Hola amigos and viajeros! My name is Ivana Leturia and I’m an architect and travel blogger. I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Welcome to my travel guide on visiting the Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil. Let’s see which side of these beautiful waterfalls is better.
Since I was a kid, I was lucky to travel around Argentina with my family. I got hooked on travelling in 2014 after spending seven months in Canada on a working holiday visa. After that experience, I started my travel blog www.postcardsfromivi.com and began to travel at every opportunity.
I studied architecture which made me even more curious to explore the world. Photography has always been a passion – especially analogue photography. I think it’s one of the things that keeps me grounded and allows me to capture not only my travels but everyday moments too.
Visiting Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil in 2019
Iguazu Falls is one of the most beautiful places to visit in South America! It’s one of those destinations that every tourist visiting Argentina or Brazil must see. Funnily enough, I had never been there before even though I’m from Argentina! It was always on my bucket list though.
For some reason I always ended up postponing my trip to Iguazu Falls or travelling somewhere else. It just kept eluding me. Nevertheless, I finally visited both sides of Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil in late 2019.
Four Amazing Days on Both Sides of Iguazu Falls
In December, 2019 I travelled to the city of Puerto Iguazu (Argentina) by plane from Buenos Aires. This is the easiest way to get to the falls if you’re in Argentina as there are daily flights with different airlines from the capital.
I stayed for a total of four nights in Iguazu. The first day I arrived at the hotel in Puerto Iguazu and just enjoyed the pool. December is one of the hottest months of the year there! On the second day, I ventured across the border to the Brazilian side and on the third day I went to the Argentinian side.
My final day was spent on the Argentinian side again but it started to rain and so I didn’t get the chance to see the falls. So I explored Puerto Iguazu.
Iguazu Falls: A Wonder of the Natural World
I guess I have always known that the Iguazu Falls were incredible because they are one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. However, being there and feeling the force of nature is simply indescribable. When I first saw the falls on the Brazilian side, I just couldn’t stop smiling.
And as you walk through the park circuit you realise none of the visitors can contain their excitement. You get closer and closer to the falls until you get soaked with water from the spray of the falls. The power is extraordinary.
Devil’s Throat is the highlight of the falls. Standing at 80 meters, it’s the highest waterfall at Iguazu Falls. You have to experience it yourself to get a true feel for the place. Words can’t really describe this display of nature.
Which Side of Iguazu Falls is Better – Argentina or Brazil?
The Iguazu Falls are located on the Iguazu River which is the limit between the province of Misiones in Argentina and the state of Parana in Brazil. They are located in two national parks: Iguazu National Park in Argentina and Iguacu National Park in Brazil. I think both sides of the falls deserve a visit.
Each side offers a different experience. But I have to say that I loved the Argentinian side more and it’s not because it’s my country! You get to feel close to the falls in Argentina. The Brazilian side is smaller and has fewer circuits to explore but offers beautiful panoramic views of the falls.
Iguazu Falls are formed by over 270 falls and 80% of them are located in Argentina. So the park in this country is bigger and in my opinion allows you to immerse completely in nature. I recommend visiting the Brazilian side on your first day and the Argentinian side the following days.
Taking Tours or Exploring Independently at the Falls
There is no need to take a tour to visit Iguazu Falls on either the Argentina or Brazil side. However, it’s a good option to take a tour if you don’t want to worry about transport. On the Brazilian side there is a bus which is included in the park ticket and it takes you to different sections of the park.
The bus ride is very entertaining because it has an audio guide which tells you information about the falls. On the Argentinian side, all of the trails inside the park have signs and can be totally explored on your own. There’s also an ecological jungle train that takes you to the start of each circuit.
I recommend a company called “Great Adventure” on the Argentinian side where you get to navigate the rapids and go under the falls!
Where to Stay in Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil
The two main options for where to base yourself for visiting the falls are Puerto Iguazu in Argentina and Foz do Iguacu in Brazil. Puerto Iguazu is a small and quiet city where you will find cheap accommodation options.
You can choose to stay in the city center close to restaurants and shops or stay in the Iryapu Jungle surrounded by nature. Some great hotels are O2 Hotel Iguazu, La Cantera Lodge de Selva and Loi Suites Iguazu Hotel.
Foz do Iguacu is bigger. You will naturally find more restaurants, shops and hotels here. It all depends on your preferences since both cities are close to Iguazu Falls. If you have no budget limits then I recommend Gran Melia Iguazu. You can spot the falls from your room window!
Epic Memories at Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil
My favorite memory from Iguazu Falls was my experience with the Great Adventure company on the Argentinian side. I’m not usually a tour lover but this one is absolutely worth it! I totally recommend going with them.
This adventure begins with a truck ride through the jungle where you learn about the flora and fauna of the park. Then you navigate the rapids of the Iguazu River on a speedboat and literally go under the falls. You’ll end up soaked! It’s a fun time and I recommend it to anyone visiting Iguazu.
What you Need to Know Before you Go
First of all, you should know that the Argentinian side is bigger than the Brazilian side. Therefore, you will need a complete day to visit the park and even consider two days if you want to explore the different trails. The Brazilian side is smaller and the visit to the park takes around four hours.
Regarding clothes, you should pack comfortable clothes and walking shoes. You must also bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses to protect from the sun and insect repellent. The climate of Iguazu Falls is subtropical. Temperatures tend to be warm year round. Pack a poncho to stay dry too!
The best time of year to visit is from March to May which is when the rainy season and summer are over. A great tip to avoid the large crowds is to make sure you don’t visit the falls during Easter, carnival weekend or other holidays because it’s such a popular destination for locals in both countries.
Iguazu Falls is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in South America and must be experienced at least once in a traveller’s life. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your experience as much as I did!