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Iguaçu Falls

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One of the great natural wonders of the world, the Iguaçu Falls (Portuguese: Cataratas do Iguaçu, Spanish: Cataratas del Iguazú, Tupi: Y Ûasu "big water") are situated near the border of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. The area is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Get in[edit]

Iguazu Falls from helicopter
Iguaçu Falls (Devil's Throat) from the Brazilian side
Iguaçu Falls from the Argentine side
the falls

Access to the Falls is usually done through one of the three cities in the so-called tri-border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

The city on the Brazilian side is Foz do Iguaçu - big and reasonably safe by Brazilian standards. The town on the Argentine side is called Puerto Iguazu and is small and pretty. Although the falls are between Brazil and Argentina only, Ciudad del Este, the city on the Paraguayan side, is just across the bridge from Brazil. It's a hectic (but exciting) centre for contraband and cheap electronic goods, and some say it's not safe there.

Immigration control at the border crossings between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay are open 24 hours and 7 days a week.


Border crossing between these countries is fairly relaxed - authorities assume most people are on a day trip across the border. As of June 17th, 2019, US passport holders no longer require an eVisa to visit the Brazilian side of the falls per the website of the US Department of State. European Union passport holders do not normally need a visa to enter Brazil for tourism. Better check before setting off as the Brazilian side of the falls is "a must".

Beware that there may be lines on either side of the border, depending on the time of the day and holidays.

Also check regarding immunization requirements. Australian residents, for example, require yellow fever shots if returning to Australia within 6 days following a visit to Brazil.

ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS TO ARGENTINA: A valid passport is required for U.S. citizens to enter Argentina. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days for tourism or business. As of March 24th, 2016, the Argentina has suspended the $160 reciprocity fee previously required for US citizens per the website of the Embassy of Argentina in the US.

By plane[edit]

Both the Brazilian and Argentinean cities have nearby airports.


Foz do Iguaçu International Airport (Brazil) is served by TAM Airlines, Gol Transportes Aéreos, Trip Airlines, Sol Linhas Aéreas, Azul, and LAN with direct scheduled flights to and from Lima, Peru, São Paulo Guarulhos/Congonhas/Viracopos, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Recife, Salvador, Cascavel, Porto Alegre, Londrina, and some more. Pluna airlines from Uruguay has direct flights from Montevideo. The airport is located just off the main road between the city of Foz do Iguaçu and the entrance to the Iguaçu National Park. Taxis are readily available - go to the taxi desk at the entrance to the terminal building and tell them your destination (they speak English) and they will arrange for a car and give you a price. You can either pay by card at the desk or pay the driver in cash. Expect the fare to Foz do Iguaçu to be around R$25-30. The fare to the park entrance in Brazil is closer and will be less. The airport is on the bus route between Foz do Iguaçu and the National Park entrance. The bus service runs every half hour and is cheap R$3.95 (February 2020), efficient and easy to use. The stop is right outside the terminal building - board the front of the bus and pay the person sat at the turnstile (change is given) before passing through. The bus passes many of the main hotels on the way into the city (stops are frequent) and ends up at the urban bus terminal (TTU) on the far side of the city where there's a friendly tourist information office. In the other direction the bus will drop you off just outside the main visitor's centre at the entrance to the park.

If you arrive to Foz do Iguaçu airport and are staying at the Melia Iguazu (previously Sheraton) (on the Argentinian side), or just staying in Puerto Iguazu city on the Argentinian side, it is recommended to rent a car at the airport instead (make reservations in advance), so that you can travel from the hotel to the nearby town (which you will want to do if you want to eat there and do some sightseeing) and also to give you the flexibility to go to the Brazilian side of the falls and visit Itaipu dam. Otherwise, a one-way taxi from Foz do Iguaçu airport to the Sheraton is R$100 (does not include AR$60/person entry fee for the park), and about AR$150 to go back to the airport from the hotel. A taxi from Foz do Iguazu International Airport (Brazil) to Puerto Iguazu (Argentina), will set you back US$40. You will have to arrange to go to the Brazilian side of the park for about AR$150 or so by taxi (be sure to negotiate down). To go to and from Puerto Iguazu, there is a bus that costs AR$5 and runs every half hour but the last one leaves at 8pm so if you are dining later than that, you will need to hire a taxi for about AR$70. You can also rent a car from the hotel (they will bring the car to you) but book in advance (and check the rates) as there can be a shortage of cars and is usually more expensive (AR$300-450 per day).


Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport (IGR) is the airport on the Argentinian side of the falls.

On arrival, following baggage claim, there is a stand for a shuttle bus, a stand for a Remis service (local taxi), tour operators and various local and international car rental companies.

The shared shuttle bus to Puerto Iguazu costs ARS250 (Nov 2019).

The remis service provides fixed priced service to Puerto Iguazu, the National Park or the Gran Melia Iguazu Hotel, which are clearly displayed on a board by the kiosk. All destinations from the airport one-way cost ARS700 (Nov 2019). Other destinations are available on request. The attendant at the kiosk will confirm your destination and price, and assign a uniformed driver who will take you to a usually unmarked car in the nearby car park.

There are ATM’s within the terminal, however no banks or foreign exchange businesses. Most businesses in the terminal will offer to accept or change foreign currency, but as like anywhere else, the rates offered noticeably favour the business.

Please note, as of early 2019 high inflation is causing prices across Argentina to increase considerably and quickly - be prepared to check prices and to come across printed signs and price lists with handwritten or printed changes to them.

On entry to the National Park, every visitor including those staying at the Gran Melia Hotel (which is within the park) must pay a park entry fee. Adult entry costs ARS800 per-day, per-person (as of June 2019). Payment is made at the park entry information centre, and is by Argentine Peso cash or credit card only.

By bus[edit]

Buses from all major cities in the country arrive in each of the three towns (see there for details).

In Foz do Iguaçu the long-distance coaches arrive at the Terminal Rodoviária Internacional on Av Costa e Silva. This is about 3km from the centre of town and 4km or a R$15 taxi ride from the Urban Transport Terminal (TTU). A UneSul Executivo bus from Porto Alegre takes 14-16 hours, costs R$145-170 (Nov 2014) [3], and has free WiFi.

A one way bus ticket from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu costs AR$1005-1400 (paying cash).

Buses from Asuncion to Ciudad del Este cost between 60,000 and 88,000 guaranis sand take about 6 hours.

From Puerto Iguazu there are buses to the entrance on their side of the park (07:00 - 19:00 daily) roughly every twenty minutes (about :00, :20 :40 past the hour) for AR$400 (Jan 2020) return with the bus Rio Uruguay departing from the main bus terminal (Terminal de Ómnibus) and many other stops in town and on the way to the falls.

From Foz do Iguaçu buses run every 22 minutes from the urban bus terminal (Terminal de Transporte Urbano) to the visitor's centre at the park entrance, passing many of the main hotels in the city along the way as well as the airport. The R$3.20 flat fare makes the bus a very cheap way to visit the Falls and it's also easy to use. If you're starting your journey at the bus terminal you pay your fare on entering the terminal (the bus is No. 120 to 'Parque Nacional' - the tourist information office at the terminal will point you in the right direction if you have any trouble finding it). When boarding the bus anywhere else you use the front door and pay at the turnstile onboard. The journey takes about 40 minutes. Schedules can be found via the FozTrans web site [4]; as at Nov 2014 the timetables were at [5].

From Foz do Iguaçu to the Argentinian Iguazú National Park, there is a bus that leaves from just outside the bus terminal, at the corner of Rua Mem de Sá and Rua Tarobá. It costs R$4 or AR$8. The bus may or may not stop at the Brazilian border checkpoint but will stop at the Argentine border checkpoint, where your passport will be stamped You can also exchange foreign currency at the Argentine border checkpoint, but be aware that the bus may leave without you if you take too long, leaving you to take a taxi (approx. AR$80) or wait for the next bus. This bus terminates at the Puerto Iguazu bus terminal where you can catch the bus to the National Park (see above on how to get from Puerto Iguazu to the park.

