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Updated 2019: The incredible water fall that is Iguazu falls lies on the border of Argentina and Brazil and visiting them is not only ticking off one of the 7 natural wonders of the world but it’s also a good place to visit to cross the border from Brazil to Argentina or Argentina to Brazil!
In order to see the real beauty of Iguazu Falls you need to see them from the Brazilian Side and the Argentinian Side however you cannot do this in one day. It will take you two days to see Iguaza Falls. Here’s how I did it.
I had met a girl at the hostel I was staying in- Che Lagarto in Foz do Iguacu so we headed to the Brazilian side of the waterfalls together.
We left the hostel at 9.00am to get to the bus station just up the road (although not the same bus station you get dropped off at by the long distance coaches). The bus cost $1.50BRL/£0.37 each way so really cheap! Although it was packed and of course didn’t have air con so we stood for the 50 minute journey there and back.
Once there we saw the queues!! It actually only took us 50 minutes to do both the queue to get the ticket and then the queue to get on the bus which takes you into the park, the bus journey is about 15 minutes. The total admission fee is $52.20BRL/£13.00 to get into the park.
We were at the park and could see the start of the waterfall. You basically follow a path the whole way and there are balconies along the way ready for you to take the perfect picture. We quickly learnt that Brazilians don’t queue and like to push.. So we started to too!
The waterfalls get better and better as you get along them and the sky got bluer and bluer for us too so it was really nice. The last point is the most famous and called ‘Devils throat’, there’s a walk way that starts to go into the waterfall and people were coming out completely soake by the spray! From this point you are quite close to the waterfall and can just see how powerful and huge it really is.
The Brazilian side is all about getting the panoramic views from a distance but getting up close right at the end. We got to the end at about 1.00pm and then by the time we got the bus back to the entrance of the park and the public bus to the hostel it was about 2.30pm.
That afternoon I went over to Puerto Iguazu the town on the Argentinian side ready to see that falls again the next day with a different perspective.
The next day I headed out solo to the Argentinian Side, I got a bus from the main bus station for $100ARS/£7.50 which is a return ticket. I went with ‘Rio Uruguay’ as I saw them first but many companies do the journey at the same price, the buses go direct to the park, have air con and everyone gets a seat!
Once at the park I was pleasantly surprised to see there wasn’t a queue for the ticket booth!! The ticket entry to the park is $260ARS/£20.00
You start by walking through some gardens until you get to the train station. Basically there’s 3 steps to the park, the bottom where you start off, the middle with various walks that get you up close to the falls and the top which literally takes you to the top of the falls (after a 10 minute walk). The train is a bit annoying because you need to go to the middle then swap to go up to to the top and of course it was back to queueing! So after nearly 2 hours I was at the top, again the power of the falls is just incredible, one minute there’s a fairly slow river and the next the water is crashing down.
I then headed to the middle section (note you can walk between sections rather than wait for the train but at 30c I preferred to stand and wait). I’m really pleased I saved the middle until last, this is where you get all the iconic shots I’d seen on the Internet. You basically walk along the top of the falls (from the Brazilian side we could see people doing this and the next day it was me!). I was lucky enough to see a rainbow at one point which I believe often appears, the tracks are quite long but as soon as you get to a balcony point the view is totally worth it!
There are boat rides available to go under the falls and actually cost more than it costs to get into the park. I wasn’t too bothered about doing it and didn’t actually come across the point where you do it until right at the end and I was pretty tired by this point and ready to leave so I was a good backpacker and saved the money!
I left my hostel at about 9.30am and got back at 4.00pm so the Argentinian side is more of a full day trip.
Tip: It’s impossible to do both sides in one day. In my opinion the Argentinian side was the best, I’m glad I saw both sides but if you only had chance to see one side then definitely make it the Argentinian side.