Iguazu Falls: Three Countries and a Natural Wonder
One of the most unexpectedly exciting places in South America for many tourists is Iguazu Falls. You might think that if you have seen one big waterfall you have seen them all. However, this is a truly awe inspiring place which you should make an effort to go and see. It is one of the New Modern Wonders of Nature and one of the biggest and most spectacular shows of nature’s force on the planet.
If you are travelling to Iguazu from Buenos Aires then it is long way by road. In fact, you can expect a bus trip to here to last about 15 hours. The good news is that pretty cheap flights can be booked from Buenos Aires to the town of Puerto Iguazu if time is tight and you can afford it. There aren’t really too many other touristy destinations near the falls, so making a meandering trip up there with a few stops isn’t as popular as you might think. On the Brazilian side the town is called Foz do Iguacu. You can get here from all of the main cities in Brazil. Like Argentina, the journeys are long in such a big country and flights are available. Very few travellers seem to come through Paraguay to Ciudad del Este and I don’t have any information on how easy or difficult that trip is.
Where to Stay
The choice of where you stay will probably come down to the currency exchange rates at the time you are there. For example, at the time of writing the Brazilian Real is a lot stronger than the Argentine Peso, so staying on the Argentine side is going to work out cheaper for you. Puerto Iguazu is probably a nicer town than the Brazilian equivalent anyway, although you should be sure to check both of them out. The Paraguayan town of Ciudad del Este has a reputation for being a bit unsafe and is apparently where a lot of Brazilians and Argentines go to buy counterfeit goods.
What to Do
Obviously the main attraction here is the chance to see the falls. There isn’t a lot else to do anyway, to be fair. Puerto Iguazu is – like all of Argentina – a good place to eat a quality steak. Foz do Iguazu is decent for walking around but doesn’t seem to have a lot for tourists to do. Of course, you should make sure that you see the falls from both Brazil and Argentina, as they offer different experiences and views. In Brazil you will be further from the water but will get an amazing view of the Devil’s Throat part of the falls. While in Argentina you will be closer to the action and spend a lot more time walking around the falls or even taking a boat trip under them if you like. The falls are set in a tropical forest and the Bird Park on the Brazilian side is a good place to see lots of the local wildlife.
Photo by markgee on Flickr