Alternatively, many Foz do Iguaçu hotels and guest houses offer a shared minibus service to take guests to the Argentine side of the Falls. Prices (in November 2014) were R$35 for transport to the Park entrance, R$45 to cover entry to the park (otherwise payable only in Argentine pesos cash) and R$90 for an optional (but recommended) boat trip into the spray at the foot of the falls. The minibus driver takes care of all the paperwork at the border. With immigration and multiple hotel pick-ups, the journey takes about an hour each way and gives 6-7 hours at the Park.

From Puerto Iguazu to the Brazilian Iguaçu Falls National Park, you have two options, depending on how you're traveling. If you are doing a day trip and plan on returning to Puerto Iguazu, you you can take the bus Cruzero del Norte or the public bus. Cruzero del Norte is best if you want a peace of mind not having to worry about changing buses and dealing with the border and it takes you all the way to the entrance of the park. It's not frequent, but the first bus is at 8:10am and the second at 10:30am (you can ask them for a timetable at the bus terminal), it costs AR$80 return (Jan 2017) and takes 1h to go to the falls. The second option is taking the public bus (which is recommended if you're traveling one way and you're hauling luggage). If you plan on taking the public bus, the first buses start to leave at 7:00am and then every 30 minutes or so thereafter and the bus is usually Rio Uruguay. To be sure, check that the front of the bus says Foz do Iguaçu (you will get on at gate 7 or 9). The trip costs AR$20 (Feb '15) one way. At the Argentine border control, everyone, including the driver, gets off to get an exit stamp (it's safe to leave your baggage on the bus here). The bus driver will wait for everyone before continuing over the bridge to the Brazilian side. If you require an entry stamp (i.e. You hold a foreign passport), you must tell the bus driver you need to get off. He will have to give you a reembarqué ticket so you can reboard the next bus that comes by. You will get off (remember to take your luggage with you!) and the bus will leave. Go to immigration and get your passport stamped. If you're flying out of Foz do Iguaçu and leaving the country from another destination in Brazil, you will need to fill out the arrival form. The immigrations officer will check with you. At this point you can either 1) walk 500m to the main road (which is not recommended if you have luggage and the road is not pedestrian friendly). Heading right there is a bus stop to the falls (just outside the big hotel), 10 minutes or 2) reboard the next bus and get off at the next stop, cross the road, and then take the bus to the park as in 1). However, if you're not sure, you could just take the bus to the bus terminal in town and then take the bus to the park from there (see above on how to get from Foz do Iguaçu to the park) - recommended if you're hauling luggage with you. Just remember the bus from the border to the terminal does not end at the terminal, but it will stop there. Just let the bus driver know you want to stop there (Terminal Urbano) or you'll miss it. In both cases 1) and 2) the bus to the park is No. 120 (Parque Nacional) and costs R$2.90 (November 2014) / AR$15 (April 2014). Once you're at the park, there are large lockers that fit backpacks or large sized checkin baggage at the falls entrance (R$20 for a large locker). Which means you can see the falls and then take the bus back to town (or the airport) and get out. You'll be taking the same No. 120 bus.

TIP: Do not pay the park entrance fee in AR pesos (or any other currency for that matter). They have horrendous rates and you will be losing a lot of money. Instead, if you don't have Reals, you have 2 options, 1) there are ATMs there so you can draw out cash and 2) you can pay by credit card. Entrance fee is R$62.

TIP: when/if coming back to Argentina they maybe a bit surprised at the Argentine immigration that you are not travelling on a tourist bus or in a group. You may need to show them your public bus ticket to prove you are travelling independently. So make sure you keep your ticket safe!

It is not uncommon for policemen to check passports in the Argentinian side of the falls, even during domestic journeys. It is advised to carry some documentation of citizenship. If you are coming from the Brazilian side, tell the bus driver you need to stop at the Brazilian border crossing to get your passport stamped. If you try to re-enter Brazil without having been stamped you may need to pay a substantial fine.

