If you are thinking about visiting Iguazu you probably have lots of questions, is it worth it? which side should I see? what should I do there? how much time do I need?
First of all, GO, these waterfalls are seriously impressive. If you are into waterfalls 🙋♀️ and into feeling insignificant next to the force of nature 🙋♂️, then don’t doubt it.
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- Why go? 275+ beautiful waterfalls in the same location, how could you not?
- What side to see, Argentina or Brazil? Both 🙂
- How long do I need on each side? 1 day for Brazil, 2 for Argentina. But note that weather can be unpredictable, so it is good to add a day as a buffer.
- Where should I stay? Base yourself in Argentina, we really liked La Cantera de la Jungla ($$$)
- What should I do in Brazil? 1/2 day in the park ($20), 1/2 day between Parque Das Aves ($10) and a 10min helicopter ride ($100)
- What should I do in Argentina? full day in the park ($15), 1/2 day boat ride ($50) to the falls and 1/2 Macuco Trail hike (free)
- Where should I eat?
You should go to BOTH sides, it’s very easy to cross the border in a taxi and not expensive (around $30 and wherever you are staying can help organize), and it is really worth checking out the falls from different angles: panoramic from Brazil, very up close from Argentina.
We spent 2 nights in Brazil and 2 nights in Argentina, but honestly our recommendation is that you base yourself out of Argentina since the park on that side is much bigger, there are better accommodation options and restaurants, and you can easily see everything on the Brazilian side in one day. Plan for 2 days on the Argentina side.
If you can avoid visiting either park during the weekend then do. Lots of people come just for the weekend and so parks are much busier then. If you have to choose a park to go during the weekend then I would pick the Argentina one since it is much larger. Regardless of when you go you should expect lots of people at all times, these waterfalls are *very* accessible (not like others, such as Angel Falls) so it feels a bit like Nature Disney. BUT, even though I honestly hate the idea of Nature Disney (I feel like the point of being in nature is to disconnect, to be away from crowds), I would still 100% recommend going. Because at the end of the day the waterfalls are breathtaking, and having to do a line to take a bus or having a kid crying next to you won’t make them less so.
There is only one trail on the Brazil park, so it is easy to see it in half a day. Get there before they open (at 9am). Once you enter the park you have to take a bus, the 3rd stop (The Path of the Falls) is the start of the trail. However, since there is only one platform over the water on the Brazil’s park and is at the end of the trail, it can get very busy the later you get there. So, we recommend to go to the last bus stop first (Porto Canoas Square) to walk the platform with less people and then do the rest of the trail, either by walking it backwards (depending on how many people there are this can be annoying) or taking the bus back one stop and walking back.
Inside the park we wouldn’t recommend doing anything else, they will try to sell you the boat excursion but this is better to do on the Argentina side.
In between the falls and the helicopter ride grab a yummy homemade empanada at the Food Truck Empanadas Argentinas Iguassu, it is right outside the park.
If you are in Brazil for dinner go to the excellent Castelo Libanes for some authentic Lebanese food.
Argentina Park: Iguazú National Park
See the other two waterfalls trails, upper and lower, either at the end of day 1 or at the start of day 2. Don’t forget to stamp your ticket on the way out the first day so you only have to pay half on the following. Plan to also dedicate 1/2 day to the boat ride, which takes you through rapids and under waterfalls. Although Brazil also offer this boat ride it is better to do on the Argentinian side since the ride is a bit longer and you can get much closer to some of the falls since the Brazilian boats can’t cross the “border” into those.
To eat, we really liked La Rueda a very popular place where we had interesting local specialties and excellent Suribi (fresh water fish). We also ate superb meat in De la Fonte, but not everything we had was good (we had a mediocre pasta dish).
Overall, I don’t think there is a “wrong” way to do Iguazu. Just go, admire the power of nature, get wet, and leave energized.
Hope this is useful content for your trip planning! If you have any other recommendations and suggestions please write them in comments or write me directly at email@example.com . I’d love to hear from you!