Foz do Iguaçu is a city in the state of Paraná, located in the south-west of Brazil bordering with Paraguay and Argentina. In this special spot on earth, you will find one of the 7 natural world wonders: the Iguazu Falls. 275 waterfalls dropping 1.5 million litres of water every second. This place is magic!
You should spend at least three nights in Foz do Iguaçu to have enough time to explore the waterfalls and other cool locations that this place has to offer.
- Things to do in Foz do Iguaçu
- Iguazu Falls Brazil
- Iguazu Falls Argentina
- Preparations for visiting the waterfalls
Things to do in Foz do Iguaçu
Itaipu is one of the biggest hydroelectric plants in the world.
There are different options of exploring this gigantic engineering project. The most traditional one is the “Panoramic Tour”. It starts at the visitor centre with a short movie shown in the theatre about the story and current job of Itaipu. Then you will jump on a bus that’s driving you around visiting the viewpoints and passing the dam and Itaipu Lake.
You also have the option to see more of the work inside Itaipu, but this ticket is more expensive.
Marco das Três Fronteiras
Marco das Três Fronteiras is a really cool place and worth to visit!
It’s more a very touristy kind of place but very entertaining.
Basically you have a viewpoint from here of all three tri-borders countries: you can see Paraguay and Argentina only a few metres away from you.
Besides that there is a light and water show, as well as cultural shows including traditional dance performances from Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.
Several food trucks sell amazing food here from Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil so that you will have various choices: for example Empanadas, Tapiocas and Açaí!
Food trucks are selling sweet and savoury Taipiocas.
You can get the tickets at the entrance. The entrance is 28,50 BRL.
The bird park in Foz do Iguaçu is an Integrated Conservation Centre for birds of the Atlantic Forest. It’s located really close (walking distance) to the Iguazu waterfalls, so that this would be an awesome option to end your day after visiting those.
The park belongs to one of the largest bird parks in Latin America and you are able to see many exotic birds while walking 1-2 hours in native forests with trails to the aviaries.
The most spectacular thing to visit in Foz do Iguaçu are the waterfalls! There are two options of meeting the waterfalls: from the Brazilian side, or the Argentinian side. They are separated tours and for each one you will have to pay a ticket.
Tip: Stay in Hotel Nacional Inn de Foz do Iguaçu. The hotel is located close to the airport, as well as close to the waterfalls and the border of Argentina (15 mins drive). This makes it easy to get to the main spots. Besides that, there is a bus station right in front of the hotel and buses will also take you to the national park or city centre.
Don’t miss: Pizzeria “Vó Bertila” for the best pizza in town!
Iguazu waterfalls Brazil
Get up early to make the most of the day! Iguazu National Park opens at 9 am and closes at 5 pm. It’s worth buying your tickets before or be there early to avoid a long queue (the waterfalls can get really crowded).
The trail to see the all of waterfalls takes 2-4 hours depending on your walking speed. I would recommend to plan some extra time, as it might get full and you have to wait a little for taking pictures in some spots.
Before heading onto the trail, you will take one of the buses that run daily directly from the stop after you entered the national park. It will drop you off at the trailhead. The trail is a walking trail including many viewpoints to see the waterfalls.
Once arrived at the top of the waterfalls, you won’t regret coming here: the view is unbelievable. I was flashed by this beauty and the amount of waterfalls all covered in rainbows!
68 BRL (18 USD)
The tickets are available online from the Iguazu Official Website or from the entrance by cash or credit card.
Upgrade to adventure packages
Besides the normal walking trail along the waterfalls, you can decide to include some more adventure, like the Macuco Safari.
You can choose from small safaris to explore the waterfalls from up close by fast speed boat or water rafting.
You can still decide before entering the national park, if you want to do any of the adventure upgrades. Then purchase them with your normal ticket.
You will have to pay more than the normal price, but for adventure lovers, it’s really worth it.
My boyfriend did the water rafting and said it was unbelievable, highly recommended!
↠ Click here to find out more about prices.
Tip: If you decide to do an adventure upgrade, prepare to get wet and bring changing clothes. Both, the rafting and the boat tour, get really close to the waterfalls and there is no doubt that you will come back soaked in water.
Iguazu Waterfalls Argentina
The other option to get to see the Iguazu waterfalls is going to Argentina. I know it might sound like it’s almost impossible to visit another country just for one day, especially in South America, but from Foz do Iguaçu it only takes about 30 minutes to get over the border! It’s very easy to do and I highly recommend you to go for it!
