Argentina, Brazil, South America

Getting Wet & Wild at Iguazu Falls in Argentina & Brazil

April 28, 2015
Argentina - Iguazu Falls - Around the World with Justin

Around the World with Justin
Located along the Iguazu River on the border between Argentina and Brazil is one of the most breathtaking collections of waterfalls in the entire world. Spanning 2.7 kilometers in length, Iguazu Falls is comprised of up to 300 waterfalls reaching heights as tall as 82 meters. One look at these falls and it’s obvious why travelers from all over the world make getting to Iguazu Falls a priority to soak up this natural wonder.

Getting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Brazil Natural Wonder aroundtheworldwithjustin.comGetting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Brazil Natural Wonder aroundtheworldwithjustin.com

Around the World with Justin
There are two Iguazu Falls national parks – one in Argentina and one in Brazil. You can access both from either Argentina or Brazil, but you need to make sure you have the correct documentation to get into each country. Below is how I accessed both sides from Argentina.

Getting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Brazil Natural Wonder aroundtheworldwithjustin.com

Travel TipIf you’re a U.S. citizen entering Argentina for the first time from another country, you need to pay a $160 USD reciprocity fee by credit card online at the Provincia Pagos website. Once registered, print your receipt for the immigration officer at the border.

The fastest way of getting to Iguazu Falls while traveling in Argentina is by air. Depending on where you’re coming from, book a flight to Iguazu (IGR) connecting through Buenos Aires (AEP). I flew Aerolineas Argentinas which offers daily flights from Buenos Aires to Iguazu. From the airport I hopped in a shared van to a town called Puerto Iguazu, the most popular homebase in Argentina for getting to Iguazu Falls. (The most popular place to stay in Brazil is a town called Foz do Iguacu.)

If you don’t want to fly (or are looking to save some money), buses are the next best option. Just be aware that taking a bus comes with a trade-off: you’ll save money, but end up sacrificing a lot of time.

Getting to Iguazu Falls on the Argentine Side: From Puerto Iguazu it is really easy to take a bus (AR$40 one-way) or hire a taxi (AR$100 one-way) to the entrance of Iguazu National Park (Parque Nacional Iguazu).

Getting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Natural Wonder aroundtheworldwithjustin.com

Travel TipSome travelers who need a visa actually enter the Brazilian side from Argentina without one by staying on the bus at Brazilian immigration. I was told some people make it through while others don’t. This is definitely riskier than obtaining a visa.

Getting to Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian Side: From Puerto Iguazu there are various buses that go from the town’s bus station to the entrance of Iguazu National Park (Cataratas do Iguacu). A popular option is the Rio Uruguay round-trip bus ticket to “Cataratas Brasil.” On the way in, the bus stops at Argentine immigration first, followed by Brazilian immigration. On the way out, it makes those stops in reverse. Many nationalities (U.S., Australia and Canada to name a few) require visas to enter Brazil so make sure you check to see if you need one!

Getting to Iguazu Falls Brazil Natural Wonder aroundtheworldwithjustin.com
Around the World with Justin
I spent two full days each exploring both the Brazilian and Argentine side of Iguazu Falls.

The Brazilian Side
The Brazilian side is known for its panoramic views of Iguazu Falls. At a distance, it’s easy to get lost in the breathtaking views. Seeing waterfall after waterfall is completely awe-inspiring; it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

Getting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Brazil Natural Wonder aroundtheworldwithjustin.comGetting to Iguazu Falls Brazil Natural Wonder aroundtheworldwithjustin.com

After getting to Iguazu Falls, entering the park costs adults R$52,30 (check for updates) and the park is easy to navigate. I took a double-decker bus to the main path along the edge of the falls. For 1.5km I casually walked along the path taking in the gorgeous views.

At the end of the observation trail is Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo) where nearly half of the Iguazu River flows into a deep gorge. Here you can actually walk over the river and basically into the base of the falls. You can also take an elevator up to a viewing area that overlooks the waterfalls.

Getting to Iguazu Falls Brazil Devil's Throat aroundtheworldwithjustin.comGetting to Iguazu Falls Brazil Devil's Throat aroundtheworldwithjustin.comGetting to Iguazu Falls Brazil Devil's Throat aroundtheworldwithjustin.com

The Argentine Side
The Argentine side is known for its up close and personal views of Iguazu Falls — this is the adventurous side! Whereas the Brazilian side is more like a beautiful viewing exhibit, the Argentine is hands-on and interactive. There are two main pathways to explore the waterfalls there – a high one and low one – and both offer breathtaking experiences.

Getting to Iguazu Falls Argentina aroundtheworldwithjustin.comGetting to Iguazu Falls Argentina aroundtheworldwithjustin.com

Travel TipYou can only pay the entrance fee in Argentine pesos and in cash.

The cost to enter for adults is AR$260 (check for updates) and this has a much bigger feel than the Brazilian side — it’s almost like nature’s version of Walt Disney World. The good news is all you really need is the park map given away at the entrance to easily explore the grounds.

