We are Yamila and Joaquin – a travel couple who just experienced 10 days in the Misiones Province of Argentina. Misiones is without doubt a unique destination since it has many waterfalls throughout the province, like the famous Iguazu Falls (arguably the world’s most beautiful waterfalls). We managed to find a few of these falls and were left wanting more!
The only way to truly appreciate Iguazu Falls is to go there in person and experience its power and beauty up close. We saw people crying, hugging each other and laughing at the Devil’s Throat section of Iguazu – because the sensations and emotions this waterfall generates are just so unique. You literally get goosebumps from witnessing the immensity of those falls.
We spent 10 days in Misiones. We visited Parque Provincial Salto Encantado which is a park often overlooked by travelers to the area. You get a beautiful connection with nature here and get to enjoy smaller (but still majestic) waterfalls. Los Saltos del Mocona Provincial Park was another small park that we visited, with its main attraction being the Mocona Falls. This is one of the longest waterfalls in the world at 3km long and 10 meters high.
The highlight of our trip was Iguazu. There is only one place in the world like this and it’s like something straight out of a Disney movie. There are jaw-dropping views everywhere. The park is very well kept and maintained, and being able to stand on the Devil’s Throat is an indescribable feeling.
Misiones is also a province home to Guarani culture. We had the opportunity to meet a community that lives off crafts – it was a beautiful experience. Further north, the culture mixes with Brazilian and Paraguayan.
9 Best Things To Do in Misiones
1. Spend One or Two Full Days at Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls is one of the wonders of the world. Being there makes you feel tiny. The waterfalls transmit an energy and immensity to you that cannot be described in words. The word “wonder” falls short and not even the best photos in the world do it justice! When you combine the mist and sun’s rays with the falls – you get these stunning rainbows that color everything.
It’s one of the few destinations that can be visited all year round and there are activities for both adults and children to enjoy. The width of the waterfalls is 2.7 kilometers, the height varies between 60-82 meters and the average water flow is 1,800 m³/s. It’s the second largest system of waterfalls in the world, only eclipsed in size by Niagara Falls in North America.
To experience the best of Iguazu Falls, we recommend visiting for two full days. The first day you can wander around the tracks and stop off at the lookout points to soak in the views. On your second day, you could book a boat excursion that takes you out on the water where a good soaking of water will make you feel invigorated and alive in the presence of nature.
2. Check out the Impressive Salto Alegre
This is one of the first waterfalls that we had the opportunity to see in the Misiones province and the amount and strength of the water really caught our attention! It’s approximately 20 meters high and maintains a large flow throughout the year. The waterfall is located just 10km from the city of Aristobulo. Unfortunately, being on private property, access depends on the people of the place and whether or not they are happy to let you in.
3. Visit Salto Piedras Blancas, Aristobulo del Valle
To gain access you have to pay a fee to Camping Piedras Blancas (300 pesos per person). Aristobulo del Valle is one of the best places in Misiones for tourism. This waterfall bears the name “Piedras Blancas” because there are two white stones at the beginning of the falls. To get there you should drive on Route 14 and Route 220, continue 500 meters along Route 14, and then you will see a sign pointing to the camping spot.
4. Explore Parque Provincial Salto Encantado
This is the provincial park where you can see Salto Encantado. Go on a 20 minute hike to arrive in front of the falls or you can see it from below by getting in the water along another 20 minute path. The park itself is filled with majestic waterfalls and amazing butterflies. Parque Provincial Salto Encantado has a total size of 13,000 hectares and is blessed with incredible flora and fauna everywhere. There are many bird species which thrive here.
If you have time, make sure you visit Salto La Olla and Picaflor. We thought Salto La Olla was a beautiful place to rest and cool off surrounded by 100% nature! Salto Picaflor is just a few meters away too. It’s smaller but no less charming. Again, surrounding these waterfalls were endless colorful butterflies. We even saw a snake, so just be careful with that!
5. Take an Exciting Boat Trip to Mocona Falls
These falls are up to 10 meters high and intersect with the Uruguay River on the border of Brazil and Argentina for about 3km. It’s actually a canyon with the waterfalls being parallel to its shape – the only one of its kind in the world! Mocona Falls left us feeling amazed. The force of the water surrounded by pure green made us feel (once again) in love with nature.
6. Enjoy Swimming at the Base of Salto Ypoti
We couldn’t believe the number of waterfalls we found in the Mocona Falls region. Salto Ypoti was another hidden gem of the Misiones province. It’s located on private property, so again we had to ask for permission to go through. Ypoti has a beautiful pool at the base of the falls where you can take a nice refreshing dip and enjoy this waterfall experience to the fullest!
7. See Another Waterfall at Salto Horacio Foerster
This waterfall gets its name from the park ranger who was a champion of conservation. He died heroically trying to rescue a group of tourists who disappeared in the waters of Mocona Falls. Salto Horacio Foerster is located on the way to Mocona Falls. It was one of our favorite waterfalls in Misiones!
8. Meet the Animals of Guira Oga Wildlife Refuge
In Brazil you have the “Parque das Aves” and in Argentina you have the “Guira Oga” – two parks that function as shelters for animals that are rescued from trafficking, mistreatment, accidents and domestication. They do everything possible to rehabilitate the animals so that they can return to their natural habitat, but unfortunately not all of them make it.
Many bird species, such as macaws, are in danger of becoming extinct due to illegal trafficking. Learning about these travesties and educating others is so important so we can all help protect these animals for generations to come. We are super passionate about the environment and want nothing more than for our precious wildlife in Argentina to flourish!
9. Tour the Ruinas de San Ignacio Mini, Misiones
There are several Jesuit ruins in Misiones – Nuestra Senora de Loreto, Santa Maria la Mayor, Nuestra Senora de Santa Ana – but the San Ignacio Ruins are the best. All of these ruins were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can learn about the Jesuits who occupied these lands in the 16th and 17th centuries. This is a nice tour to spend the day outdoors, so be sure to protect your skin and enjoy the beauty of knowing new places.
Food & Accommodation in Misiones
We are vegetarians so the food in Misiones was quite limited for us. There is still a lot of evolution to be done regarding vegetarian and vegan options in Argentina. But for meat eaters, you can find a wide variety of dishes on offer. As in all of the country, asado is a classic that you cannot miss out on.
For accommodation, in Iguazu we can recommend three nice places. All three of them have pools surrounded by vegetation and restaurants. They are: Iguazu Jungle Lodge, Tupa Lodge and the Village Lodge. Another cool place in the Misiones province is Posada Camboata – a simple inn run by locals just steps away from Parque Provincial Salto Encantado.
Tips for Visiting the Misiones Province
- Bring lots of sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
- From Iguazu to the other parks, it takes approximately 4 hours of travel time so we recommend renting a car for your entire stay in Misiones.
- Don’t think that you can see all of Misiones in just 3 or 4 days. You need around 10 days to discover more of the hidden gems located in the area.