The Iguazu Falls, Iguazú Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. They are the largest waterfalls system in the world.
How to get to Iguacu Falls
Fly – Foz Iguacu has an airport that has regular flights coming in from Rio, Sao Paulo and Santiago.
Fly - fly in to Puerto Iguacu which is on the Argentinian side of the falls.
Bus – there are A few bus companies that come to Foz Iguacu. They pick up from multiple locations but here are a few popular ones and the time it takes.
Sao Paulo – 13hours
Paraty – 5 hours to Sao Paulo then 13 hours to Foz Iguacu
Buenos Aires – 15 hours
Florianopolis - 13 hours
Curitiba – 11hours
From Sao Paulo, we took the cheaper option of a night bus with Pluma Buses to Foz Iguaçu (12 hours). We opted for the full cama seats (fully reclining seat/bed), which were very comfortable and spacious. The only real issue was the AC, but you’ll be warned about this no doubt! It is set to HIGH and can get a little chilly! Take a jumper and you’ll be fine.
Getting from the airport to the city
Taxi - There are taxi stands outside the arrival terminal at the airport and also taxis are waiting outside the bus terminal. Make sure to switch the meter on.
Bus - you can catch the 120 bus from the airport to the bus terminal downtown. This bus is also the bus you can get in the opposite direction to get to the falls.
Where to stay in Iguacu Falls
Again, Foz Iguaçu caters for all budgets and accommodation is plentiful.
We stayed at Che Legarto hostel. This accommodation is no different to a mid-range hotel, but cheaper of course! With key card access, clean and modern. This hostel boasts an excellent kitchen and games rooms/social area, including roof top hot tub and mini pool.
Which side of the falls?
If visiting both sides (Brazil / Argentina) of the falls, which we’d recommend and is EASY enough to do, be mindful of your onwards travel plans. As British nationals, we were permitted to enter Brazil and Argentina for a 90 day period without the need to apply for a visa. This allowed us to move freely between both countries without any additional expenditure.
Brazil Side – For us this was our preferred choice. The path leading to falls is very scenic, you won’t be disappointed. There are plenty of look out points and places to stop and take in the beauty of the smaller falls along route.
Argentinian Side – This route is far less scenic but does offer a totally different experience. In order to reach the falls, you’ll need to walk over a maze of bridges, suspended above a pretty murky and brown river.
Both sides take you right up close to the falls and so if you have the chance, take the opportunity and visit both!
Things to do at Iguacu Falls with children
Brazil side Falls - Foz Iguacu
We took a local bus from hostel to the Parque National Iguacu which was about a 40 minute drive and bought our entrance ticket on the day. We were then directed to board the parc bus which dropped us at the beginning of the Parade, the path to the falls. It is not a very long walk, maybe 30 minutes or so, and ‘fairly’ stroller friendly (by this I mean there were steps!!) The walk itself is very scenic from beginning to end. There are small bridges to cross, ranging waterfalls, lookouts, resting spots and many species of fauna and flora to observe. Reaching the Devil’s Throat is a truly jaw dropping moment, being so close to the falls, you’ll be mesmerised by the force as the water as it thunders down from a height of 90 metres! There is also a lift which takes you to a look out over the falls offering an incredible panoramic view point.
Boat tour – Highly recommend! You’ll be pestered into booking onto a boat tour whilst buying your tickets at the parc entrance. Don’t be fooled there is no need to buy your tickets here!!! You’ll be fine purchasing them at the boat office inside the parc.
NB** The Brazilian side does not have any age restriction on boat rides, unlike the Argentinian side.
There are plenty of food choices at the parc. From fast food to a full buffet restaurant.
We had lunch in the buffet restaurant, which overlooks the falls. This is the perfect way to end your visit to the falls, with both indoor and outdoor seating. The views here are exceptional. There are an endless amount of dishes to choose from here, from soups, salads, pastas, meats, desserts etc…You won’t leave hungry that’s for sure.
We then took the bus back to Foz, where we went for Rodizio pizza (Ricky’s choice).
Argentina side Falls - Puerto Iguaçu
The following day we took a tour with Pratik’s tours, located in the lobby of our hostel to travel to the Argentinian side of the falls. This is less of a tour and more a ‘transfer’ service. We were given a pick up time and felt to our own devises once at Iguaçu National Parc. The only real advantage of this ‘tour’ was that we did not need to leave the bus when passing through the immigration control point with our guide. It would however be easy enough to rent a car and drive the short distance across the border to the Parc on your own. This would give you time to explore the Parc for as long or as little time as you want. NB The ‘tour’ does not include entry into the Parc and entrance is payable in cash (only).
Here, we took a boat ride into the falls and boy did we get wet!!! Soaked through in fact, take a change of clothes or wear minimal clothing onto the boat! Don’t be alarmed if you’re sat next to someone in their underwear, they’re sensible! There is an age restriction on the Argentinian side for boar rides and understandably. This activity is not suitable for children younger than 12. As we were with our toddler, we took it in turn to go on the boat which is a 25-30 minute ride into the falls and back and you will GET WET!
We then took the Parc train to the entrance of the Devil’s Throat. It is a bit of a walk across steel bridges spanning out over the water but once there the falls are immense. Again, prepare to get wet. NB: don’t forget to snap that permanent rainbow over the falls!