Why you should visit Foz do Iguzçu
As a traveler, I have experienced a few unreal waterfalls throughout the years, but nothing is as spectacular as Foz do Iguaçu – also known as the Iguazu Falls. It is one of the supernatural wonders that everyone should plan to visit once in their lifetime.
“My poor Niagara …” – Former First Lady of the USA Eleonor Roosevelt
Family Travel Destination
In Foz do Iguaçu, the diversity of animal species is so rich that your little explorers will be fascinated by how close they can watch the animal and experience the real relationship that humans should behave with nature. Foz do Iguaçu also offers several routes accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. Park is suitable to visit at any age.
Five Fun Facts about Foz do Iguaçu
- Foz do Iguaçu received over 1.6 million visitors in 2019, both local and foreign.
- The Iguaçu National Park is divided into two parts: Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil and Puerto Iguazú in Argentina.
- The Iguaçu National Park combined has a total size of 252,983 hectares.
- UNESCO declared the Iguaçu National Park a World Heritage in 1984.
- The Iguazu National Park creates a critical natural ecosystem connected to all of Latin America.
Which side? Argentina vs. Brazil
Both sides are beautiful in their own way. Most people would recommend the Argentina side if you need to choose one. Around 70% of the waterfalls are on the Argentina side. Does it mean it’s better?
Standing on the Argentina side can’t see the scale, but you can get closer to the water and experience the breathtaking view on top of the 80 meters drop – Devil’s Throat. Visitors are standing over the edge of the highest and the most powerful location of the entire National Park.
Brazil’s side offers a panoramic and wide-angle view, and visitors see the falls by walking halfway through Devil’s throat. You get to witness the volume of water washing down from the top.
Both sides offer beautiful trails and famous soaking wet boats. It gives you an entirely different perspective on Foz do Iguaçu; For the Brazilian side, it may take around half day to enjoy everything, and for Argentina’s side, I would recommend a full day.
General Information about Foz Do Iguaçu
How to get there?
Argentina and Brazil share Iguazu Falls. Therefore, you have two airport options to choose from.
- Argentina Airport (IGR) will get you to Puerto Iguazu.
- Brazil Airport (IGU) will take you to Foz do Iguazu.
There is no better way to make your family travel experience by seeing it from the windows of a car; We drove 1500 kilometers from São Paulo to Paraná, and it was one of the best road trips we have done.
You can only purchase tickets at the entrance of the Park in cash or credit card. It depends on the season, but we waited in line for over 30 minutes. It wasn’t bad at all. After entering the Park, the shuttle bus fee is included and will take you to the different spots of the National Park.
Please visit the official website Iguazu Falls for more information.
Helicopter & Boat Tour
The helicopter tour is quite popular as you can get a spectacular aerial view of the Foz do Iguaçu. However, we chose the walking trails and the boat tour for one main reason, PRICE! The helicopter trip lasts 10-12 minutes on average and costs US$120 per person, which is over our travel budget.
If you are a big fan of fast boats and waterfalls, a boat tour is perfect for you to experience. You will also get great views of many amazing falls in the distance.
The Iguaçu National Park is beyond imagination. Walking usually is the best and cheapest way to explore.
Where to Stay?
There are several hotels available either in Argentina or Brazil side. We were recommended to stay at a five-star hotel, Belmond Hotel das Cataratas. The hotel offers a spectacular view of the Iguazu Falls. You are also granted access to visit the Park after visitor hours.
However, we had a different ideas about how we would like to spend our evenings instead of staying in Foz do Iguaçu. We extended our adventure crossing the border to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. We stayed at the Casino Acaray Paraguay, a great location; the room is spacious, and the pool overlooks the Paraná riverbank and casino.
How long should you stay?
It depends on your plan, whether you are planning to visit one or both sides of the Iguazu National Park or stay even longer to explore the State of Paraná. You may need around 3 to 4 days to experience the full Paraná and The Iguazu National Park.
Make sure to bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and water. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes; you will be visiting all the different trails the Park offers as the views are all worth witnessing.
Remember to bring a raincoat or waterproof jacket, because you will get wet on the boat tour or walking near the Devil’s Throat.
Yes! protect your camera from the waterfall too!
Explore the State of Paraná
Parque das Aves is short distance away from the Foz do Iguaçu. You will find more than 1320 birds from 143 different species in the Park and meet some of the most famous birds in Brazil, such as toucans and macaws.
The most significant hydroelectric power in the world; is one of the seven wonders of modern engineering. The plant offers a classic Panoramic Tour and the award-winning special tour that can take you to the interior of the plant or a boat trip on the lake. If you are interested in engineering, Itaipu Dam is a must-go.
Cross the border
To add to our adventure, we have decided to explore more and cross the border from the city of Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, to Ciudad del Este in Paraguay.
You will need to stop at the Brazilian Immigration first before crossing the Paraná River. Once you cross The Bridge of Friendship between the two nations, you will make another stop to receive the passport stamp before entering Paraguay. Moto-taxi or bus to the border can be the options if you don’t have a car. Overall, it was quite simple and quick to enter Paraguay.
Immediately after the border, expect to see a hectic town with busy streets. It is quite chaotic in a way that we appreciate its originality.
Is it safe?
The State of Paraná is safe and a family travel destination in general. I felt a little bit stepping out of my comfort zone. However, everybody also has a different definition of safety.