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.
What day of the week IS it?! Ahhhh I’ve been running around like a crazy person. I’m leaving for Miami in less than 24 hours and I need to shop, pack, and who knows what else! I’m going to be gone for about two weeks and I’m so excited and stressed out at the same time. From Miami I’ll be going to Ohio for a wedding, back to LA for a few hours to leave for Brazil and Argentina later that night! o_0 Yikes! Feeling super overwhelmed but super blessed at the same time – it’ll be my first time in South America (or the southern hemisphere at all!) and I can’t wait! If any of you have been to either country – please leave me some tips and must-sees (& must-eats!!). Also, please make sure you’re following me on Instagram and Snapchat where I’ll be sharing everything!! #irenesarahtravels
When I travel I try my hardest to take as little makeup as possible.. You guys know I layer and layer and layer when I go full glam but I always end up breaking products or leaving things in hotel rooms when I’m living out of a suitcase. So today I’ve created for you a look with just a few products and even fewer brushes – I also used drugstore foundation because I get paranoid about taking the pricy stuff through TSA. *Regina George voice* Is foundation a liquid?!
Aloha my LOVES!!!! Ahhh, you guys are the BEST! Thank you so much for all of the wonderful feedback yesterday on my video and part 1 of this blog-post! I know I keep saying this but I worked so hard on this video, I wanted it to be perfect and interesting for you guys (& helpful for anyone planning a trip!) – so to know that all of these sleepless nights paid off is an amazing amazing feeling. I loveddd reading all the comments from those of you that have trips planned already or are now planning trips because of my episode, to know that you all are actually engaged with the content is incredible. I felt so cheesy recording my voiceovers but I wanted to be super informative and share things that I wish I knew before my trip!
Enough with my rambling though, let’s get on to Part Two of my Hawaiian vacation where we spent a few days on the gorgeous island of O’ahu. Each Hawaiian island is supposed to be completely different in terms of the landscape, culture, and all around vibe. While O’ahu is by far the most modern and Maui is super lush and relaxed, I found O’ahu’s mishmash of modern & utopian to be fascinating. Within very short drives you can see the city’s high rise buildings, lush rainforests, mountains, cliffs, charming towns and villages, gorgeous sandy beaches and crystal blue water. I’ve said this twice already but in my opinion, O’ahu is the absolute perfect way to close out a Hawaiian vacation because it’s a great transition back to city life. I was still living in Chicago when we went on this trip, if we had come back straight from Maui I think the harsh contrast would freak me out LOL! Alrighty, as usual.. I’ll blab as we go :) Enjoy!
I completely underestimated how incredible Hawaii would be, in my mind I thought tropical is tropical they’re all the same – I was in the Maldives two weeks prior so I was under the impression that I’ve already set the bar so high on beachy vacations that Hawaii wouldn’t even compare. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong!!! Hawaii has so many different landscapes and visuals… cities, mountains, rainforests, beaches, the ocean, cliffs. All it takes is a short drive to see all of these things within minutes. Hailing from the FLAT midwest, this completely blew my mind; I couldn’t believe just how beautiful everything is. No question, this trip is my favorite yet, my chest actually felt heavy when we were leaving to come back home after 8 days. I usually feel antsy after a couple days to get back into my routine but this time around I had absolutely no desire. Every island has a completely different look and feel, we only explored Maui and O’ahu but I know we’ll be back asap to experience the remaining six.
You all know that I’m very.. generous with the camera(s) so after narrowing down thousands of photos and hours of footage, this is the final result. A long vlog and a blog-post so long that I had to break it up into two parts after completing, ha! Part one today will be the first leg of our Hawaiian vacation on the lush island of Maui, grab a snack and get comfy – I’ll chat and reminiscence as we go! Part two in O’ahu will be posted tomorrow so don’t forget to check back! xo
Whenever I feel a pang of wanderlust I end up zoning out in front of the computer for hours searching for flights and making bucket-lists of things to do and places to explore. For me there are two types of vacations: 1. unplugging everything and checking out or 2. throwing on sneakers, exploring sights, and taking in as much history as possible. During my latest wanderlust session I yearned for something tropical, someplace where I could shut everything off (except my camera of course), and just relax and be pampered.