The Iguazú Falls are pretty much on everyones bucket list traveling to Brazil, Argentina or South America in general. This awe-inspiring natural spectacle is a UNESCO Worlds Heritage site, stretches along the argentine-brasilian border for 2,7 km and opens jaw-dropping views of over 275 waterfalls and cataracts (150-300 depending on water amount). It’s the 6th largest falls in the world(water flow rate) with the average height of 60-80m. It has a U-shape (aerial view) with the main area called Devils Throat (sp. Garganta del Diablo) with the largest amount of water flowing, and hundreds of smaller falls, caused by numerous rock formations.
Every time I’m asked “which one is better, Argentina or Brazil side?” I’m having problems recommending just one of them.
The most of the falls, about 80% of them, are distributed on Argentina side: you get lot more versatile views, you have various pathways there to walk around, like you are in the middle of falls. You see the falls in parts, but not the whole thing. Here you get gorgeous view on Devils Throat, the sound of it is just unbelievable. The whole acoustic experience is better on Argentina side, it’s more versatile. On Argentina side you have lot more variety in terms of activities, such as a boat tour or a train ride. There are two circuits, the upper one with lots of views, and the lower circuit, where you get really close to the falls ( also with a boat), getting completely soaked.
You have a single pathway on the Brazilian side, which runs further away from the falls, giving you gorgeous views of the whole scenery. You hear one constant roaring sound of the falls, from that perspective, as I already mentioned, I liked the Argentina side better. But on the other hand the experience of Devils Throat is more intense, as you get much closer to it.
Both of sides are unique, and to me there is no question of choice. You can’t come to Iguazú an pick just one!
Granata del Diablo
Garganta del Diablo, also called Devils Throat, is the highest and deepest of all falls. These are the views on arg. side. You get here with a small train after entering the park. Here you get to see the Devils throat from a platform in a top view, while on br. side you get those its base. I can’t find the proper words to describe that amount of water flowing, it’s just huge!!!! It’s just constantly roaring, really loud. The power water hitting the the ground is so huge, that the cloud of vaporized water can be seen many meters away. You literally can feel how moist the air is you are breathing. No need to mention, that your skin and clothes feel kind of wet. That Very unusual feeling. I loved watching the birds living in the falls and diving in and out of that huge water curtain. Really fascinating!
The Upper Circuit
After the Devils Throat you can take a boat to the further corner of the park, where you start exploring the upper circuit.
…The Lower Circuit
Here get really soaked, as you can get really close to the falls. A speed boat will take you right up to and even beneath the waterfall, where you feel the mighty power of it.
The Brazilian Side
I visited the Brazilian side on the second day of my trip. I took private driver in Puerto Iguazú and arrived at the park entrance sometime sometime in early afternoon. I didn’t pass any controls crossing the border, my driver took the lane “for locals”. However the passengers in tourist busses are checked for visa, this may be time consuming. While I spent the whole day on argentine side the day before, 2 -3 hours were plenty of time for that little circuit here.
Planing your trip
To visit the falls you need 2,5-3 days. You can stay either in Foz do Iguacu (Brazil) or in Puerto de Iguazú (Argentina). From there on you have plenty of busses departing to the both sides of the falls (ca. 30 minutes ride).
I took a flight to Puerto Iguazú from Buenos Aires, from the domestic airport located right in the city. The flight was about 2 hours, I arrived in the afternoon and had enough time to look around and figure out how to get to the falls next morning . I could travel there by bus as well, which would take over 16 hours, but I preferred the shorter trip by plane.