Iguazu Falls are by far one of the most beautiful waterfalls we have ever seen. It is not wonder why it part of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. While you can visit the falls from either side, this guide is about how to visit the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls, even though we were staying in the Argentinian side. Iguazu falls are part of the UNESCO world Heritage sites and the Iguazú National Park in both countries; Argentina and Brazil.
Where is Iguazu Falls?
The massive waterfall system straddles the border between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. It is located on the remote northeast area of the Argentinian Province of Misiones. Iguazu Falls with 80% of the falls, falling on the Argentinian side, stretches in width for 2,700 m (1.7 mi), and vary in height between 60 m (200 ft) and 82 m (269 ft). This makes the Iguazu Falls taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide.
Both sides have close to 275 waterfalls of different sizes. The size of the waterfalls are constantly changing due to the volume of water.
When is the best time to visit Iguazu Falls?
For what we have read and were told there is not a bad time to visit Iguazu Falls. The falls are always beautiful and accessible. The only thing to have in mind is that the seasons are divided by rainy or dry season. You definitely want to avoid going during the heart of the rainy season and the high season.
The worst time to go to the falls are in January and February as both countries have more holidays and it will be packed! During Summer, it is more humid and hotels are more expensive due to more tourists. The rainy season is between June and August. Even though there is high water levels, seeing the falls while its raining is not the best experience. September and October are my favorite months to visit the falls as the temperature is comfortable, hotels are cheaper and there are fewer people visiting.
How to Travel from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls?
The only city near Iguazu Falls in Argentina is Puerto Iguazu, a two hour flight from Buenos Aires. There are three options to get to Iguazu Falls in Brazil, either taking a tour, bus or taxi. You end up going through the city on the Brazilian side, Foz do Iguaçu. We visited both sides but stayed in Argentina as Steven did not have a visa for Brazil.
We chose to fly to get more time in the falls as a bus from Buenos Aires is least a 15 hour ride. We did not book the tickets ahead of time, in fact we bought it one week before and it was the same price to fly than to take the bus. So, try to visit the falls during its low season. We visited in September and it could not be more beautiful.
How to get to Iguazu Falls?
There are public buses that run every half an hour between the central bus station and Iguazu Falls. The bus costs 100 ARS each way. The bus does quickly fill up during busy times of the day and year. The buses run every 20-30 minutes. Keep in mind that you are crossing a border and you will have to go through migration. The bus from Puerto Iguazu to the Brazilian falls will take approximately 40-50 minutes. Tickets can be bought on the bus.
Another option is to take a taxi from Puerto Iguazu to the Brazilian side of the falls. The prices always vary and are subject to negotiation, but you can get a “deal” for under 600 ARS round trip. Remember local inflation is 20% a year in Argentina, meaning prices always change.
While a complete one day tour to Iguazu Falls is the most expensive way to experience the waterfalls, it does come with its benefits. The tour includes pickup and drop off right from your hotel or the airport. There is no need to get to the bus station or find an available taxi.
Another great way to visit Iguazu Falls Brazil from Puerto Iguazu is on a tour that includes a tour guide, with helpful and historic information about the falls as you go. The tour cost $10 USD plus the entry fee to the park. The guide also makes sure you a stress free adventure without missing a thing. The next day you can take another tour to the Argentinian side for $10 USD. The tour we took actually took us to both sides of the falls. We visited the Argentinian side one day and the Brazilian side the next day.
Where to sleep in Puerto Iguazu?
Depending on where you arrive you should look for accommodation, as we were flying from Buenos Aires, we decided to stay in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. But you can reach Iguazu Falls from either town Puerto Iguazú (Argentina) or Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil).
➳ Find all: Hotels in Puerto Iguazu
We stayed in a beautiful, economical and well located hotel. The Tajibos hotel is owned by amazing young couple that make sure to make you feel at home. Our favorite part of the trip was talking to them after a long day of hiking and sharing some travel stories with them. We recommend to stay here it is way cheaper than staying at one of the big chain hotels in the national park!
➳ Find all: Hotels in Foz do Iguacu
Visiting Iguazu Falls, Brazil
We recommend to visit Iguazu Falls for at least three days! It will take you one full day to do the Argentinian side and half a day to do the Brazilian side, but with three days you have time to relax and explore each city a little bit.
Both sides are worth the visit as you get a total different view. The Argentinian Iguazu Falls side has a full day worth of trails, 6+ hours of hiking and walking. You can walk out on top of the falls and feel the full rush of the water underneath you.
However, the Brazilian side is where you get the postcard photos, it is more of a complete panoramic and frontal view of different waterfalls. It only takes a few hours total, as there is only one path to walk along.
How much does it cost to go to Iguazu Falls, Brazil?
The admission costs for Argentina i 20,000 ARS ($24 USD). You must pay with cash or buy them on their official website with your credit cards as credit cards are not accepted at the park. The park is open from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm. You get a 50% off discount for a second-day visit.
How to best experience the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls?
The Brazilian side offers helicopter rides that fly over the park, but we strongly discourage you from doing this as it is bad for the ecosystem, which is why the Argentinian national park does not offer it. The ride last only 15 minutes and departs from the Visitor Center.
Instead of riding the helicopter we encourage you to walk out onto the Devil’s Throat and feel the magic and power of nature. At the end, we all want to be able to enjoy nature and keep it beautiful for future generations to experience.
There is only one trail to explore in Iguaçu National Park in Brazil. It ends at the Devil’s throat which is about half way down the falls. You might not need more than half the day to explore the area. Make sure to ride the bus inside the park to the start of the trail. To walk the trail and take some fantastic photos can take you anywhere from 2 to 3 hours.
Which side of iguazu falls is better?
In conclusion both sides are fantastic and if you are already there it is worth spending the extra cash and have a complete experience. Said so, it all depends on what is your interest and your budget. The Argentinian side has more walking paths, which means more walking and because you are at the falls you get a total different views from the viewpoints. You could also take a boat ride to be closer at the waterfalls. While the Brazilian side, gives you amazing panoramic views of the falls. The downside is that that is all you get, the view as the majority of the falls and hikes are on the other side.
Important notes when visiting Iguazu Falls in Brazil:
When you are planning your trip to Iguazu Falls keep in mind that you might need a visa to visit either side, so please before buying your tickets check for the visa requirements for your nationality. Steven, as an American citizen needed a visa for Brazil and not for Argentina. Americans used to need to pay for a reciprocity fee to enter Argentina but that is not the case since 2016. Jazmin, on the other hand, only needed her Ecuadorian ID to visit both countries.
It is important to make sure your passport is stamped when you enter and when you exit the bordering countries.
It is also advisable to bring your own lunch and snacks into each park. While the park does have plenty of restaurant and food options, they very much over priced and overcrowded. It reminded us of a busy ski resort food court.
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➳ Read More: The Complete Guide to Iguazu Falls in Argentina
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