Iguaçu, Iguazú. Portuguese, Spanish. Brazilian, Argentinian. The falls sit on the border, and in fact you can see tourists from ‘the other side’ too.
We took a 17 hour bus (so much fun…) from Sao Paolo to the town of Foz do Iguaçu, the Brazilian side of the border. It was somewhat of a detour on our way to Buenos Aires, but a natural wonder of the world has to be worth the extra effort, right?
They were. Stiff from sitting so long, we went directly to the falls. An Uber from our hostel was decent enough value as it’s actually a fairly long journey from the town. We then paid the £20 entrance fee (!!) to Parque du Iguaçu. and caught the shuttle down towards the falls.
The short walk through the park starts with a distant, panoramic view that’s actually slightly disappointing. But you walk a bit closer and pretty soon the initial impressions are gone. It’s magic. More falls appear from everywhere and the eventual picture has so much going on.
We especially recommend walking out on the ‘Devil’s Throat’ bridge, where you absolutely feel the force of the waterfalls (basically you get soaking wet and can’t hear anything!). The bridge extends into the middle of the falls crashing down, and even though you’re a reasonable distance away you still get absolutely blown over by the power. Waterproof jackets are a must!!!
Crossing the border to get to Iguazú airport on the Argentinian side itself was quite easy. We booked a taxi through our hostel (£30 total) the whole way, stopping at immigration control in both countries only very briefly and with minimal effort. We were so happy we took this option and paid a little extra for ease of mind as the queues of people coming off the buses were huge! It also helped that it’s a free crossing for British and Irish citizens. Which makes you feel all:
It actually worked out cheaper to cross via the land border this way too, splitting the journey rather than flying directly across the border. We had initially planned to get another overnight bus to BA, but the thought of 30+ hours of bussing within 3 days, as well as some last minute cheap flight finds via SkyScanner made the decision to get a flight on the second leg easier! It’s definitely always worth checking for last minute flights. Busbud’s refund process is pretty straightforward and you get 90% of your money back if you cancel 48 hours beforehand.
Foz de Iguaçu is well worth the trip but you definitely only need a day there. There’s not much going on in the towns either side. Seeing one side of the falls can easily be done in a couple of hours. If you buy a ticket on the Brazilian side, you can also enter the Argentinian side the following day for half the price. Apparently you can get closer to the falls this way but you get pretty close on the Brazilian side so we’re not sure it’s worth the extra day in the Iquaçu/Iguazu area.
We stayed in Pousada Natureza Foz which was basic but clean and good value. The staff are super helpful and there’s an okay-ish kitchen to make dinner in after splurging £20 each on your ticket into the falls. There’s a supermarket right around the corner and a good buffet breakfast included in the room rate. Do spend the night in Foz, your legs will thank you for it after all the walking and you’ll be grateful for a hot shower after getting soaked at the falls!