By car[edit]

The main car rental companies have offices at the Brazilian Foz do Iguaçu airport. Make sure that you mention at the time of your reservation that you intend to cross into the Argentine side to visit the park. You need a special authorization from the rental car company for that. Insurance bought on the Brazilian rental car is not valid in Argentina. You need to buy a special "carta verde" while still on the Brazilian side. It is sold at lottery stands. A three-day pass costs R$45. If caught without a "carta verde" on the Argentine side you are liable to be charged very heavy fines.

Renting a car gives you a lot of flexibility in exploring both Brazilian and Argentinian side of the cataracts.

By foot[edit]

If you stay at either of the two hotels in the park (either on Argentinean or Brazilian side), you are within walking distance of the falls, so no need for taxis, buses etc. Consider this when planning your trip. See in "Sleep" section for details.

Get around[edit]

Both sides of the park are well served with foot trails.

On the Argentine side of the park there's a small train leaving about every half an hour from near the entrance going all the way to the beginning of the trail to the Garganta del Diablo.

On the Brazilian side, there's a bus service connecting the falls with other activities. That service runs from the entrance to the end of the park every 10 minutes in both directions.

See[edit][add listing]

Iguaçu Falls from the Argentine side
Iguaçu Falls from the Argentine side

The Iguaçu Falls are an awesome sight as tonnes of water throw themselves over cliffs and the mist rises amongst the jungle. They are taller than Niagara Falls, and twice as wide, for which Eleanor Roosevelt is said to have exclaimed on her first sight of the Falls: "Poor Niagara!"

It is well worth spending a day on each side of the falls, especially if you plan to do any of the boat rides or other activities offered.

Don't just rush past the main viewpoints and leave. It's important to get a good perspective on the park overall to appreciate this awesome sight.

Whilst the majority of the falls are in Argentina, a better overview is had from the Brazilian side.

A map of the area including all trails can be found here:

Argentine side[edit]

Observation platform Garganta del Diablo

On the Argentine side (500 AR$ pp (plus $50 for parking a motorcycle), second day for half price if you get your ticket stamped before leaving on the first day, subsequent days are free if you tell them you are staying at the Sheraton). Flooding closed many paths in June 2014, but they are now reopened though see Garganta del Diablo below. Wear waterproofs and protect your camera as it can get quite wet on some viewpoints. Some people visit the waterfalls in swimsuits (recommended in summer). The park itself is fairly well organized, they have a train line so you can get from the entrance to the main circuits (Circuito Superior, Garganta del Diablo, etc. See below). They also have food stands inside the park (Subway & El Noble) close to the train stations, but food and drinks are expensive there (3 empanadas for AR$185, AR$160 for 2 bottles of water in Nov 2019). It is a good idea to bring some food and water if you are going to spend the day on the park. The park closes at 6pm but you cannot enter after 4pm.

There are five main tracks all of which are paved and well marked with the exception of Sendero Macuco:

Circuito Superior - is a short (1.5km) walk to some nice viewpoints along the upper rim of the waterfalls.

Circuito Inferior - is a walk on the bottom end of the falls with the main attraction being the lookout to watch Salto Bossetti and Dos Hermanas. This walk offers the best views of the falls on the Argentinian side and you get super close to the Salto Bossetti falls which are very Instagramable.

Isla San Martin - NOW PERMANENTLY CLOSED. The boat dock was destroyed and not rebuilt. has two main lookouts to different sides of the falls. There are also a lot of birds. Access by ferry only (free). This may be closed when the river level is high. You can always ask the park authorities or watch the information tv sets within the park to see if the access to the island is open. The ferry begins sometime after 10AM and stops taking passengers by 1PM. Check with official park center for more details.

Garganta del Diablo - The main attraction of the Argentine side - do not leave without having seen it. There is a free train running up to a 1 km-long walkway across the river to stand just back from the main horseshoe of falls where the roar and spray are most tremendous.

