How to Visit Iguazu Falls
When the first European explorers made their way through the subtropical forest to get their first glimpse of Iguazu Falls, they witnessed one of the most powerful and intense displays of nature on the planet. Today, when the modern visitor first sets his sights on Iguazu falls, nature's power is as impactful as ever. Maybe it was this reverence of God's creation, that the catholic church established an important Mission here that brought Christianity to large swaths of the natives. It's towering walls and deep history are still visible tucked away in the forest reminding you that man's creation is always trumped by the eternity of nature.
Iguazu Falls is shared by Brazil and Argentina, although the Argentine national park is approximately seventy five percent larger in size. Below we provide some analysis on the differences of visiting the park from each side.
Argentina National Park
Iguazu Falls National Park in Argentina consists of three principal sections; The Upper Circuit, Lower Circuit and Devil's Throat. A comprehensive visit to all three sections of the park as well as 1-hour navigation in boat to the base of the falls takes a full day. The Devil's throat takes you right over the largest and most magnificent waterfall of the group. The Upper Circuit walks along a series of medium size falls with excellent vistas of the park in its entirety. The Lower Circuit provides some forest paths that come out to nearly touch the falls in mid-stream. From the paths of the lower circuit, the more adventurous thrill seekers can board a vessel that takes you nearly to the base of the waterfalls. The experience is akin to taking a shower, yet with enough of an adrenaline fix for even the most hardcore action junkies. Beyond the principal sections of the Argentine park, there are other options to get farther away from other visitors and enjoy the nature of the region.
Brazil National Park
Foz do Igauzu National Park in Brazil consists of one principal section for walking and exploration near the falls. While it has less paths and access, its location does give excellent panoramic views. Visiting the Brazilian side can typically be done in a half day. There is also an option on the Brazil side of the border to travel by boat to the base of the falls for the same adrenaline packed experience as on the Argentine side. To board this vessel, you would leave the main section of the Brazil National Park and travel downstream by vehicle a few kilometers, where you would board a park vehicle through the forest to the Iguazu River and travel back upstream by water to the falls. As the Argentine side of the Falls, the Brazil side has other less visited areas to enjoy the nature of the region.
Iguazu Falls Lodging
The hotel infrastructure is overall much better on the Argentinian side of the border. It's newer and more varied with options both in the Argentine town of Puerto Iguazu and options slightly further away in lush forest surroundings. The Sheraton Hotel is the only property located within the Argentine National Park and it allows the guest to walk through the park without having to get in a vehicle. Many of the rooms at the Sheraton also have panoramic views of the falls. Yet on the Brazilian side of the park, you have a unique property, the Belmond Das Cataratas, that has rooms with views of the falls and top quality accommodations and service. Where you stay should be coordinated depending on the duration of your visit coupled with which airport you will be arriving and departing from.
Iguazu Falls Airport and Flights
The Argentinian airport at Iguazu Falls only receives flights from within Argentina whereas the Brazilian airport only receives flights from within Brazil (exception being one flight from Lima). Therefore, depending on where you will be prior and after your visit to Iguazu Falls, will dictate what your arrival and departure airport would be. It's very common that visitors to Iguazu Falls use it as a connection between visiting Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, therefore you may find yourself using two airports at this destination. Due to Argentina's semi-nationalization of the airline industry within their country, we do find that delays and cancellations on the Argentinian side is much more common than on the Brazil side. This becomes an important detail when connecting with an international departure through Buenos Aires and therefore specific precautions are recommended.