Magical Iguazu Falls
Imagine standing in front of a massive, thundering waterfall that stretches as far as the eye can see. Now imagine that this waterfall is a system of 275 individual waterfalls, each with its unique shape and size. This is Iguazu Falls – a natural wonder that spans the border of Argentina and Brazil. In the Guarani language, the word Iguazu means Big Water, and that’s exactly what you’ll see when you visit. But there’s more to this magnificent site than just waterfalls. From the legend of forbidden love to the mischievous coatis that roam the national park, there’s a story behind every corner of Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu Falls is not just the largest waterfall system in the world, it’s also a geological masterpiece. According to scientists, massive volcanic eruptions formed the Falls over 100-150 million years ago. The Falls discharge water at the edge of the massive flood basalts where the borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet. Half of the river’s flow falls into a canyon called the Devil’s Throat, which is 80–90 m wide and 70–80 m deep. But for those who prefer a more romantic story, a legend explains how the falls were made.
According to Guarani Indian legend, the land around Iguazu Falls belonged to the Guarani people. They would sacrifice a virgin to the Serpent God who lived in the Iguazu River. When a girl named Naipi was to be sacrificed, her lover, Taruba, kidnapped her, and they fled on the river in a canoe. God got furious and cracked the Earth, making the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to contemplate each other for eternity without ever being able to be together again. Although Naipi and Taruba can never be together, they still show us their love by forming a rainbow over the falls.
But Iguazu Falls is not just a story and geological wonder, it’s also a haven for flora and fauna. Due to the high humidity caused by the fall spray, the park is rich in superb flora and fauna: orchids, bamboo, begonias, pine trees and palms, colorful birds, and butterflies. And while many Hollywood movies, such as Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, have shown the beauty of Iguazu, the true stars of the falls are the coatis. These raccoon-like creatures are the true attraction of the national park, but be careful – they are known to steal food and can get aggressive if provoked.
Iguazu Falls is more than just a waterfall system, it’s a place where nature, legend, and history collide. Whether you’re admiring the stunning rainbow over the falls or watching the mischievous coatis roam the national park, Iguazu Falls is a destination that will leave you in awe. With its magnificent geological formations, rich flora and fauna, and captivating legends, this natural wonder is a must-see for anyone looking for an adventure. So, explore the wonder of Iguazu Falls – you won’t regret it!
Getting to Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls is a natural world wonder, attracting millions of tourists annually. To visit the falls, two international airports are nearby: the Argentine Cataratas del Iguazu International Airport (IGR) and the Brazilian Foz do Iguazu International Airport (IGU). However, getting to the falls from these airports can be a challenge.
One of the easiest ways to get to the falls is to take a daily shuttle from your hotel or private transport. This option is recommended if you visit the Brazilian side of the falls from Foz do Iguazu, as taking local buses can be confusing and time-consuming. The Brazilian side of the falls is also more developed, with better facilities and amenities.
If you’re coming from Brazil, you can catch a local bus from Foz do Iguazu to the national park’s entrance on the Brazil side of the falls from the Terminal Transporte Urbano (TTU). Just buy a ticket, enter the terminal via a turnstile, and take Bus 120 with the Parque Nacional/Aeroporto sign. For your return trip, you can pay directly on the bus.
If you plan to visit the Argentine side of the falls from Puerto Iguazu, several buses leave the Puerto Iguazu Bus Station every 15-30 minutes from 7 am to 7 pm. However, the buses can be full, so arriving early is best. The journey takes around 20 minutes, and tickets are available at the terminal 30 minutes before the bus departure time.
Taking a bus from Foz do Iguazu to the Argentine side of the falls is also possible, but be aware that you need to change buses twice along the way. You also need to tell the driver to stop at the Brazilian passport control because the bus doesn’t stop there unless you ask.
In conclusion, visiting Iguazu Falls is an experience of a lifetime, but getting there can be a bit challenging. However, with the right transport options and planning, you can easily reach this natural wonder and marvel at its beauty.
Iguazu Falls entrance tickets
Knowing about the entrance tickets for both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides is essential if you plan to visit the Falls.
The entrance fee for the Brazilian side of the Falls is 68 BZR (18 USD) per person. You can buy them at the entrance by cash or credit card or pre-pay your entrance online via the Iguazu Official Website. The entrance gate opens from 09:00 am until 5:00 pm. It’s noteworthy that shops, restaurants, and boat trips inside the park also accept credit cards. A cash machine is also available at the entrance to pay for your ticket with a credit card.
On the other hand, for the Argentinian side, the entrance fee is 800 ARS (18.5 USD) per person, and you can either buy them at the entrance by cash or credit card or online via the park’s official website. The entrance gate opens from 08:00 am until 6:00 pm. The entrance fee includes free access to attractions like the Nature Interpretation Center, Ecological Jungle Train, Green Trail, Upper Circuit, Lower Circuit, Devil’s Throat, Macuco Trail, and Arrechea Fall.
It’s essential to note that the falls are open all year round, and the best time to visit depends on your preferences. The dry season runs from May to October, and it’s ideal for hiking and exploring the park’s trails. The rainy season runs from November to April, and the waterfalls are at their most impressive during this period. Whichever season you choose to visit, ensure you have your entrance ticket to enjoy the beauty of the Iguazu Falls.
Tips for visiting Iguazu Falls
Plan ahead: Make sure you plan your visit in advance, especially if you’re visiting during peak season. Check the weather forecast, and if possible, try to avoid visiting during the rainy season (December to February), as the falls can become very muddy and difficult to navigate.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. It’s also a good idea to bring a rain jacket or poncho, as you’ll likely get wet from the mist of the falls.
Bring insect repellent: The falls are located in a tropical rainforest, so there can be a lot of mosquitoes and other insects. Make sure you bring insect repellent to protect yourself.
Bring a waterproof camera: You’ll want to capture the beauty of the falls, so make sure you bring a waterproof camera or a camera with a waterproof case.
Explore both sides of the Falls: Iguazu Falls is located on the border of Argentina and Brazil, and each side offers a different perspective and experience. It’s worth exploring both sides if you have the time and budget.
Take a boat tour: If you want to get up close to the falls, consider taking a boat tour. You’ll get soaked, but it’s a thrilling experience that you won’t forget.
Respect the wildlife: The area around the falls is home to many different species of animals and plants. Respect their habitat and don’t litter or disturb the wildlife.
Stay hydrated: It can get very hot and humid, so make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Be aware of the crowds: The falls can get very crowded, especially during peak season. Try to arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds.
Enjoy the experience: Finally, make sure you take the time to enjoy the experience and appreciate the natural wonder that is Iguazu Falls. It’s an unforgettable destination that will leave you in awe.
Best time to visit Iguazu Falls
The best time to visit Iguazu Falls is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. During this time, the water levels are lower, and the falls are more accessible, with less mist and spray, making it easier to enjoy the views and take photographs. The weather is also cooler and less humid, which makes it more comfortable for visitors to explore the park.
However, remember that this is also the high season, and the park can be crowded, especially during school holidays and weekends. Visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon is best to avoid crowds.
If you prefer to see the most impressive falls, you should visit during the wet season, which runs from October to April. During this time, the water levels are higher, and the falls are more powerful and dramatic, but this also means that the trails and walkways may be more slippery, and some parts of the park may be closed due to flooding.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Iguazu Falls depends on your preferences and priorities. For more info on Brazil, click HERE.