If you are a fan of waterfalls there are three falls you must visit:
- Niagara on the border between USA/Canada, the widest falls in the world
- Victoria on the border between Zimbabwe/Zambia, the biggest falls in the world
- Iguazu on the border between Brazil/Argentina, the largest falls in the world
We visited the National Park Iguazu, both the Brazilian side as the Argentinian one. In this park there are 270 (small and big ones) falls that plunge into the Parana river. The rainforest surrounding it is worth a visit as well.
I would recommend visiting the Brazilian side of the falls first. Here you can hike the Macuco Fall trail. You get a great view on the falls from the Brazilian side and at the end of the trail you can take a boat to go visit the waterfalls from upon the water (Macuco Safari). A fantastic way to see the ‘Devil’s throat’ from up close. You can choose for a combination of both the hiking trail as taking the boat. You will also encounter a lot off wildlife in the Atlantic Rainforest like coatis, toucans, colibri’s and even Jaguars.
The Devil’s throat (Garganta del Diablo)
This is the most impressive part of the falls; the water comes here from 3 different sides and plunges into the river from a height of 82 meters. The best way to see this is from the Argentinian side where you can walk a wooden path to get really close to these falls. On a clear day the view is amazing.
Parque des Aves
This birdpark is just outside the entrance of the National Park on the Brazilian side. This institution is the only one in the world focused on the conservation of the beautiful birds of the Atlantic Rainforest. You can see Toucans, Ara’s in a lot of different colors and many more birds.
The park is open from Tuesday-Sunday from 8.30 am till 4.30 pm. Closed on Monday. Prices: 13,60 $ for adults, free for children.n under 9 years old.
Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
As for most people visiting Iguazu falls is a once in a lifetime experience, I would highly recommend to book your stay in Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas. This amazing luxury hotel lies in the middle of the Iguazu National Park in Brazil. Besides its location with the view on the falls it has all assets you can expect from a luxury hotel. It’s built in a colonial style and has a large swimming pool, 2 restaurants, a bar, a sitting area with a fireplace (we visited in May, which is winter in Brazil) and very spacious, luxurious rooms. The service of the staff is outstanding and the food is high quality. Many people come here to celebrate their wedding or honeymoon. We saw toucans flying over the swimming pool and beautiful colored birds and colibri’s in the hotel garden. Don't forget to climb the tower to enjoy an unforgettable sunset view!
You can book tours at the hotel and I would highly recommend the first light walk to see the sunrise on the falls or the morning walk with a guide. You discover the beauty of the falls in private as the park isn’t open yet to the public. An unforgettable experience!
TIP! As for the bird park, we visited this on our first day. It’s best to visit here before entering the park as you drive next to it coming from the airport. You can easily visit before the taking the transfer from the entrance of the park to the hotel.
We booked our tour to the Argentinian
side directly with the hotel, where the concierge will help you with the necessary documents to enter Argentina and buy your park entrance online. It’s about an hour to get to the Argentinian side, including the time to cross the border. Which is impressive as well. The border lies in the middle of the river and you can see the colors of both countries at the side of the bridge you have to cross.
What to visit on the Argentinian side?
- Devil’s Throat: as mentioned above you can take a small train to go to the wooden path that will take you very close to this impressive part of the falls. We saw some beautiful wildlife while walking on the path like coatis, capybaras and monkeys.
- Upper circuit: this wooden path is about 1200m long and will take you all over the falls, you will feel like walking on water. There are many viewpoints along the way.
- Lower circuit: this path is less popular, but we found it quite spectacular as well. So, if you have enough time, I recommend to do both. The walk through the jungle is fascinating. We even saw a snake here!
Sometimes you will have a few stairs, so it’s not recommended for wheelchairs or buggies.
As the Argentinian side is the most impressive it’s best to visit first the Brazilian side to have the best experience.
If you want more tips or information about visiting Iguazu falls, please let me know in the comments.