I was fortunate enough to visit Iguazu Falls with my family in 2005. I always had such fond memories of the Falls, I wanted to return! Luckily, I was able to this April. The Iguazu Falls are waterfalls that lie in both Brazil and Argentina and are considered to be the largest waterfall system in the world. The waterfall has a J shape, of which most lies in Argentina (80%) and a small portion lies in Brazil (20%). This waterfall stretches for 2.7 km and has hundreds of cascades. The largest cascade is called Devils Throat, and is 80 m tall. Igauzu Falls has been named one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World. We decided to spend two days in Foz do Iguaçu, the town close to the Falls on the Brazilian side, and two days in Puerto Iguazu, the town close to the falls on the Argentinian side.
Foz do Iguacu
We spent one day in the national park, Parque Nacional Iguazu, and one day crossing the border into Argentina. Parque Nacional Iguazu was beautiful. We did a 1.2 km walk along a boardwalk that ran alongside the waterfall and gave us different view points of the Falls. We were accompanied on our walk by several coatis. These animals look like a cross between an anteater and a raccoon. THEY WERE EVERYWHERE! These animals are considered to be pests, but we were amazed to see how people interacted with them. Jess and I saw a fifty-something year old women poke a coati with her selfie stick to try and get the animal to look at her phone so she could snap a selfie with it.We bit our tongues and continued to walk until we reached the view point that allowed us to see Devils Throat from below. We were in awe. Absolutely beautiful, and better than I remembered. We had fun taking photos and appreciating the water around us.
Crossing the border between Brazil and Argentina
We had to cross the border between these two countries so that we could view the Falls from the Argentinian side. We are also traveling in Argentina after Brazil so it made sense to just cross here and then bus to our next location. We waited 40 minutes for a local bus which took us to the border for a mere R20 (USD1.5). We got off the bus in order to get our exit stamp from Brazil, and we were told in broken English that we needed to get on the next bus and there would be no additional cost. After our stamps we were seriously confused as to if we had to wait there for the bus or go and get our entrance stamps for Argentina. We decided we needed to go and get stamps. We walked for 3 km in the heat, with all our luggage in no mans land between the two countries. Courtney was loving the adventure, Jess and I not so much. When we finally arrived at the Argentinian customs we were exhausted and couldn’t wait to just get to our accomodation. We jumped on the next bus and travel through to Puerto Iguazu. This was an easy process besides the limited signs in English and being confused about where to get the next bus.
We woke up on the only day we had to visit the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls and the weather looked terrible. We had all made peace that we weren’t going to be able to look at the Falls from the Argentinian side, but at lunch I changed my mind as knew I would regret not going. So I set off in the light rain and was really lucky as when I arrived at the park, the rain had lightened even more. The Falls from the Argentinian side are very different to the Brazilian side because on the Brazilian side there is one trail and you see only Devils Throat. On the Argentinian side there are five trails and you get to see many different cascades. I was able to do three trails, Devils Throat, lower circuit and upper circuit. Devils Throat was completely different compared to the Brazilian side because now I got to see the cascade from the top. I was soaked within seconds. All the spray from the waterfall felt like it was bucketing down with rain. This was a really fun experience and I left with a huge grin on my face. After this I headed back and did the lower circuit trail. This was 2.6 km and took me an hour to walk. It was beautiful! Walking past countless cascades and appreciating the panoramic views made my grin grow bigger. The last trail, the upper circuit, was 1.8 km and took me 40 minutes. It allowed me to see the same cascades as the lower cuircuit but from different vantage points. This was a great way to end the day and I was so happy with my decision of going to see the Falls despite the bad weather conditions.
If you have limited time, I would highly recommend going to the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls over the Brazilian. The entrance is more expensive (R100, USD7 more) but there is a lot more to see and you get to walk for longer distances and for more time through the park. This really is my favorite place on Earth!