275 Waterfalls, 2 Countries = 1 Happy Myra
2700 meters of sheer WOW.
There's no other way to describe them. Iguazu Falls are undoubtedly breathtaking and magnificent. I'll give you a few minutes to marvel at these South American cataracts since their overwhelming grandeur left me utterly gobsmacked. They must have made a huge impression on Eleanor Roosevelt* as well since these majestic cascades triggered her emphatic response - "Poor Niagara".
I've never seen Niagara Falls personally, but I'm tempted to someday draw my own conclusions. For now, I'll side with Ms. Roosevelt since I can't imagine anything remotely surpassing these panoramic vistas.
These falls stretch across Brazil and Argentina, which means that you have two opportunities to view them. Two contrasting vantage points, each with its own distinct experience.
The Brazilian side (Iguaçu National Park) offers unparalleled views of the falls in its entirety. It takes less than an hour to traverse the length of the park, which is why our tour group headed straight there from Foz do Iguaçu airport.
Note: The pedestrian footbridge towards the end of the trail gets you as close as possible to the action. Getting wet is highly likely and essential to the experience.
This video highlights what to expect from the Brazilian side, where 20% of roughly 275+ falls reside.
The Argentinian side (Iguazu National Park) offers walking trails that take you across several tiered sections. Be prepared to "walk through 2 km of rapids" and climb "over 150 meters of steep stairs" during your ecological tour.
Gate1 Travel took care of all our logistics and shaved off 2 unnecessary hours from our tour since they knew which trail to tackle first. With that said, here's their prioritized recommendation.
Trail 1: Garganta del Diablo - Get on the first train from Central Station to Garganta Station since there will be many tourists headed towards Devil's Throat, the largest water curtain within the park. Tackle this trek as soon as the park opens to minimize the wait time.
Trail 2: Upper Circuit - Take the train from Garganta Station to Cataratas Station, which serves as the starting point for both the upper and lower circuits. Once you're done, I highly recommend feasting at Fortin Cataratas before tackling the final trail.
Are you a carnivore? If so, you'll definitely get your money's worth with a traditional Argentinian buffet. Meat...meat... and more meat. Best when paired with an ice cold cerveza.
Trail 3: Lower Circuit - I won't spoil it for you, but this trail was my favorite. Double rainbows and the glorious Bosseti Falls will render you speechless.
I couldn't possibly describe how amazing this experience was via photos alone. This segment takes you through my immersive journey from start to finish. What a spectacular retreat. Definitely worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage and New Natural World Wonder accolades.
I can't wait to return.
Click here to view the official website for Iguaçu National Park - Brazil.
Click here to view the official website for Iguazu National Park - Argentina.
This blog update does not include logistical information such as transportation, fees, and park hours since it was all part of my Brazil/Argentina package with Gate 1 Travel. Click here to view my itinerary.
If you're visiting the falls from the Argentina side, I highly recommend staying at the Amerian Portal del Iguazu - an award-winning hotel at the intersection of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Don't forget to pack your bathing suit.
1) We experienced plenty of turbulence flying into Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) from Rio de Janeiro. My guide said that it happens quite often so prepare for a rocky ride.
2) Keep your passports handy when crossing the Brazil/Argentina borders. You will also need identification if you book tours with Great Adventure or Nautical Adventure Tours.
3) Wear comfortable closed toe shoes. Bring waterproof clothing/backpack, plastic phone protectors, and ponchos.
4) Beware of quatis. These raccoon-like creatures are known to bite. Unless you want a rabies shot, please don't feed them, approach them, or take closeups without a zoom lens.
* Former first lady of the United States from March 1933 to April 1945.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”