The falls and the surrounding areas are home to an abundance of flora and fauna. Tourists must not forget their cameras to take snap shots of the beautiful flowers and animals they may come across while in the area. It is common to see parrots and macaws in the trees. The beautiful rainforest that surrounds the waterfalls contain around 2,000 species of plants.
For photography, lighting during the morning is best. A view from the Brazilian side of the falls is most panoramic, and photographers will get a wider range of photos from this side.
Some Things to Consider Doing:
The Brazil side offers the “Macuco Safari” for the adventurous ones! You start out in the back of vehicle for a short ride through the jungle. Then you get in a boat that holds about 20 people. They will provide you with life jackets and plastic rain ponchos. You will go by some waterfalls and even go under one! You can take some incredible photos! Be sure you bring plastic zip lock bag to protect your camera before going under the spray from the waterfall. I highly recommend this safari adventure! I really enjoyed it!
Helicopter rides are also available to get an aerial view and capture some amazing photos and videos of Iguaçu Falls.
The Itaipú hydroelectric power plant located on the Brazil side is one of the largest in the world and very impressive to visit. You can get a tour in several different languages!
Ask you tour guide to take you to the Three Frontiers Monument. You can do this on both the Brazil and Argentine side. It is an area where you can see Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay all at the same time where the Parana and Iguaçu Rivers converge.
One of my favorite tourist sites is the Bird Park also located on the Brazil side. It is located right at the entrance to the Iguaçu National Park. There are over 160 species including many indigenous types and also some from other countries. My favorite part is a huge caged area that you can walk inside and interact with the birds in their natural habitat. There are several different species of birds in there including some beautiful toucans. You can walk up close to them and even touch them.
Travel Arrangements and Lodging:
Two international airports are close to the Iguaçu Falls. Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport (IGR) in Argentina and Foz do Iguaçu International Airport (IGU) of Brazil. Both airports offer bus or taxi services from the airport to the falls. Your best bet is to set up your transportation and tour packages before arriving.
There is a 5 star Sheraton hotel located on the Argentina side. It is actually in the national park and you can see the waterfalls from the hotel and walk right to the trails that lead to the falls.
There is also a 4 ½ star hotel located in the national park on the Brazil side called Hotel Das Cataratas.
Both of these hotels are really expensive but offer the visibility of the waterfalls and you can visit them several times because the paths are right by the hotel.
There are many hotels to choose from in the city Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil. The hotels offer tour packages and will provide your transportation to the national park. You can also set this up before you travel online.
Visiting Iguaçu Falls is an unforgettable experience and truly amazing. You won’t be sorry you visited one of the New Seven Wonders of the World!
Brought to you by: World Cup Brazil 2014