Map of trails: http://www.mappery.com/map-of/Iguazu-National-Park-Map
Hours of Operation:
Brazilian side: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Argentine side: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Phone: +54 3757 49-1469
- Argentine side: 500 AR$, second day half off if you get your ticket stamped
- Brazilian side: R$57.30
The majority of Iguazú Falls can be seen on the Argentine side, where the catwalks extend closer to the waterfalls and the trails wind through more forested scenery than the Brazil side. To enter Parque Nacional Iguazú, either follow the Sendero Verd 650 meters or take a train that departs every half-hour to the Cataratas train station. There are several trails, and it’s possible to explore them all in one or two days.
Much of the water from Iguazu River is swallowed by Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo), a U-shaped chasm that should be the apex of your visit. Either take a train from the Cataratas station or walk the 2.3km to the Devil’s Throat stop. The last train leaves at 4:00 pm.
You can get a distant view of Devil’s Throat at Paseo Inferior. This 1400-meter circuit allows you to see great deal of the park. Before the turn-around you’ll start to feel the spray of water on your skin, and if you’d like, you can get close enough to Salto Bossetti to get soaked. If that’s not enough water for you, you can pay for a boat ride under the falls (Iguazu Jungle Explorer: AR$180 for a short trip, AR$380 for a long trip). Alternatively, a free ferry takes passengers across to Isla San Martín. This island is aflock with birds and has a trail that gives the closest look at several falls, including Salto San Martín. Access to the island may be closed if the water level is too high. Ferrying starts at 10:00 am and ends at 1:00 pm.
Sendero Macuco is a less-crowded 7 km trail that leads to the Arrechea waterfall, a good spot for swimming. And Paseo Superior has soaring views over the rims of the falls. Catwalks have to maintain a little distance from the more powerful waterfalls. But you can walk right up to the smaller ones such as Salto Alvar Nunez, Salto Chico, and Salto Dos Hermanas.
The Brazilian side arguably offers more panoramic views, but the best part is undeniably the close, frontal view of Devil’s Throat that you can’t get on the Argentine side. An observation tower also provides a scale of perspectives. And it’s only on this side of the border that you can hire a helicopter for an aerial view. If you’re an adventurous type, you can rappel down a cliff face or get a guide at “Las Cateratas” station and go whitewater rafting above the falls. The Macuco Safari begins at the base of the falls; a guide takes you down the river, explaining flora and fauna along the way, and practically beneath the falls. You get drenched–raincoat or no–so if you don’t have protection for your camera, you can purchase a video of the journey afterward. Near the park entrance, check out the Parque das Aves, a collection of aviaries where you can walk among toucans, owls, cassowarys, tame snakes, and more. It’s open daily from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and costs R$ 40,0 per person (www.parquedasaves.com.br/en).
The entire Brazilian side can be explored in about three hours. Most people enter through the Argentine side, so if you want to cross over the border into Brazil, you will need a visa. It can be obtained on-site in Puerto Iguazú, a process that takes about two hours and requires photo ID, or by contacting the Brazilian Embassy (www.brasilemb.org) at least two weeks in advance.
With Iguazu Falls near the borders of three countries, other attractions are just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
Hito Argentino in Puerto Iguazú is great viewpoint of where the Paraná and Iguazú Rivers meet, bordering Brazil and Paraguay. A play fountain, studded by an obelisk, is a good place to let kids run around while you snap pictures.
Take a tour of the wildlife rehabilitation center, Güirá Oga in Puerto Iguazú, where a guide will explain how the injured animals came to be there and how they’re cared for. English tours begin at 10am and 2pm. (http://www.guiraoga.com.ar/)
La Casa Ecológica de Botellas
Find out how a house and furniture were built entirely out of littered bottles and cartons at La Casa Ecológica de Botellas in Puerto Iguazú, and maybe take home an unusual recycled craft.
In the Paraná River, Itaipu Dam is fixed between the border of Paraguay and Brazil. It’s the largest hydroelectric dam in the world and is popular for its views of the surrounding region and for its nighttime light shows.
Museum of the Guarani Land
Nearby on the Paraguayan side, the Museum of the Guarani Land exhibits 10,000 years of indigenous culture. It’s free and open Tuesdays to Sundays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Jesuit Ruins and the Iberá Wetlands
If you’re looking for more to explore in Argentina, a four-hour drive leads to 17th-century Jesuit ruins and the second-largest wetland in the world, the Iberá Wetlands, home to alligators, capybara, and marsh deer.
Once inside the park, food stands are a little expensive, so we suggest you bring your own food if you plan on spending the day there. But there is a wide variety of restaurants at the entrance, from American to Italian to Mexican. The only place beyond the main entrance is Porto Canoas, a buffet-style restaurant on top of the falls with an expansive view of the river and Devil’s Throat thundering below. Be careful when you’re eating outside, since monkeys and coati may take off with your food if they get the chance!
Interested in touring Brazil and Argentina and visiting Iguazu Falls? We offer four different tours that explore this region.
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|Misiones Province, Argentina|