I was really happy I went to the Brazilian side first and started with the bigger perspective. Walking around the Argentine side made me feel like I was an explorer navigating the jungle, discovering stunning waterfalls (and rainbows) with every turn.

Getting to Iguazu Falls Argentina double rainbow aroundtheworldwithjustin.com

Hands down my favorite moment was my speedboating into the waterfalls with Aventura Nautica (cost AR$270). Having the chance to get on the water, to go directly into the waterfalls and to feel the water pummeling down on me was out of this world! I laughed, I screamed and I loved going into the falls multiple times! Here’s a little taste of this adventure:

Getting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Aventura Nautica aroundtheworldwithjustin.comGetting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Aventura Nautica aroundtheworldwithjustin.comGetting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Aventura Nautica aroundtheworldwithjustin.com

Around the World with Justin
I stayed at Hostel Inn Iguazu and was happy with it overall. The grounds itself physically had more of a hotel layout – large pool, restaurant, cafeteria-like seating area, bar, recreation area – but the buildings (and clientele) definitely had a hostel feel and were a little rundown. I stayed in a 4-person dorm room with air-conditioning and easily was able to make friends with other travelers staying here. The location is also an easy bus ride to the center of town and there’s even a convenient bus stop right in front of the hostel for getting to Iguazu Falls on the Argentine side.

Right next door is the Ice Bar Iguazu which was fun to check out, but definitely not uniquely Argentine (a.k.a. a tourist trap) and not worth the “all you can drink” deal as the shots were disgusting.

Getting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Hostel Inn Iguazu aroundtheworldwithjustin.comGetting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Hostel Inn Iguazu Ice Bar aroundtheworldwithjustin.com

Around the World with Justin
After spending two days soaking up the waterfalls, I walked away from Iguazu Falls with a greater appreciation of nature. What I loved most was the contrast of viewing it on both sides. At a distance the falls were serene and majestic. Up close they were commanding and forceful. My time here challenges me to experience nature from different lenses to deepen my connection to its many beautiful sides.

Getting to Iguazu Falls Brazil Devil's Throat aroundtheworldwithjustin.comGetting to Iguazu Falls Argentina Aventura Nautica aroundtheworldwithjustin.com

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Traveling to Iguazu Falls? Learn the difference and how to explore both sides on Argentina and Brazil.

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9 Comments

  • Reply Schmidlin July 14, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Good job with citing. Your sources are great.

    • Reply Justin Walter July 21, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Thank you! I love hearing that my blog and resources are helping others with their travels. Let me know if you have any questions about places I’ve been to. Happy to help!

  • Reply Raymond October 6, 2015 at 4:18 am

    Thanks, very interesting blog!

  • Reply Top 15 Travel Destinations in Latin America’s Tropics - TourTheTropics.com January 8, 2016 at 5:44 am

    […] Brushing against the tropics, the Iguazu Falls is an awe-inspiring attraction and one of the world’s few spectacular waterfalls. Located mainly in Argentina with about 20% across Brazil, this giant semicircular cascading waterfall reaches across 2,700 meters and is 80 meters high. The waterfall is surrounded by pristine subtropical rainforest filled with different monkeys, jaguar, and caiman crocodiles. The main areas to access the falls are Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil and Puerto Iguazú in Argentina. Protected by both the Iguazú National Park in Argentina and the Brazilian Iguaçu National Park, both of these parks are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the falls themselves are regarded as one of the world’s 7 natural wonders. You can visit different sections of the incredible falls by walking the upper and lower circuits to get some great views. In addition to these circuits, you can also take a picturesque train ride around the falls for some fantastic photographs. A blogger who visited Iguazu is Justin from Aroundtheworldwithjustin.com. […]

  • Reply Dee Oly March 4, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing your travels. I was just glad to run across your blog and see such a beautiful spot from my desk. I never knew about Iguazu Falls in Argentina. What a fantastic spot!

    • Reply Justin Walter March 5, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Dee! This means so much to me. I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed my blog and hopefully it has inspired you to go to places like Iguazu Falls. If you ever need any travel tips make sure to hit me up on here.

  • Reply Lisa Hsu July 10, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Hi Justin,
    Enjoy your travel blog on Iguazu Falls and LOVE your pictures! Trying to research on the feasibility of taking a trip to the falls from USA. Look pretty expensive with airs and hotels!!! Thanks for providing info on transportation. It is essential for our planning to maximize time and minimize hotel stays. If we are flying into IGR early afternoon, is it possible to go directly tothe Brazil side of the park by bus or taxi? Just to take a few panoramic pictures like you !!! Then back to Argentine side overnite for full next day visit before early flight on third day back to BA? THANK YOU for advice.

    • Reply Justin Walter July 11, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Hi Lisa! I’m glad my blog has been helpful for your trip. If you fly into IGR you can take a bus or taxi to the Brazil side, but would just have to check on the timing buses go there and the hours of the park. Also, as noted in my blog you need to have a visa to get into the Brazil side. However, some travelers do “sneak in” without visas, definitely a more risky approach. I would look into bus schedules, visas and flight arrival times and see what you might be able to get together. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  • Reply Lisa Hsu July 12, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you very much.
    Liss

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