Iguaza Falls, one of the most impressive waterfalls in South America and the world. With 275 waterfalls in a sub-tropical rain forest, it is definitely worth the visit if you are in South America. At Iguazu Falls Argentina, you can get right above the Garganta del Diablo (devil’s throat) which crashes down at 262 feet.
Similar to the Niagara Falls, you can see the impressive falls from two countries. It can be visited from both Argentina and Brazil. Both places give you a different perspective and experience of the Iguazu Falls.
Having been to the Niagara Falls, I was really looking forward to a visit to Iguazu. Not many waterfalls have come to impress me after having been to Niagara Falls. And Iguazu Falls certainly did not disappoint.
Iguazu Falls Argentina or Brazil?
One common question is whether it is better to visit the Iguazu falls from Argentina or Brazil. OR if it makes sense to see both?
From the Brazilian side, you can get a fantastic, panoramic view of the falls. A trip to the falls in Brazil is typically shorter. On the Argentina side, you can get closer to the falls, and it is a full day trip since there are a few routes to explore.
I recommend checking out both if you have the time and budget; it is great to see these impressive falls from different perspectives.
I will let you make your own decision on which is better after visiting both! But if you really only have time for one, the Argentina side has more bang for the buck, since there is more to do.
Here is what you need to know to plan your trip to the Iguazu falls on the Argentina side.
When is the best to visit the Iguazu Falls?
Good news! Iguazu Falls is a year-round destination, so you can visit any time of the year. Iguazu Falls has a hot and humid tropical climate.
The mid-seasons months of April to May and Sept to Oct have a lesser crowd and a more pleasant temperature.
In Autumn (Mar-May), it is the dry season, so don’t expect as much rain. However, the falls might also not be as strong in that case.
On the other, you get more rainfall in Spring (Sep-Nov), so stronger falls but a higher chance of rain, so it is really a balance.
The summer months (Dec – Feb) are the peak travel season, and the weather will be warmer. Accommodation prices also tend to be higher then.
I would also recommend that you watch out for the weather forecast since the falls definitely look more impressive on a good weather day with the sun.
Special ”Walks in the moonlight tour”
There is a special guided night tour in the Iguazu Falls that is held only 5 times every month on specific days. The tour lasts 2.5 hours and takes you to the Devil Throats. You will get to enjoy the Iguazu falls under the moonlight and experience the park at night.
The schedule is dependent on the lunar calendar since the moon plays an important role. If you plan to do it, check out their tour calendar beforehand and plan around it. You will need to make reservations in advance.
How do I get to Iguazu Falls?
The nearest town to Iguazu Falls is Puerto Iguazu. This is where travelers will arrive at and stay while they explore this impressive nature wonder.
The bus to Iguazu Falls depart at the main bus station. You can buy both the departure and return tickets. Buses are available in approximately 20 minutes intervals, usually starting from 7am. You can double check the schedule at the bus company booth.
The bus ride takes around 30 mins and drops your right at the entrance. The return bus will be at the same area where you are dropped off. You need the return ticket to get back, so make sure you keep it safely amidst your Iguazu Falls adventure.
The park opens from 8am – 6pm daily.
How many days to visit Iguazu Falls Argentina?
Plan to spend 1 or 2 days at the Argentina Iguazu Falls. You need at least one full day if you want to see most of the park, and you want to start early. 2 days will allow you to see all of the park at a more leisure pace.
There is a 50% discount off the entry fee on a 2nd day visit. If you plan to go back on the second day, remember to keep your ticket stub and get it validated when you leave on the first day. This is how they track and determine if you qualify for the discount when you return.
Note: For the “lack of time” travelers, you cannot and should not try to do both the Argentina and Brazil side in 1 day.
What to bring
Here are some items that you should bring:
- Passport or some form of ID for purchasing entrance tickets. There are different ticket prices for certain nationalities, and this is used to determine what ticket applies to you.
- Mosquito repellent
- Sunblock lotion
- Changes of clothes. This is highly recommended if you plan to do the boat tour that brings you right under the falls.
