Iguazu waterfall is one of the 7 wonders of the world and really merits this title. It’s a huge waterfall which consists of hundreds of individual waterfalls. If you are a waterfall lover, Iguazu Falls is a must but even if you don’t care too much about waterfalls, Iguazu Falls will impress you.
The question which many people ask themselves is which side of the waterfall to visit. The Brazilian or the Argentinian one? I ask, why choose? You will travel a long way to come here and it would be a shame not to appreciate the waterfall from all its angles. I explain you how to visit Iguazu in Brazil and you will also find out how to visit Iguazu in Argentina.
How to visit the Brazilian Falls from Foz do Iguacu
The town closest to the Brazilian Iguazu is called Foz do Iguacu. You can get here by traveling by bus for several days from Sao Paolo or the southern beaches. However, if you look up to two weeks before your trip, you will find flights from the bigger cities in Brazil that will end up cheaper or only slightly more expensive than the long bus rides in Brazil. GOL has the cheapest prices and it’s best to book on their website in Portuguese.
From Foz do Iguacu airport to the city center
The airport you will land near the Iguazu Falls is called Foz do Iguacu (IGU). To get into town from the airport you can take Uber, a taxi or bus number 120 (3.75 BRL). The bus leaves every 20 minutes and the bus driver will give you change up to 20 BRL. Use maps.me to spot your hotel and get off at the closest bus station. Just be sure to take the bus that goes downtown (it takes about 30 minutes to the main terminal). Because the same bus also drives to the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls in the opposite direction.
Where to stay in Foz do Iguacu
I stayed at CHL Suites near the main bus terminal. This was a good choice as it was clean, and they offered free Caipirinhas in the evenings. Also, Foz felt safe and it was easy to walk to the many nearby restaurants and the supermarket.
How to get to the Brazilian side of the waterfall from Foz
So, as you already know, you can take bus 120 for 3.75 BRL. It takes 35 minutes from the main bus station. Which means, Foz airport is 5 minutes from the falls. You could also go to the falls directly from the airport. There are lockers that fit 50 L backpacks.
Visiting the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls
The entrance fee is 70 or 80 BRL and can be paid by credit card or cash or pre-booked online. Once you have your ticket, you get in line to board a double-decker bus. This will bring you to the first viewing platform. If you booked an additional boat ride or some other excursion at the entrance, you might have to get off at another stop before that. An audiotape on the bus lets you know.
The first platform already gives you an impressive front view of a big part of the waterfall.
After that, you leisurely walk along the path for about an hour with many good photo opportunities along the way. In the end, you reach a boardwalk that leads below the falls. Probably, you need a raincoat, or you will be soaked. You can buy ponchos there but as the prices are very touristy, it’s better if you bring them from home.
From there you can either take an elevator or walk up the stairs past several other platforms to reach a restaurant and the food court. Then, take a double-decker bus back to the entrance.
So, with taking it slowly you need about 2-3 hours for your visit.
Even though there are fewer trails to walk on the Brazilian side than on the Argentinian side, I loved every bit of it!! It’s simply amazing to see the biggest waterfall in the world from the front.
Should I bring food?
There are many options to buy food or drinks and so it’s not really necessary to bring anything. However, there are touristy prices and it’s cheaper to bring snacks from the supermarket.
How to get back into town
To get back you just take bus 120 again from the right side to the entrance for 3.75 BRL.
Other activities in Foz do Iguacu
You could visit the bird park, a wax museum or the three borders monument. However, everything is clearly made for the tourists and not something natural like the Iguazu Falls. Hence, I wasn’t a big fan.
Some people also go on a one-day shopping trip to Paraguay. Be warned that it will be crowded with people. The Brazilian girl who stayed in my dorm didn’t like her experience but if you are a shopping queen, this might be something you like.
What many people do enjoy is the Buddhist temple (Rua Dr. Josivalter Vila Nova, 99 – Foz do Iguaçu/PR). Take bus 103 to get there.
How to visit the Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls from Foz do Iguacu (Brazil)
You have the option of an organized tour which you can book in town or at the hotel. The transport costs you 75 BRL and on top of that, you pay the normal entrance fee of 700 pesos (pesos or credit card). You will leave at about 8.30 a.m. and board the bus again at 5 p.m. If you want to go on the adventure boat (cost: 2000 pesos, duration: 2 hours) you should take this option as it’s a bit stressful to fit in the boat if you use public transport.
How to get to Argentina by public bus
Just outside the main bus terminal (top end toward the supermarket, not the Paraguay stop), you find the Brazil-Argentina bus stop. The first bus starts at 7.25 a.m. and it’s either Easy Bus or Rio Uruguay. They have enough seats to sit down as opposed to bus 120 and it costs 8 BRL to get to the border. If you come back to Brazil on the same day you don’t have to get off at the Brazilian border. In case you are leaving Brazil, you need to get your exit stamp. The bus won’t wait for you there, but you can use your bus ticket to get on the next one (ask the driver to give you a ticket in case you haven’t received one). Then, you stamp your passport in about 2 minutes and afterward wait for the next bus from the same company which can take between 30 minutes and 1 hour. The bus then brings you to the Argentinean border (you can’t walk, it’s too far and too dangerous). If you stay longer than one day, you need your entry stamp. Otherwise, you stay on the bus or let the people at the counter know that you only visit for one day.
After that, the bus will either bring you to the main bus terminal of Puerto Iguacu (from where you take a bus to the park entrance for 20 BRL) or it will drop you somewhere along the road where you can take a shared taxi (they will ask for more than 20 BRL per person but perhaps you can haggle it down).
I didn’t see any money exchange places but I didn’t need pesos as I brought food and water from Brazil and the bus and taxi you could pay with small Brazilian bills.
Best way to visit Iguazu Falls in Argentina
The entrance fee was 700 pesos (but with the inflation, it could change quickly) and you can pay in pesos or by credit card.
After the ticket gate, you should walk straight to the train station and get your free ticket to bring you to Devil’s Throat. The trains only leave every 15 to 30 minutes and so it’s best to directly get one in the morning.
In 30 minutes, you ride to the last stop. Up there are restrooms and another booth to book tours on the adventure boat. Here, the queue is shorter than at the entrance and you can book a boat tour for the afternoon. From this point on you will need at least 4 hours to see everything and if you walk all the paths you will walk about 6 km.
Walk the bridge to reach the top of a huge wall of water. Here, a raincoat might be good or otherwise, you could end up soaked.
Enjoy the spray and the colorful butterflies. You might also spot birds, turtles and big fish along the way.
After returning to the train tracks, get your free train ticket to go back to the other two paths.
The upper circuit is nice because you are on top of the waterfalls for the most time.
However, I really loved the lower circuit as you are below, next to, in front of and on top of waterfalls! If you want to know my opinion: I liked this path and the Brazilian side the best. So, you still should visit both sides 🙂
If you now still have the energy for a boat ride, you can go and enjoy getting soaking wet. Otherwise, you take Rio Uruguay bus back into Puerto Iguazu for 180 pesos / 20 BRL, where you could spend the night or take another Rio Uruguay bus for 8 BRL back to Foz do Iguacu in Brazil. In case you by accident got an exit stamp before, or this is your first entry into Brazil, you now need an entry stamp again and have to wait for the bus on the Argentinian side and then on the Brazilian side. If you don’t need stamps, you just ride all the way into town. 56 BRL in total for round trip transport. This isn’t a big difference to the organized van and to safe yourself any stress it’s probably worth it to reserve a spot on a van in your accommodation or at a travel agency.