Sendero Macuco - is the trail through the rainforest to the Arrechea waterfall and is a good way to get away from the crowds. It's about 7 km return on an unpaved but easy path starting at the Estacion Central. Swimming is possible beneath the fall, so consider bringing a bathing suit and towel. An informative brochure for the trail is available from the park information desk. It is recommended to do it in daylight, so don't start it if it's 3 or 4PM.

  • boats. Go in boats on the river  edit

Brazilian side[edit]

On the Brazilian side (R$57.30 pp, cheaper for Brazilian residents and Mercosur) you get an excellent overview of Devil's Throat and the rest of the falls, from both above and below.

Upon paid admission, you get a boarding group/time to get on the bus. Assuming you do not pay for the extra activities, take the bus to "Trilha das Cataratas" (a large pinkish house is on the left). Most people will be getting off here anyway, so it's not easy to miss. Take the trail to the walkway that runs beneath the falls. Sometimes there will be someone selling official Iguaçu Falls rain ponchos for R$15. It is advisable to bring water protection if you wish to stay on the walkway under the falls for more than a minute. Even if you have a poncho, the lower half of your body will still get very wet. The "Panoramic" elevator saves about a 5 minute hike, so you decide if a line is worth waiting in.

The entire Brazilian side can be seen in about 2~4 hours depending on your timing/crowds. The falls are best seen when it's sunny.

Do[edit][add listing]

Spectacular boat trips can be made under the falls.

Argentine side[edit]

  • Iguazu Jungle Explorer, [email protected], [6]: offers trips, including boat rides (recommended) and rides on 4WD trucks through the park. To be booked near the entrance or in town before you arrive in the park. The main attraction is the combined 4wd + boat ride for AR$2500 (Nov 2019) the 4wd is relatively boring but required to get to the boat dock, once on the boat prepare to get soaked to the skin (you'll receive a dry bag for your camera and backpack). Note that the short boat trip is no longer available so to get on the boat under the falls you must take the combined boat + 4wd package.

Brazilian side[edit]

  • AFA Helicopter Flights Over the Falls []: On the Brazil side of the falls (but pickup available from Argentina and Brazil sides) offer short overflights for the best panoramic view of the falls. Private groups are available too as well as special tours around the encompassing jungle, on request.
  • Macuco Safari, [7]: offers boat trips up to the base of the Iguaçu Falls in 20 person zodiac boats. Price is R$268 in Nov 2019. Your tour starts at the roadside entrance gate where you board the truck that will take you through the jungle towards the drop-off point. A narrator will describe the fauna that are --Jimknows (talk) 18:39, 1 July 2013 (EDT) along the way. At the end of the ride, you have an easy hike down to the dock where you should put on your raincoat, a life preserver and place your valuables/dry things into plastic bags. The ride up the river to the falls is quite fun as the boats are powered by the two large motors that are needed to navigate the rapids. During the ride, the journey is video captured for your later purchase. The captains know the rapids well which means that every chance they have to dip the boat and soak the passengers is done. The first pause is at a the beginning of the falls near the launch point for the Argentinian boat tours. There is time for photos and then to re-wrap your camera and up the river towards the Devils Throat. You cannot get that close the large falls as it gets exceedingly rocky in the river which prevents them from going all the way to the base of the falls. However, the captain will get you very close to going under the falls whenever he can. One note:you will get wet-- a raincoat is not enough.

If you go all the way to the "Las Cateratas" station, you will be offered e.g. whitewater rafting & abseiling activities at better rates. When you arrive shortly before the activities close for the day or they're just not busy you can easily bargain about the price and get a really good rate!

Buy[edit][add listing]

On both sides of the falls you can buy souvenirs, but they are very expensive compared to the souvenirs you can buy on the main road of Foz do Iguaçu and Puerto Iguazu.

Be sure to pre-purchase your tickets as there can be horrendous lines during busy times to buy tickets on the day. After buying your ticket online you are given a voucher number. Take this, with your ID to the preferential line to save a lot of time.

