Iguazú Falls: Puentes Destination Guide
Taller than Niagara Falls and four times as wide with 275 cascades spread in a horseshoe shape over nearly two miles of the Iguazú River, the Iguazú Falls offer an unforgettable experience and a spectacle of nature. Upon seeing Iguazú’s sheer beauty, the United States First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly exclaimed, “Poor Niagara!” Iguazú is perfect for a three-day weekend getaway.
HOW TO GET THERE
A short two-hour flight from Buenos Aires, Iguazú is in the northeastern corner of Argentina on the border with Brazil and Paraguay. You can choose to fly from the in-city airport Aeroparque Jorge Newbery on a traditional airline, take a low cost flight from El Palomar, or take a 20 hour bus ride from Retiro bus station.
WHERE TO STAY
A highly recommended hostel in Iguazú is Tango Inn Iguazú. The hostel has a big swimming pool with a volleyball net and a pool bar, wifi, foosball, table tennis, plus breakfast included with your stay. For an upscale hotel, the Gran Meliá Iguazú, formerly the Sheraton, cannot be topped, as it is inside the Park, offering unparalleled views and access. AirBnb is also a great option, especially if you are traveling in a group.
WHAT TO DO
Iguazú is a wonderful place to visit for a three-day weekend. If you take an overnight bus or a flight, you can spend your first half-day in Iguazú exploring the town. Then the second day you can spend the entire day in the Iguazú National Park. On your third day you can either hop over to the Brazilian side of the Falls (as of June 16, 2019 U.S. citizens no longer need a visa to enter Brazil) or do a half-day excursion like the ones listed below.
Visit Iguazú National Park: Take one full day to tour the Park, by walking through trails overlooking the waterfalls from numerous viewpoints. Open daily 8am to 6pm.
Aventura Nautica: While in the Park, don’t miss this amazing activity in which you literally go under the waterfalls in speedboats.
It is recommended to wear waterproof clothes and shoes, since you will get entirely soaked.
Salto Arrechea: You can do this quick hike to a small waterfall inside the Park.
Iguazú Forest: If you have an extra half day in Iguazú, see more of the stunning nature in the area on this excursion with trekking, ziplining, and rappelling.
Explore Iguazú Town: In town you can go to “El Hito Tres Fronteras,” where the three borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet. There is also a small crafts and handiwork market, as well as an obelisk at the impressive confluence of the Ríos Paraná and Iguazú.
Güira Oga: This “Bird House” (in native Guaraní language) is a wildlife refuge that promotes the preservation of different species in its habitat and recovery of wounded ones. Daily English guided tours available.
Get the Brazilian view: If you have extra time (and a Brazil visa), you can spend another half day on the Brazilian side of the Park in order to get an amazing bird’s eye view of the waterfalls. ¡Ojo! You will need a Brazil visa, so plan ahead if you'd like to do this.
Ice Bar Iguazú: Escape the heat in this fun ice lounge.
TAKE WITH YOU
Original passport (in your carry on, with you on the bus or plane)
Enough cash for the weekend because ATMs are few and far between in Iguazú
Bug spray, sunscreen, bathing suit, good walking shoes
Note: The yellow fever vaccine is not obligatory for Iguazú, so you do not need to have it to go there, especially in the areas where you will likely be during your trip, which are not in the deep jungle. Some people do choose to get the yellow fever vaccine anyway, and you can do so for free through the Argentina Ministry of Health.