Imagine, you’re in a place where all of your senses are working overtime. The noise from the gushing water overpowers every other sound around you, the spray of mist feels cool on your skin, vibrant rainbows form in every direction and the speed of the endless rush of water drops into the Devil's Throat at speed – it is simply breathtaking. At Iguazu Falls, you are reminded that nature is all powerful.
During my three-month stint in Argentina, I had the pleasure of spending my birthday at this incredible natural wonder. I spent two nights in the nearby town of Puerto Iguazu. This is the only practical place to stay when visiting the falls and it’s a rather small town so a few days is enough to see the highlights.
One of those highlights is a place called Casa Ecológica de Botellas, which is a house made entirely out of plastic bottles and other recycled material including all of its contents – truly unique.
Another place I recommend you visit is Las Tres Fronteras, a fantastic view point where you can see the Iguazu and Parana rivers come together. This also happens to be where all three surrounding countries, Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, meet at the borders. Take a bottle of wine and some nibbles for a beautiful sunset. There’s even a lightshow!
But let’s face it, the main reason people come here from all corners of the globe is to see the astonishing waterfall. It’s not exactly easy to get here, and not always cheap, but it is worth the journey. I took a 20-odd hour bus journey from Buenos Aires, and whilst the first class sleeper bus service with 3 course meals, wine and movies was a great experience on a budget, if I had my time again, I would choose the 2-hour flight without a second thought.
When you arrive in Puerto Iguazu, there are two main options for visiting the falls: join an organised tour or take the public bus from the centre of town. For travellers who like to hand the reins to someone else and just go along for the ride, I would definitely recommend booking a tour. However, the area is very easy to navigate and the locals are extremely helpful so going out on your own is no problem at all.
The falls lie inside a stunning national park stretching across the Brazillian border. It is mostly made up of tropical and subtropical rainforest and is buzzing with life. There are plenty of walking trails that snake throughout the park, the more difficult of which offer incredible vistas rarely seen by other tourists.
Without a doubt, the best way to see the falls up-close is by taking a boat ride right up to the Devil’s Mouth. You can book a ticket for this right at the entrance to the National Park. Expect to get totally saturated on this boat ride (make sure your valuables are protected!). I’d recommend doing this first so you have plenty of time to dry off as you explore the rest of the park. Given the sheer size and scale of the falls, it’s easy to wile away the hours soaking up the beauty of this natural wonder.
I returned the following day to explore the Brazilian side of the falls. From here, you get to see the entire thing in all its glory from a distance. If you have the time, I definitely recommend crossing over to gain a different perspective but be sure to bring your passport – you’re crossing international borders after all.
When it comes to accommodation, there are a handful of hotels located inside the national park including the 4-star Sheraton which has a pool, restaurant and rooms with views of the falls. Otherwise, staying in Puerto Iguazu is a good bet. Jardin De Iguazu is a 3-star hotel with basic but comfortable rooms, a beautiful garden area, swimming pool and a hydro-massage tub. It’s also conveniently located close to local bars, restaurants and souvenir shops.
If you’d like to know more about visiting Iguazu Falls or are interested in booking a trip, please do get in touch. I’d love to help you plan your dream trip to Argentina. I know you’ll love it just as much as I did.