Eat[edit][add listing]


The Melia Iguazu (previously Sheraton) right in the park provides a good alternative to the junk food stalls located throughout the park. There's a nice terrace you can rest from which you can see the mist coming out of the falls and also generally see toucans and other birds flying around.

There are some very good restaurants in the town of Puerto Iguassu, serving a very good choice of Argentinian wines.

Brazilian side[edit]

On the Brazil side, there's a buffet that stands right next to the throat at the Porto Canoas station at the end of the walking trail. The food is not good but the view of the river makes for a surreal sight as you know the falls are really close by but you can't really see them other than the mist and the noise.It's a nice place to eat. In addition to the buffet at R$ 52 you can grab a (burger) combo meal at one of the outlets right in front of the buffet restaurant for around R$ 18.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Both on the Argentine and the Brazilian side of the falls there are enough opportunities to buy a drink.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are only two options to stay inside the park within walking distance to the falls: Sheraton in Argentina and Hotel das Cataratas in Brazil. Both are very pricey (compared to staying in town) and take advantage of their position. Most people prefer to stay in either Puerto Iguazu in Argentina or in Foz do Iguaçu on the Brazilian side, where a large number and range of accommodation options can be found. Transport to the falls during daytime is a 20 min bus ride.

Brazilian side[edit]

  • Continental Inn Hotel (4), Avenida Paraná, 1089 , downtown, 55 45 2102-5000, [1]. checkin: 14; checkout: 12. E-mail: [email protected] Located in the prime area of Foz do Iguacu, 800 meters from the Consolidated City Mall (Shopping JL). It offers 124 rooms, including 11 suites. Spacious and modern, equipped with double box, mini bar, cable TV, split air conditioning, hair dryer, personal safe and electronic door locks. Structure leisure pool complete with Adult and Kids, playground, pool bar, games room, gym and sauna. Wireless internet is available throughout the hotel. There is also a piano bar, international restaurant and 24h Room Service. Perfect option for business or pleasure.  edit
  • Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas,Iguacu National Park, Parana. ++55 45 2102-7000,[8]. Stunning location inside the Brazilian National Park, perched atop the falls. Walk to Brazilian observation points and Porto Canoas. Traditional luxury hotel with upscale appointments, gourmet dining rooms, outdoor swimming pool and tennis. Observation deck on the roof. 203 guest rooms. An unforgettable hotel.

Argentine side[edit]

  • Melia Iguazú Resort & Spa, Iguazú 3370, ++54 3757-491800,[9]. Amazing location within the Argentinian National Park, walk to the Argentinian falls. Newly remodelled pool/ gym/ spa area. Otherwise the place feels a bit rundown, but you didn't come here to lounge around inside the hotel anyway. Observation deck on the roof. English speaking. 180 rooms. double jungle view/ falls view $305 US/ $365 US per night. If you stay there, pay the extra $50/ night for "falls view" and ask for a 3rd floor room where the view is best. Be sure to keep your patio door closed in the early morning, or the monkeys may steal things. Also breakfast is included.
  • Poramba Hostel, El Uru 120, Puerto Iguazu (300 mts from the bus station), +54 3757 423041, [2]. Friendly and relaxed hostel, offering both shared and private rooms. In a very nice, tranquil and green part of town, only 300mts. from the bus terminal. Good kitchen. Swimming pool. (-25.5959,-54.5676) edit

Get out[edit]

Other than visiting the falls, the activities offered by tour operators on both sides of the park and having a drink/ dinner at either Pt. Iguazu or Foz do Iguaçu there isn't much else to do in the falls. So don't plan on staying your entire holiday here, 2 or max 3 days should do it. For the Brazil side you need no more than 4 hours total for the simplest tours. If you do the more complete ones, one full day may be enough in that side. The Argentinian side can take another full day because it has a few long trails.

Nevertheless, there are some other options in Foz do Iguaçu city, such as Park of the Birds and Itaipu Dam.

Sometimes, it is cheaper to fly out of the Brasilian side to Sao Paulo for example, than to take the bus (not to mention quicker).

This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information about the park including attractions, activities, lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, and arrival/departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

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