Some people I met tried to tell me Iguazu wasn’t worth it. Give it a miss, they said. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them. And I’m equally as glad that I went to both the Brazilian side and the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls.
I was staying in HI Paudimar Falls in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, a great set-up of a hostel with a social, laid back vibe, friendly staff (once you got past the newly arrived stage), excellent facilities, the luxury of a swimming pool and a little bar serving mean caipirinhas for R$4.
The hostel arranged everything for my visit to the Argentinian side of the falls, including the option to do a boat trip depending on what I decided when I was actually there. Costing R$75 (£27.27), this trip included speedy transits through border crossings and entry to Parque Nacional de Iguazu. Additional costs were the boat rides into the waterfalls, starting at R$50 (£18.18).
Exploring the Argentinian side took the full day and I didn’t get to complete all of the mapped trails. It was an amazing day full of walks, boat rides and the feeling of being right in amongst the powerful rush of the falls. It all felt close and loud and immediate. The ground smelt damp and earthy and the air was thick with humidity and spray.
A trip out to the Brazilian side of the falls, if you’re based in Foz do Iguaçu, is easy to organise by yourself. Catch the No. 120 bus from Avenida Jorge Schimmelpfeng to the Parque National do Iguaçu, costing R$2.60 (£0.95) each way. Entrance is R$41.10 (£14.95) for foreigners and includes a short bus ride to the start.
I jumped off at the first viewpoint with a small crowd of others. Something very noticeable was the lack of people compared to overcrowding on the Argentinian side. No bad thing. Together with a friend I walked along the pathway, stopping at various miradors to take in the scenery.
Here on the Brazilian side the sound was less intense and the views of the waterfalls were more distant; wide and open they allowed you to get a sense of scale and perspective.
Towards the end was the one opportunity to get closer to the water; to get a little damp from the spray and take in an undisturbed view of El Garganta del Diablo – The Devil’s Throat. Yes, overall it felt more removed than the Argentinian side but it actually allowed one to appreciate the place as a whole.
I was glad to have visited both sides in order to get a broader, fuller picture of the place. The Brazilian side was a short trip out, needing no more than a few hours whereas visiting the Argentinian side of Iguazu required a full day.
If I had to suggest an order it would be to do the Brazilian side first and build up to the Argentinian side. And if you only get the opportunity to do one? Go for Argentina. It’s a powerful experience.
On the Brazilian side there are also options to do rafting and rappelling (at extra cost) and close by is a bird park that I didn’t visit but fellow backpackers highly recommended.
20 responses to “Iguazu Falls: Brazil, Argentina or both?”
Wow – this looks amazing. Wonderful pictures. This is definately going on my ‘must see’ list.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. it’s definitely somewhere I’d recommend visiting. And if you go, I also recommend putting away your camera for a bit and just FEELING the place. Amazing.
I would recommend to do that in every place one is tempted to pull out the camera.
Absolutely. I agree. I watched one woman walking along filming at Iguazu in Argentina and she was watching her screen, not the actual scenery. I think that’s what did it for me.
Totally! – amazing place.Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Amazing! looking forward to more… I can feel the water spraying all over me – the pics are so amazing!
Yes, it really was amazing. I’m so, so glad I didn’t listen to people who tried to put me off going! I hope some day you get the opportunity to visit the falls.
Actually have never ventured towards the West – Soon, soon, very soon!
I’m heading there in a few weeks time, super exited! It looks amazing.
Enjoy! Look forward to your pics and write-up. Cheers for stopping by my blog.
A couple almost don’t look real, I think… Amazing place. Have you been?
I haven’t but will definitley have to add it to my Bucket List of places to visit. 🙂
These are stunning photos and you have been so gifted to travel to such a beautiful place. I particularly like the fifth photo. Good job and i hope you keep it up.
I absolutely agree – I definitely don’t take any of this for granted. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Those are beautiful places, and equally beautiful photos.
Beautiful place for sure, and pictures take themselves! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Very well written and informative. I spent a month doing the south of Argentina, but did not make it North for the falls. Your blog answered some of my questions for when I do go back, and believe me, I will. Great photos too.
Ah, that northern snippet of Argentina was all I saw. For one day. I’m guessing you travelled through Patagonia? I will definitely be back over to see more of Argentina.
Thanks also for your kind words. I would argue its not difficult to get a few good photos whilst you’re at Iguazu Falls – what a beautiful place filled with photo opportunities! (even better still is to put the camera away for a moment and FEEL the place fully :-))