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January 2018, Iguazu falls – Brazil & Argentina
I have to admit, it’s been more about LIVING and less about writing, since we left to South America 3 months ago.
But here it is, the first article opening up the series of south american nature wonders: Iguazu falls – how to do it on your own in 2 days.
Imagine 275 waterfalls stretching for 2.7 km on a picturesque rainforest, with an average of 1700 cubic meters flowing per second. Too much information?
Then go to the Iguazu falls and see it for yourself! This was our first WOW moment shortly after starting our adventurous journey.
The natural wonder stands on the border between Brazil and Argentina and can be reached from both sides. Which one would I recommend? Do both!
Although there is some effort involved in changing flights, taxis and local buses, it can be done in 2 days only.
Here’s how: you will either come from Brazil as we did (Rio de Janeiro) or Argentina (Buenos Aires). The goal is to reach one of the small cities where you’ll spend the night before or after you visit the falls on each side.
So to wrap it up, here’s what we did.
- Day 1
Rio de Janeiro GIG airport, Brazil – Foz do Iguaçu IGU airport, Brazil (2 hours LATAM flight)
Foz do Iguaçu IGU airport, Brazil – Iguaçu National Park, Brazil (10 min bus 120)
Iguaçu National Park, Brazil – Foz do Iguaçu city, Brazil (35 min bus 120)
*spend the night in Foz do Iguaçu city
- Day 2
Foz do Iguaçu city, Brazil – Puerto Iguazu city, Argentina (30 min border crossing by taxi)
Puerto Iguazu city, Argentina – Parque Nacional Iguazu, Argentina (40 min bus “Rio Uruguay”, direction to “Cataratas”)
Parque Nacional Iguazu, Argentina – Puerto Iguazu city, Argentina (40 min bus “Rio Uruguay”, direction back to town)
*spend the night in Puerto Iguazu city
- Day 3
Puerto Iguazu city, Argentina – Puerto Iguazu IGR airport, Argentina (30 min shuttle)
Puerto Iguazu IGR airport, Argentina – Buenos Aires AEP airport, Argentina (2 hours flight LATAM)
The Brazilian side is smaller, covering 20% of the falls’ surface. However, being on the opposite side of most waterfalls really makes you realize the proportions of the place. Oh, and you’ll get less wet.
From the Visitor Center Station, take the bus and stop at “The path of the falls”. There is some moderate walk on a 1.2 km trail, with cute little quatis playing around on the way.
The highlight? Devil’s Throat, the dazzling 90-meters high waterfall. Don’t try to fight the water, you’ll get soaked!
The Argentinian side has a bunch of trails which enable you to see the waterfalls from about any hight or angle. Just to have an idea of how much you can do here, there’s a train and a ferry inside the park.
Start with the short Green Trail, move to the Lower Circuit, Upper Trail, then reach the train station to finish the day on top of Gargantua del Diablo. I’ve never seen so much water in my life!
Later on, we return to the small town of Puerto Iguazu to FINALLY rest at the pool.
Not that we didn’t have enough water for the last 2 days. 🙂
Time to spend in the park
Minimum 2 hours on Brazilian side, 4-5 hours on Argentinian side
What to bring
- Insect repellent
Do not forget
Fill in and keep the entry/exit papers(!) at the border crossing between Brazil and Argentina. Our taxi driver stopped twice at the Brazilian and Argentinian immigration police offices, and waited for us to get our passports stamped.
Rio de Janeiro – Foz do Iguaçu: 150 USD/pers.
Puerto Iguazu – Buenos Aires: 150 USD/pers.
60 USD/night/double room
- Park entry
62 BRL (19 USD)/pers., Brazil
500 AR (25 USD)/pers., Argentina
- Public Transport
Bus 120 airport – Iguaçu National Park – Foz do Iguaçu city: 3.5 BRL (1 USD)/pers./1 way
Taxi border crossing Brazil-Argentina: 100 BRL (30 USD)
Bus “Rio Uruguay” – Cataratas: 75 ARS (4 USD)/pers./1 way
Shuttle Puerto Iguazu city – airport: 150 ARS (7.5 USD)/pers.
Total costs 2 days x 2 pers: ~950 USD
*considering you are coming from Rio de Janeiro and going to Buenos Aires
In January 2018 we booked one-way tickets, took our backpacks and left cozy old Europe, for (hopefully) the greatest adventure of our lives: South America. If you like our story, don’t forget to spread the word!
Happy travels and stay safe!