Comprising of over 275 spectacularly powerful waterfalls, you can’t help but admire the sheer force of the Iguazu falls. Considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world, this spectacle is found on the border between Brazil and Argentina. To visit Iguazu falls in Argentina, you’ll need to base yourself in the small town of Puerto Iguazu.
Visiting the falls in Argentina you get the best sense of the unrelenting strength of the waterfalls. You’ll get close enough to be soaked from the spray of the crashing water, giving you a unique close up perspective of one of nature’s finest sights. On top of this, you’ll find trails through vast rainforest giving you the chance to see a variety of wildlife, as well as the opportunity to view the falls from a number of different points. While it’s possible to get some panoramic views on this side of the falls, visiting on the Brazilian side offers the best panoramas of the falls.
Flights – The easiest way to get to Puerto Iguazu is to fly, with several direct flights operating from Buenos Aires on a daily basis. Prices can vary heavily, but if booking more than a month in advance you should be able to find flights for around 1600-2500 Argentinian Pesos. Be sure to use Momondo to compare flight prices when planning your trip to find the cheapest dates to fly.
From the airport a minibus to your hotel costs 120 pesos per person. If you’re going to get a taxi be sure to check the price in advance as it fluctuates regularly due to inflation. When we visited it was around 350 pesos one-way.
Bus – Buses to Puerto Iguazu are available from a number of cities in Argentina. From Buenos Aires it’s roughly a 20-hour journey and will cost around 1500-1700 pesos. Alternatively, Green toad bus offer hop on hop off services travelling to Puerto Iguazu from Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Brazil.
Ferry – From Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, it’s possible to take a short ferry ride to Puerto Iguazu for just 10,000 Paraguayan Guarani if travelling on foot.
How long to spend here
It’s important not to try and rush through. By giving yourself 2 or 3 days in the area, you’ll be able to judge when the weather is best to visit the falls. You may even find you want to split your visit to the falls over 2 days – allowing you to take things at your own pace. If you decide to do this, you can get your ticket stamped for re-entry, meaning admission is half price the following day.
When to visit
Iguazu is a great destination to visit year round. If you want to see the falls at their most powerful, visit between December and February. The downside of doing this is that extra rainfall may lead to closure of some trails, and it’s the peak time to visit. As well as this, it’s the hottest time of year and queuing in the heat is exhausting.
We’d suggest trying to visit in March/April or August/September. You should have the advantage of fewer visitors, as this isn’t peak time to visit. One exception to this is the Easter period, when many Brazilians and Argentinians visit the falls. These months are also crossover periods between wet and dry seasons so the falls will still be relatively strong.
How to get to Iguazu falls from Puerto Iguazu
For just 130 pesos you can get a return bus journey from Puerto Iguazu to the falls. They leave every 20 minutes, with the first leaving at 7am each day. The journey takes around 40 minutes each way. We recommend trying to get one of the first buses of the day to beat the crowds and be the first on your trail of choice. Upon arriving at the falls, there is an entrance fee of 500 pesos per person.
We stayed in a great Airbnb with an extremely knowledgeable host. Having visited the falls a number of times himself, he gave us his recommendations on the order to do the trails. The order is based around the positioning of the sun, meaning you’ll be able to get the best possible photos and views from each trail.
Circuito Superior – This half-mile trail gives some of the best panoramic views you’ll find on the Argentinian side of the falls. Take this trail to see some of the main waterfalls from above.
Circuito Inferior – A mile long circuit allowing you to admire some of the falls from close enough to feel the spray. You’ll also have the chance to take a boat ride on this route to get another perspective.
Isla San Martin – A quick boat trip will take you to the island of San Martin. Here, a short climb will reward you with views opposite some of the main falls. Alas, if water levels aren’t right you won’t be able to visit – as was the case for us.
Sendero Macuco – The most secluded trail in the park, leading to a more remote waterfall. Due to the length of the trail (3.5km each way), most visitors skip this trail so you’re likely to be one of the few people there. Unfortunately, this trail sometimes closes if Pumas have been seen on the route the day prior.
Garganta Del Diablo – Translating to ‘Devil’s throat’ in English, this is the most powerful point of the falls. Accessible via a short train ride, this gives you the best idea of the thundering force of the falls. Be wary of long queues for the train!
What you need for visiting the park
We strongly advise bringing food and water supplies for the whole day as vendors in the park are overpriced. There are good supermarkets in Puerto Iguazu so take advantage of this and prepare yourself for a full day of exploring the falls. It’s best to take more water than you’ll think you’re going to need as it can be extremely warm depending on when you visit. Beware of coatis throughout the park, especially if you’re carrying food. They can be dangerous so if any are nearby, don’t get food out or it will catch their attention.
You should also consider bringing a raincoat as it will help keep you dry when up close with the falls. It’s also useful for any sudden downpours, as you will be in the middle of a rainforest!
What to do in Puerto Iguazu
Visit Casa de Empanadas – Try out some of the local cuisine, with a great selection of empanadas. A favourite throughout South America, empanadas are a pastry with a number of fillings available – from various meats to spinach and cheese. The food is delicious and great value. Despite only spending a few days in Puerto Iguazu, we couldn’t resist visiting multiple times!
Three borders landmark – As Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay all share borders, each country has a monument symbolising this connection. Argentina’s landmark is an easy half hour walk from Puerto Iguazu town centre and there is no cost for entry. You’ll get views across to both Brazil and Paraguay and if you have the spare time, it’s a nice way to spend an hour or two.
If you are visiting both sides of the falls and will be staying on the Brazilian side too, this is easily doable from the bus station in town. It costs 20 pesos and while the bus won’t wait for you at the border, your ticket will be valid for any subsequent bus to continue your journey once you’ve passed through immigration.
Alternatively, if you just want to take a day trip to the Brazilian side of the falls, you’ll be able to book a tour with one of the local operators in town. We’d personally recommend properly visiting the Brazilian side.
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