The Complete Guide To Visiting Iguazu Falls:
After exploring Iguazu Falls it comes as no surprise that it was voted one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and it is an UNESCO World Heritage site. The massive waterfall system straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil.
While you can visit the falls from either side, this guide is about how to visit the Argentinian Side of Iguazu Falls. Without a doubt visiting Iguazu Falls is a must see in Argentina and Brazil.
Iguazu Falls are made up of 150-300 smaller waterfalls depending on the water level.
➳ Read More: The complete guide to visit Iguazu Falls in Brazil
What to do in Iguazu Travel Video:
How to get to Iguazu Falls from Buenos Aires:
Even though Argentina is the second largest country in South America you can still visit many of its main attractions such as Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires and Patagonia in a two week itinerary to Argentina. We recommend to visit Iguazu Falls for at least 2 full days and 2 nights.
You can get to Iguazu falls from Buenos Aires by bus or car but it is much faster and almost the same price if bought in advance as taking a flight. Some of the airlines that fly from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu include: Latam Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas, Andes Lineas Aereas, Fly Bondi and Norwegian Airlines. The flight is a little over two hours, rather than the bus ride that can take up to 20 hours including stops.
How to get to Iguazu Falls from Puerto Iguazu:
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 from the city, either taking a tour, bus or taxi.
➳ Find all: Hotels in Puerto Iguazu
There are public buses that run every half an hour between the central bus station (estación de omnibus) and Iguazu Falls. The bus costs 65 ARS each way. The bus does quickly fill up during busy times of the day and year. Our favorite bus company is Rio Uruguay as they have buses running every 20 minutes. You can ride the bus from the Hito de los Tres Fronteras monument or at the bus station.
Another option is to take a taxi from Puerto Iguazu to the falls. The prices always vary and are subject to negotiation, but can 400 ARS round trip. Remember local inflation is 20% meaning prices can 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 at your hotel or the airport. There is no need to get to the bus station or find an available taxi.
At the same time the tour from Argentina4u includes a tour guide, with helpful and historic information about the falls as you go. The guide also makes sure you a stress free adventure without missing a thing. The full day tour is $45 USD.
How much time to spend at Iguazu Falls?
There are so many hikes in the Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls. We will recommend to plan to stay the whole day or at least 7 hours in the park. As we mentioned before you will need one full day to visit the Argentinian side and a half a day to do the Brazilian side.
When is the best time to visit Iguazu Falls?
The best time to visit Iguazu Falls is during the dry season from April to June or from August to September which is also dry but a little bit cooler. We would avoid going during the months of December to February as it is rainy season, although the temperature is not as high. The highlight of going during rainy season is that the falls are flowing at its fullest.
But in reality no matter when you visit Iguazu Falls you are going to love it! The falls are a wonderful destination to visit all year round.
What to do in Iguazu Falls (Cataratas del Iguazú) in one day:
Iguazu Falls joined the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1986. Entrance to the park is 500 ARS per person and only Argentine Pesos in cash are accepted, so make sure to withdraw money in advance. The park itself is open from 9AM to 5PM and it is best to arrive early in the morning to beat the heat and crowds, leaving you with enough time to explore the massive park.
Walking Routes at Iguazu Falls
In Iguazu Falls National Park there are several walking routes to reach the numerous waterfalls and abundant viewpoints. Walking at a relaxed pace you can easily complete all the routes in one day.
The Jungle Train at the Falls Station marks the beginning of the 2 main walking trails; The Lower Circuit and The Upper Circuit. The entrance fee to the Parque Nacional includes unlimited rides on the jungle train.
The Best hikes at Iguazu Falls:
Sendero Verde – The Green Trail
After passing through the main entrance head to the short Green Trail. This 650 meters walk takes you through Paranaese rainforest wetland where you can enjoy the extensive flora and fauna along the way. The trail ends at the Cataratas Train Station, where you catch a small tram to The Devil’s Throat trail.
