10 Mar 2014

Day Tripping At Iguazu Falls

Situated right on the border between Argentina and Brazil Iguazu Falls are a popular stop on the traveller trail in South America. After our crazy week of late nights in Rio De Janeiro for carnival we were definitely in need of a couple of relaxed days in the countryside. We landed in Foz De Iguazu fresh from two short and very comfortable flights on Brazil’s budget airline Azul complete with free snacks and soft drinks - easyjet take note! Our next mission was to cross the border into Argentina and get to the town of Puerto Iguazu where our hostel Residencia Noelia awaited us.

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina

We decided to use the local buses rather than the easy (and expensive) option of a taxi, finding the right bus stand at the airport was a little confusing but basically its the last stand on the left and the buses take you to the bus station in Foz De Iguazu. From there we hopped on a bus to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina but had to jump off at the border to get stamped out of Brazil, then we waited a few minutes for another bus to pass by and scoop us up. At the Argentinian border everybody got off the bus to get stamped into the country and the bus waited before delivering us to the bus station in Puerto Iguazu. It was a very straight forward and swift border crossing.

Our hostel was just a few blocks from the bus station but we took a taxi anyway as it was a hot day and we’d been travelling about 8 hours by this point. We showered and then wandered down to the main street for dinner, which was a very average tasting but pricey bowl of fried rice and noodles. On the walk home we discovered an amazing 24 hour bakery which was to become a major food source for us during our stay - we gauged on either croissants, empanadas or handmade biscuits at least twice a day!

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina
"The view from Paseo Superior."

The next morning we were on schedule to catch the 9am bus to the Iguazu National Park, we were trying our best to beat the crowds but this place is incredibly popular so always full of Argentinian and foreign tourists alike. We avoided the train in the park as the queues were already huge and we fancied a bit of a walk, we’d envisioned muddy trails in our head so were sporting our hiking boots but we needn’t had bothered as all the trails were brick laid or metal mesh so we could have easily made it around in our flip flops.

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina

We started on the Paseo Superior which gave us fantastic views that were level with the top of the falls, it was incredibly beautiful and the volume of water going over them was difficult to comprehend.

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina
"When the morning gathers the rainbow.."

Next we headed down to the Paseo Inferior which is level with the bottom of the falls so you get a much different perspective and a close up view, there was also a smaller waterfall along this trail and we could see the speedboats full of tourists daringly powering into the bottom of the falls for a soaking. This was our next activity and as we walked the slippery path to the boat jetty we passed lots of tourists who were dripping and Steve started to regret his denim shorts outfit choice!

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina
"Spot the speedboat!"

We had a short wait as were were a little earlier than our allocated slot but soon it was our turn to slip on a damp lifejacket and take our seats in the speedboat. 

It was a very slick operation and within seconds we had a video camera in our face as we sped towards the bottom of the Devil’s Throat waterfall, this was just a teaser as we didn’t get too close or wet then we did a U-Turn and headed to the waterfalls on the opposite side and before we knew it, we were engulfed in white water shrieking like children! It was hilarious and we got two more dunkings which was great fun, it was all over within ten minutes and we disembarked completely soaked from head to toe with big smiles on our faces!

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina
"Wet much?"

We drip dried our way to one of the cafes for a lunch of empanadas and sprite, fending off the coatis (racoon type animals) and wasps as we ate. Next on our list was to head to a secret waterfall for a swim so we changed into more suitable attire and took a shortcut through the grounds of the Sheraton hotel to continue our 3.5km trail there. We didn’t see many other tourists but after about 25 minutes walking we met a fellow Brit on her way back and unfortunately learned that the bottom of the waterfall was full of wasp like bugs which made swimming pretty much impossible so we reluctantly turned back.

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina
"Getting closer to the top of the waterfalls. Eek!"

There was one more viewing point on our agenda so we took the last train to the very top of the falls, it was very cramped on the train which was practically toy sized and we were crammed in four-in-a-row and knee-to-knee. Once at the top it was about a 30 minute walk across the top of the falls and as we approached we could see the water drop off over the edge of the highest falls. Very dramatic!

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina

This was by far the best viewing point in the park as you get to look down over the falls and really get a sense of how high and powerful they are, it was really beautiful especially with the rainbows - Mother Nature has really done a fantastic job here! As the wind changed direction we got wet by the spray which was amusing as always. On our walk back to the train we spotted a couple of turtles sunbathing on the bottom of the pillars that held up our walkway which we thought was a bit of an odd place for them to live.

Iguazu Falls Puerto Iguazu Argentina

We had great fun during our visit to Iguazu Falls and packed as much as we could into our day visit so were pretty tired when we got back to our hostel about 7pm. Our day trip cost 430 pesos (£33) each, so as it was quite an expensive day out we decided to spend our second day in Puerto Iguazu relaxing by the pool at our hostel rather making the journey into Brazil (again) to see the Iguazu Falls from their side. We’ve heard mixed opinions on the Brazilian side of the falls, the view is meant to be much more close up of the biggest waterfall 'The Devil’s Throat' but we felt we had seen all that we needed to. 

Have you been to Iguazu Falls before? How was your experience?


  1. This is a great post for someone like me planning to go there later this year! I'd love to hear someones thoughts on whether its worth doing both sides or just one because that impacts where I fly into as this will be the start of a big South American trip!

    1. Thanks. To be honest it doesn't really matter where you fly to as you can get to the other town in about 45 minutes and doesn't cost very much money. Have a great time !