Iguazu Falls National Park – Brazil
Iguazu Falls is one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. The name is translated from the Guarani Indians as “Big Water”. The complex of waterfalls of the Iguazu River is located on the border of Brazil and Argentina and includes two parks – from the side of Brazil and from the side of Argentina.
In 2011, the Iguazu Falls were recognized as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide competition . Also, both parks are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, which only adds to their regalia.
The Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls is considered more advantageous in terms of the views and panoramas themselves, although it is inferior to its Argentine neighbor in terms of territory. Perhaps this is the main difference between the Brazilian and Argentine parks.
Iguazu Falls National Park Facts
An interesting fact about the Iguazu Falls in South America: the attraction was discovered in 1541 by the Spanish conquistador Don Alvaro Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, who rushed at the behest of the king to search for gold from the legendary Inca Empire. He landed with a detachment on the coast of present-day Brazil, moving westward, crossed the Brazilian Highlands and, hearing a distant rumble, went to the waterfall. Thus, here, too, the omnipresent Inca trace was not without.
A beautiful legend is associated with the waterfalls, according to which God wanted to marry a beautiful girl named Naipu, but she fled with her lover on a boat. Then the angry God cut the river, creating waterfalls in the path of the lovers. The young man turned into a lonely palm tree, and the girl into a rock. Rainbows so frequent at waterfalls pass through a palm tree and a rock, and then it seems as if the lovers are tenderly hugging each other.
Height of Iguazu Falls
The grandiose complex of the most powerful waterfall in the world is formed by 275 cascades in the shape of a horseshoe (the comparison with the letter J is also common).
Some streams of water fall from a height of 82 meters, but most of them fall noisily from 60–70 meters. If the Iguazu Falls formed a single wall of water, then they would be the widest waterfall in the world. However, to date, the largest, widest and highest at the same time is the African Victoria Falls.
Iguazu Falls in Brazil
The Brazilian park was founded in 1939 and covers an area of 185 thousand hectares.
The starting point for exploring the parks from the Brazilian side is the city of Foz do Iguaçu, although the parks are located so close to each other that many tourists prefer to settle in the Argentinean town of Puerto Iguazu, which has a more developed tourist infrastructure and a larger selection of budget hotels.
On the Brazilian side, there is a helipad at the entrance to the park. A ten-minute pleasure of flying over waterfalls will cost from $ 200.
From the main entrance to the beginning of the trail to the waterfalls, you can get there by buses running every ten minutes.
Iguazu Falls – The park has several viewing platforms, each of which offers completely different panoramas and its own special view of the waterfalls. The observation platforms are conveniently connected by wooden decks and bridges.
The route through the subtropical forest leads from the entrance to the first observation deck, where a mesmerizing sight awaits visitors – a magnificent ensemble of water cascades, splashing out from the jungle with a roar.
Iguazu Falls – A huge amount of water pouring down from above, the untouched beauty of the tropics around, the noise of cascades, huge birds flying over the waterfalls – all these pictures can delight even the most inveterate skeptics.
Iguazu Falls in Argentina
The Argentine Park around Iguazu Falls was created in 1934. Its area is 67 thousand hectares. At the same time, about 80% of all Iguazu cascades are located in Argentina.
City and tourist center at the Iguazu Falls in Argentina – Puerto Iguazu, Misiones province. Buses run regularly from the city to the viewpoints; some hotels offer their own shuttle.
The cost of visiting Iguazu Falls for an adult is 800 ARS.
Iguazu Falls landmarks
Fans of extreme thrills can try the daring ride on the Iguazu River called Macuco Safari, when daredevils in bright rubber boats rush right under the waterfalls. One hundred percent adrenaline and a unique opportunity to get wet under the waterfalls are guaranteed.
Without a doubt, the park’s main attraction is the Devil’s Throat , the most replicated horseshoe-shaped Iguazu Falls, 82 meters high and 150 meters wide, which runs right in the middle of the border between Argentina and Brazil.
The main viewpoints of the Iguazu National Park in Brazil will take approximately three hours. The rest of your free time can be devoted to a pleasant walk in the Bird Park , which is very close. Thus, it is possible to combine visits to two parks in one day.
How to get to the Iguazu Falls
The route to the falls is basically a trip or flight to Foz do Iguazu on the Brazilian side, or to Puerto Iguazu on the Argentinean side. The third option is considered unsafe and therefore not touristy – this is the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este, which is located on the opposite side of the bridge from Brazil.
Movement and border crossing between Brazil and Argentina are very convenient. There are many buses running between Foz do Iguacu, Puerto Iguazu and the two parks, and the border crossing scheme is clearly worked out by local employees, and the process does not take much time. Therefore, it does not make much difference where to base – in Brazilian Foz do Iguazu or Argentine Puerto Iguazu. In any case, you can easily visit both parks: Russians do not need visas to Brazil and Argentina if the stay does not exceed 90 days.
Tours and excursions to the Iguazu Falls are conducted from Rio de Janeiro , as well as other cities in Brazil and Argentina.
From Rio de Janeiro to Iguazu
It takes a long time to get from Rio to Iguazu by bus – more than 22 hours. At the same time, the cost of a ticket is comparable to an air flight or even more expensive: from 370 BRL. You can view the schedule and prices on the bus ticket search website.
The direct flight to Foz do Iguacu Airport lasts just 2 hours and 10 minutes. There are also options with transfers. The cheapest tickets cost 280 BRL. On a direct flight – from 350 BRL.
From Buenos Aires to Iguazu
You can get from Buenos Aires by plane; a direct flight to Puerto Iguazu will take only 1 hour and 50 minutes. Ticket price – from 1700 ARS. Usually there are several flights a day, the destination is very popular.