- Waterproof bag/casing. If you want to take videos or photos with your phone on the boat tour, make sure you have a waterproof bag to keep your phone in or a casing for your GoPro.
- Rain Jacket or Poncho. Make sure you are prepared for wet weather. Even if you are not going on the boat tour, you will still get wet at the devil’s throat due to the falls’ impact. It won’t be soaking wet, but you should prepare something to protect anything expensive (camera) or important.
- Food and water. As you can expect from any popular attractions, prices of food and drinks sold at the park are higher, so you might want to pack your own lunch.
- Good walking shoes. There will be quite a bit of walking involved, so make sure you go with a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
What is the Gran Aventura Boat Tour?
The Gran Aventura Boat Tour is an additional activity, not included in the entry ticket. I would highly recommend this if you are up for the adventure. This boat tour takes you right under the falls, so you can
get soaking wet be blessed by the holy water of the Iguazu falls.
The tour starts with a ride on a 4×4. This takes you through the jungle to the boat starting point with a guide. You get to see and learn more about the waterfalls and flora and fauna of the park during the ride.
Before you board the boat, you will get a life jacket and green waterproof bag to keep your stuff. The waterproof bag provided will not fit big backpacks. The boat will then navigate through the river before reaching the falls.
If you want to hold your phone or GoPro for pictures/videos when going under the falls, make sure you use a waterproof casing or bag. The souvenir stores in the park do sell small waterproof bags.
Remember to factor in time for this activity if you are going to do it.
How do I get around the park?
When you get into the park, visit the visitor center, and grab a map. The map is very useful in telling you all the possible routes and the estimated time needed for each.
You can get around the park easily by walking and with the ecological jungle train.
The main viewpoints and attractions are basically on the Upper walk, lower walk, and devil’s throat. However, the whole park provides an amazing experience. I would encourage you to check out all the routes, if possible.
Can I do it myself or go with a tour?
For a typical visit to Iguazu Falls in the day time, this can be done by yourself. If you like to go with a tour, here are some options available for a hassle free trip as well as additional activities to consider.
What else is there to do in Puerto Iguazu?
Another point of interest in Puerto Iguazu is the Hito Tres Fronteras. This is a small park where you can see the intersection point of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.
There is also an animal shelter, GüiráOga that is just right out of town. This shelter houses and nurses animals that are not able to survive in the wild due to injuries etc. Some of the animals will go back into their natural habitat after they recover. Visit is via a 1.5 hour guided tour, you should contact them in advance to find out the timing for English tours.
Where to stay in Puerto Iguazu?
It will be convenient to stay near bus station since you will be taking most of your transports there. There are also hostels with swimming pools and these are great options for the tropical climate.
Iguazu Falls Hostel has a great location because it is right next to the bus terminal. The hostel also has a large garden with swimming pool. There are hammocks to relax as well.
Tucan Hostel is around 1.5 blocks away from the bus terminal. It is a family run hostel so you can expect local Argentine hospitality. There is also a small pool in the garden.
From Cataratas Airport to Puerto Iguazu
A convenient and cheap way to get from the airport to Puerto Iguazu is via minibuses. They start from the airport and drop you right at your hostel if it is in the city center. You will need to buy the ticket from the counters in the airport. They typically leave every 25 mins.
Another more direct way is by taxi. There is a desk in the airport where you can book one.
From Puerto Iguazu Argentina to Iguazu Falls Brazil
If you are looking to take a day trip to the Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian side, there are direct buses from Cruzero del Norte and Rio Uruguay that brings you to the Brazilian Iguazu falls directly. There is usually a bus starting every hour, and the journey is around 45 minutes. You will need to bring your passport along as you will be crossing over the border.
From the bus terminal, you can also get buses to Foz do Iguaçu, if you are traveling to or going to stay over in Brazil. Foz do Iguaçu is the nearest city to the Iguazu Falls on Brazil side. You can get catch 120 from the city to the Iguazu Falls.