I have always dreamed about visiting Iguazu Falls. They were recognized as of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2011 and are the largest waterfalls in South America. It is ten times more beautiful than we ever imagined.
We had a last minute travel opportunity to Buenos Aires in early October and we decided to extend our trip for a couple of days so we could visit Iguazu Fall as well. Honestly, it is not the most budget friendly destination but at the same time it is worth every penny.
Keep in mind that it would be really hard to do both sides of the fall in one day. The Argentinian side might take up to seven hours to walk through while the Brazilian side might take a couple of hours tops. You will have to drive to both national parks, pay separate entry fee and go through migration between countries.
What to do in Iguazu Travel Video:
Important information for your visit to Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
Transportation to Iguazu Falls:
You can drive, fly or take a bus to either side. If you are in Buenos Aires it is best to fly. The price for the bus was about the same as the airfare and the distance is too long for a bus. Tickets can range from $100 USD and up for a round trip ticket.
From Argentina to Puerto Iguazu: The most common, cheapest and quickest way is flying from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu or from any main city in Argentina. A bus can take a long time depending from where you take it, remember Argentina is a pretty big and long country. Once you arrived at Puerto Iguazu it is still several miles to the national park. Once you are in the city you can take a bus. tour or a taxi to visit the Falls. If you choose to take a bus. Different busses to go both sides of the falls.
From Puerto Iguazu to the Argentinean side: The most economical way to visit the falls is by taking the local public bus that says to Cataratas. The best places to catch it is at the Terminal de Omnibus as you might not know its route. The ride is about 20-30 minutes and costa 5 ARS. The bus departs every 20 to 30 minutes. Cruzero del Norte or Rio Uruguay are the two companies that will take you straight to the National Park.
From Puerto Iguazu to the Brazilian side: There are public buses that run every half an hour between the central bus station and Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian side. 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. The busses will wait for you to go through migration, at least the time we did it it did stop. Just keep in mind that the more people on the bus the longer the wait.
From Brazil: If you are flying from Brazil you need to fly to Foz do Iguaçu or Puerto Iguazu in Argentina. The “closest” main city from Brazil is Sao Pablo, which is still a 13 hour drive or bus ride. The ride from the Foz de Iguaçu Airport to downtown is about 20 minutes by bus #120, which is the same one going to the National Park.
So depending on the time you arrive and how much luggage you have with you, you can go straight to the National Park. This bus comes every 20 minutes. The cost of the ticket is R$3.45 ($1.50 USD). Keep in mind that this bus can take about 60 minutes as it goes first to the National Park and then back to downtown. If you land before 3PM and have a short time schedule, we recommend you to go straight to the falls. The National Park has lockers where you can leave your luggage for an extra fee.
From Foz do Iguaçu to Brazilian side: Take the bus 120 from Foz do Iguaçu Central Bus Terminal. This bus goes to the Parque Nacional Iguazu Brazil. You can buy a one way ticket on the bus for R$2.90. Get off at the last stop as it stops along the way to pick up more passengers.
From Foz do Iguaçu to the Argentinean side: The best way to do it is from downtown Foz de Iguaçu to Puerto Iguazu and from there take the bus going to the Argentinean National Park. Keep in mind that you are going through border control. The bus does not wait for immigration, you will have to wait for the next bus, which can take up to 40 minutes. Busses that go from one city to the other one are: Celeste, Crucero del Norte y Viaçao Itaipu. We are not sure about the price as we did not stay in Foz de Iguçu but for what we have read online they can cost R$15.
How long should you stay in Iguazu Falls?
We recommend to at least stay four days and three nights to see Iguazu Falls. We had to do it all in three days, two nights but it was a rush and if you are already going to make an investment to get there, it is better stay longer and have a more relaxed experience. If you do not have the time or money then you can do it the same length we did and will still be able to see it all.
How did we do our trip to Iguazu?
We arrived on Wednesday around noon and then took a shuttle to the Los Tajibos Hostel. The shuttle was not too expensive compared to the other options around it, especially in the National Park. It was too late to go to the falls that as you want to get there as early as possible to walk around all the viewpoints the Argentinian side has to offer. So, we decided to explore Puerto Iguazu, the small town with about a days worth of things to do. We recommend to visit the Hito 3 fronteras and finish your night having a delicious meal and go early to bed.
The second day wake up early and take a bus or tour to the falls We took a tour as it was more convenient for the amount of time we had to explore the area. We spent around eight hours walking around the Argentinian side of the park. It was amazing and honestly out of this world. After we were done visiting the fall we took the bus back to the hotel for some well needed rest.
The third day was insane! We had only five hours to explore the Brazilian side as our flight was leaving around 2 PM. For the Brazilian side you do not need more than a couple of hours to explore the waterfalls. It is more a one way path where you get fantastic panoramic views of the waterfalls. The hike is not hard at all, plus they have busses that take you to the start of the path.
Keep in mind that if you are going back to Argentina you still have to go through migration and that can take a little bit of time. Our tour was running late so we had to take a public bus back to Puerto Iguazu and the bus makes a stop in the migration office, which is pretty nice as you do not have to wait for another bus when you get off to do your paperwork.
When is the best time to visit Iguazu Falls?
For what we have heard from locals, there is not a bad time to visit. 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 or 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.
What is the prices for the National Parks?
Parque Nacional Iguazu, Argentina: Check for accurate price here. ast time we went it was $500 pesos.
Parque Nacional Iguazu, Brazil: Check for accurate price here. Last time we went it was R$62.
Do I need a visa to visit Iguazu Falls?
It depends on your passport. Steven is American so he did not need a visa to go to Argentina but he did needed a visa to go to Brazil, so he decided to skip it and only visit the Argentinan side. On the other hand, I am Ecuadorian so I did not need a visa for either country, I just needed my Ecuadorian ID.
The visa prices and requirements vary depending on your nationality so I will recommend to find out if you need visas to either country before you start your planning. For what we have read it is not that easy to get a visa at the border and it can take several days and cost more money, so once again plan accordingly.
The Brazilian visa for Americans costs $160 and it last 10 years. With this visa you can enter Brazil as many times as you like within those 10 years.
Which side is better? Should I go to both?
They are both amazing! You get a totally different experience from one to the other. I will compare them to Niagara Falls in the US and Canada. In one side (Argentina) you are on top the falls, so the view is not as good but it is rushing feeling. On the other one you are looking them from the other side, so the panoramic views are priceless. Believe it or not, I did not even think I was looking at the same waterfalls. So, yes if you can please visit both and I promise you will not regret it!
Where did we stay in Iguazu Falls?
➳ Find all: Hotels in Foz do Iguacu
➳ Find all: Hotels in Puerto Iguazu
We stayed at the comfortable and affordable Los Tajibos Hostel, just a few blocks from the center of Puerto Iguazu. The rustic style building provides a simple breakfast in the morning and plenty of good conversations when you come back for the night.
⇟ More articles from Iguazu Falls that might interest you:
➳ Read More: The Complete Guide to Iguazu Falls in Argentina
➳ Read More: The Complete Guide to Iguazu Falls in Brazil
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