Falling for Iguassu Falls: Top 5 travel tips

It’s so easy to be awed with Iguassu Falls – and for a reason – it is breathtaking and majestic. It is the second biggest falls in the world, only second to Victoria Falls in Africa. I visited the Brazilian side in 1996, as part of a South American trip. It is so beautiful that I decided to go there again. This time around,  I stayed for two days, one day to visit the Brazil side, and another to visit the Argentina side.

You have to fly from almost everywhere to get to Iguassu- but it is worth it. Not even Niagara Falls can compare to it! If you are in this part of the world, don’t miss out on this natural wonder.

Here are some tips when you plan to go to Iguassu Falls:

1. See both sides

I read numerous forums before deciding whether to do only the Brazilian side or the Argentinian side as well. I got mixed reviews, which makes it a bit harder to decide. A lot of people choose only 1 side due to lack of time. I was glad I decided to see both, as the two sides give totally different experiences, and see different aspects of the falls.

The Brazilian side gives you a panoramic view – you can walk through several platforms, and at the very end it leads to an elevated viewing platform. It is a very short comfortable walk. You can do it in half a day. This you can do by yourself. Ask the tourist information for the buses – it’s so easy to get around.

 

Brazilian view

Brazilian view

 

Side view of the Brazilian side. If you think this is a close view, wait til you see the Argentina side!

Side view of the Brazilian side. If you think this is a close view, wait til you see the Argentina side!

 

The Argentinian side, on the other hand, provides you an intimate view of the falls. You can get up close and personal with the Devil’s Throat. You need a full day to walk all the paths. You can book your tour from the Iguassu airport in the Brazil side – it’s cheap – around USD 1o0 – and it will take you to a guided full day tour to the Argentinian side. It’s too much of a hassle to figure out how to get there by yourself.

Near Devil's Throat!

Near Devil’s Throat!

Up close and personal

Up close and personal

As close as you can get!

As close as you can get!

2. No need to book expensive accommodation. Save it for something greater (this encourages you to read on!)

Unless your room opens to the falls – choose a basic and clean accommodation. I did. I paid USD 30 per night in a simple clean hostel and the staff are helpful and friendly. The breakfast is awful though, but there was a supermarket around the corner where I bought my food.

3. Wear as little clothing as you’re comfortable of wearing!

You will get wet! If you didn’t then it just meant you did not go close enough! Buy a disposable raincoat, and underneath, wear as little clothing. Because wet clothes are uncomfortable. I am not saying to wear just a bikini, but a tank top with short shorts would work! And wear flip flops with back straps, no closed shoes!

 

So drenched!!!

So drenched!!!

 

4. Book the boat tour that goes up close to the Falls

It’s an exhilirating experience to get so close to the Falls. Yes you get as wet as you can, but it’s part of the fun!

Approaching the falls from the boat - too bad can't get anything close!

Approaching the falls from the boat – too bad can’t get anything close! You need a waterproof camera!

5. Here’s the splurge you should not miss. Book a chopper tour.

Don’t skimp on this, you will regret it! It’s the highlight of the Iguassu trip. You get to see the bird’s eye view, and the chopper dives down to give you different angles! You won’t see anything on the plane (in 1996 they actually fly you across the Falls and goes around, not anymore!) so the chopper is the only way to see the same view. I wanted to do a second round but it started raining! But luckily I manage to do it once! Do it early in the morning for the best light.

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This trip is so spectacular that I think it will be hard for me to be impressed with another waterfall. So I chose the largest as my next destination. See you Victoria Falls in August 2013! Hope you’ll look forward to my blog entry then 🙂

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