The Devil’s Throat
Walk out across the pristine river on a raised platform for over 1km. Along the path photograph the many small islands and their abundance of wildlife. As you come to the end of the walkway, you can see the mist rising from the waterfalls, signaling your imminent arrival to The Devil’s Throat waterfall.
As you reach the end of the walkway you are met with a platform over The Devil’s Throat, the largest waterfall in all of Iguazu Falls. The magical sight of the water tumbling over 80 meters to the bottom is one of the most amazing experiences.
The viewing platform is normally crowded, so work your way to the front, snap some photos, enjoy the moment and then move back to let the next person in. Once you are done, head back on the walkway back to the train station.
Hop back on the train and head back down to the Cataratas Train Station. From here walk a short ways to the start of the Upper Circuit trail. This 1.75km trail takes you passed and over many of the smaller or more isolated waterfalls in the park. Step right up to the edge of the waterfalls for an adrenaline inducing view.
The waterfalls that you can see on this path include the Dos Hermanas Waterfalls, Chico, Ramírez, Bosetti, Adán y Eva, and Bernabé Méndez Waterfalls, and the Mbiguá Waterfall. The furthest point on the trail is the San Martin Waterfall, the second largest falls in Iguazu.
From here you get the best panoramic views of all of the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls from Devil’s Throat down the whole valley. The trail snakes back through many small inlets to the exit just steps from the entrance.
The last and final trail to finish off your day at Iguazu Falls is the Lower Circuit. This 1.7km trail takes you to spots that bring you up close and personal with the base of the waterfalls, where you can really feel their power.
Walk through the forest along the base of the Dos Hermanas, Chico and Ramírez Waterfalls and walk right up to the great water wall of Bosetti Waterfall. The path then follows along the river and loops back around to the Alvar Núñez, Elenita, and Lanusse steep waterfalls. This part of the path does have steps, which do take some extra time at the end of the day.
Along the Lower Circuit you also have the opportunity to purchase a short boat ride to go right under the falls! It is an amazing experience, just remember you will get completely soaked.
➳ Tip: Make sure to check out the 8 designed lookouts!
What you need to know before visiting Iguazu Falls:
When planning your amazing day at the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls there are several things that you need to remember for a frustration free adventure:
- You can get up close to several of the waterfalls, which means that you can get wet, so do not wear anything that would get destroyed with a bit of moisture.
- Much of your day will be spent without shade and the warm sun can take its toll. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. There is drinkable tap water throughout the park, but its flavor is not the best.
- Iguazu National Park in Argentina is open every day of the year from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. You can enter the park until 4:30PM, but you need to be out by 6PM.
The entrance fee is 700 pesos for one day ticket and if you want to come back on the next day you will receive a 50% discount for the second day ticket.
- It is also advisable to bring your own lunch and snacks. While the park does offer plenty of restaurant and food options, they are over priced and overcrowded. It reminded us of a busy ski resort food court.
Is the Argentina or Brazil side of Iguazu Falls better?
To be honest it depends on what you like most and what you will like to see. The Argentinan side has more hikes, trails and paths to explore as the falls are in that side while Brazil has the best views and panoramic views of the falls as you can see them from the front.
I honestly, will recommend you to visit both sides. I spent a full day visiting and hiking along the falls in the Argentinan side and the next day I went to the Brazilian side to take a some photos and just enjoy the view. Both countries have national parks and offer completely different experiences for viewing the waterfalls.
➳ Tip: You might need visa to the Brazilian side. Starting June 17, 2019 Brazil began visa-free entry for US citizens
What to pack for Iguazu Falls:
- Comfortable shoes (They will get wet so take waterproof shoes)
- A poncho or rain jacket
- A quick dry towel
- A water bottle
- A hat and sunglasses
- A camera
- Waterproof camera and phone case
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➳ Read More: The Complete Guide to Iguazu Falls in Brazil
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