Leave around 8 am and don’t forget your passport!
Good to know: If you stay in Hotel Nacional Inn, Argentina is only 15 minutes by uber from here!
How to get to Argentina from Foz do Iguaçu Brazil
1. Depending on where your accommodation is located you can just take an Uber to the border. The uber can only bring you to a certain point because they are not allowed to cross the border. This will be in front of Immigration of Brazil that you have to pass first before going to the Argentinian immigration.
2. Here you will get a stamp that says you are departing Brazil. After the immigration, there will be a bus that brings you to the next immigration. You can tell the driver that you want to visit Iguazu Falls and he will then drop you off at the bus terminal of the small Argentinian town called “Puerto Iguazu”, from where you have to take another bus. The ticket for the first bus is around 30 BRL and you can purchase it from the driver.
A bus will bring you to the immigration offices and over the border straight to Argentina!
3. But first, it will stop in front of the Argentinian border. Here you will get your passport stamp from Argentina!
Then you can just walk across the border. Welcome to Argentina!
Get back inside the bus (it will wait for you to come back) and enjoy your first bus ride in Argentina. It will take about 1 hour to arrive in Puerto Iguazu.
Get that stamp!
4. Arrived at the bus terminal in Puerto Iguazu you need to purchase another ticket for the next bus to go to the Iguazu waterfalls. There are many ticket offices, where you can buy the ticket that will cost around 130 ARS one way. The town is 20 km away from the Visitor Centre of Cataratas del Iguazu. Buses will leave the station every 15-30 minutes from 7 am to 7 pm.
Tip: Before jumping on the bus, get to an ATM to cash out some Argentine Pesos for the day. Brazilian Reals won’t be accepted in Argentina.
5. Jump on the bus that will drop you off right in front of the Visitor Centre and National Park of Iguazu Falls. And voilá- you will see the waterfalls again, just from Argentina this time.
700 ARS (18 USD) per person and you can buy it from the Visitor Centre by cash or credit card.
Spend the evening in Argentina before heading back to Brazil
There is no better way to enjoy one evening in Argentina with delicious Argentinian food!
Taking a bus back from the Nationalpark to “Puerto Iguazu”, you can walk from here to the city centre.
The streets are cozy and you can find many restaurants and bars offering amazing food.
Tip: Argentina is known for having the best steaks and you shouldn’t miss going to “Restaurante La Rueda”. I’ve had the best steak in my life in this restaurant! The food is unbelievably good. They also offer other Argentinian specialities and salads, fish and pasta.
The price is not the cheapest, but worth the few extra dollars for the best dinner you can have in Argentina!
Steak in “Restaurante La Rueda”
The bus back to Brazil goes from the same terminal as the other buses you took before.
They go until late, so you have enough time to enjoy the evening in Argentina.
Head back to the bus terminal around 10 pm/10:30 pm
Make sure you will get off the bus at the immigration offices to get your stamp of leaving Argentina and entering Brazil again (otherwise you will be in trouble later :D).
Welcome back to Brazil!
Which side is better: Brazil or Argentina?
From visiting both sides, I can definitely tell you that I liked the Iguazu Falls on the Argentinian side much more!
The park in Argentina is less crowded, bigger and you have more opportunities to take different walks/trails through beautiful nature to get to different viewpoints and see the waterfalls.
The Brazilian side is more made of one single trail that everyone follows, so that there are too many people at the same viewpoints and it gets too crowded.
Besides that, the views from the Argentinian side are just WOW!
Preparations for visiting Iguazu Falls
- Bring water and snacks: Even though there are options to buy food inside the Nationalpark, it might get a little pricey. It’s cheaper to bring your own snacks for the day. Also, drink enough water! You will walk a lot and some parts of the trails are not covered in shade, so stay hydrated
Watch out! These small coatis love to steal your food. 😀
- Rain Cover for your bag: Bring a rain cover for your bag, as you will get soaked every now and then by the spray of the waterfall. Especially when visiting the Brazilian side the chance that this happens is really high.
- Raincoat/ Rain Jacket: The same counts for your clothes. If you want them to stay dry make sure you bring a raincoat
- Take care of your camera: The spray of the waterfalls can mess up some electrical devices. Be aware of that when you take pictures.
↠ Must Read: Exploring Alter do Chão, Santarém.
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