Las Cataratas del Iguazú is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and was an amazing place to begin my first trip to South America! To clear up any confusion over nomenclature – the falls are located on the border between Brazil and Argentina; Internationally, they are known as Iguassu Falls but locally they are named Cataratas del Iguazú in Argentina & Cataratas du Iguaçu in Brazil.
The falls are easily accessible from either country and the border is a very quick and easy journey as long as your visas & paperwork are all squared away. We flew into Foz do Iguaçu International Airport in Brazil and crossed the border into Argentina straight from the airport via taxi. You will need a visa to enter Brazil; the cost for Americans is $160 but luckily, it is good for 10 years. While Argentina doesn’t require a literal visa, there is a reciprocity fee of $160 which is also valid for 10 years. You will not be able to pay the Argentinian fee at the border so be sure to get it done online ahead of time and have your printout ready. Aside from the visa and reciprocity fees, the rest of our journey to Iguazú Falls was pretty easy and we totally had luck on our side. We landed in Brazil around 6pm and were in our cab within an hour. We headed over to the taxi line and asked about a flat rate to our hotel across the border in Argentina. We paid about $40 USD. Our driver drove us to a station to get our Brazilian exit stamp and even escorted us inside; we then drove over to the border and were able to pass very quickly and easily. We were traveling on a Monday evening and there was no line at all. Very simple; It felt very much like crossing the US border into Canada. The whole journey airport to hotel was about 45 minutes.
We stayed at the Sheraton Iguazú Resort & Spa in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina. The ultra convenient thing about this hotel is that it is inside the Iguazú National Park so starting our day the next morning was very easy and convenient. Our time in Puerto Iguazú was limited so the little time-saves really added up. Sheraton guests are required to pay the entry fee for the park as we enter the grounds to get to the hotel – but remember how luck was on our side?? No one was at the booth and the gate was open! The concierge even said that we were fine as long as we stay in the park. Woop! I believe the entry fee is about $23 USD per person.
The hotel has a wonderful view of the falls, I recommend getting a room on the back-side of the building so you can wake up to the view. We were on the front side of the building aka the Jungle View womp womppp but we were able to take in the views from the restaurant and all of the common areas. Since our stay was super short and Puerto Iguazú is a relatively small town we had all of our meals at the restaurant downstairs. Breakfast was complimentary and there was a live harpist during dinner!
I’m not sure how to get to the trails from the entrance of the park since the Sheraton is located in the park but a quick 10 minute walk from our hotel led us to the free train that can take you to the upper and lower trails as well as Paseo Garganta del Diablo – the trail to Devil’s Throat. We decided to walk to Devil’s Throat and from what I read afterwards, that’s the trail that you do not want to miss as it is located at the highest point of the falls at a height of 269 feet. The trail wasn’t what I expected, it was actually an easy 1 kilometer walk on a bridge/walkway over the river with gorgeous views. When we reached the falls we were blown away by how powerful they were. The falls are made up of 275 individual falls over 1.67 miles, half of which spill over Garganta del Diablo; so as you’ll see in my photos below, it’s just epic. There is a cloud of mist that rises and falls so be sure to secure your electronics – my friend and I were so upset we didn’t bring showercaps lol. My hair was a disaster.
From Puerto Iguazú we headed to Buenos Aires via Cataratas Del Iguazú International Airport which was about 20 minutes from the Sheraton. It was a super low key airport – we checked in our bags and went through security in no time. I’ll be back at Iguazú Falls for the tail end of my trip but this time I will be checking out the Brazilian side but next up on the blog will be Buenos Aires! ¡Chau!