This post was last updated on October 5th, 2014
It’s rumored that when Eleanor Roosevelt caught her first glimpse of Iguazu Falls, she exclaimed: “Poor Niagara.”
Her sympathy had its merits. Iguazu Falls is both taller than Niagra Falls and wider than Victoria Falls, with scenery unlike anywhere else on earth.
We decided to visit Iguazu Falls out of convenience and curiosity more than anything else. It was the tail end of our trip to the Southern Amazon and the Pantanal where we had been immersed in nature for over a week straight. We had already seen monkeys, tapirs, hundreds of cayman and come face-to-face with a jaguar (full story coming next week!). And having already seen countless waterfalls on our travels, we were wary to how spectacular Iguazu would actually be in person. But with the falls just a short flight away, we knew we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see what all the hype was about.
Of course, it was an absolutely breathtaking experience.
The falls create the geographical border between Brazil and Argentina. Unfortunately we had to stick to the Brazilian Side as US citizens must pay a reciprocal tax of US$160 per person just to hike on the other side of the border for a couple of hours. Should you jump over to the Argentinean side you’ll find an extensive boardwalk that takes you over the top of the falls, which sounds pretty amazing. You can learn more about visiting the Argentinean side here.
How to Arrive
We decided to base ourselves in Foz do Iguazu, the closest city to the falls on the Brazilian side. There are numerous resorts along the way to the falls, but we decided to stay in the center of town at a charming boutique B&B called Gardenia Boshor (full review coming soon).
An easy 40-minute bus ride which goes for 3.50 Reals is a simple way to get dropped off from the center of town to the park entrance.
A ticket into the park costs 41 Reals. You’ll then board a bus that will take you to the start of the 1200 meter trail which runs adjacent to the falls, offering amazing views. At the end of the trail is a platform that looks out over the raging Devil’s Throat, a long u-shaped chasm where nearly half of the rivers water falls over 80 meters. Once you’ve been properly drenched, take the panoramic elevator up to the top of the falls and get a birds eye view before grabbing the bus back to the park entrance.
There is a small snack stand after you arrive at the top of the elevator where you can grab a quick bite to eat. There is a larger restaurant at the bus stop at end of the trail which has a patio that looks over the Iguazu River before it takes its mighty plunge.
There are numerous adventure activities inside the park, including jeep rides, kayaking and nature walks. Because of our previous encounters we didn’t feel the need to participate, although the speedboat ride has tremendous reviews.
Iguazu Falls was the perfect way to round out our Brazilian Eco-adventure. The thunderous roar of the 275 waterfalls stretching 2.7 kilometers that make up Iguazu is an experience we won’t soon forget.
Have you visited Iguazu Falls? Do you have any other waterfalls to recommend?