Happy Friday and happy kickoff to the Summer 2016 Olympics! Photos of Rio have been flooding my feeds and I’ve been feeling all these pangs of nostalgia. We traveled to Rio de Janeiro almost a year ago and I know I know… I still haven’t posted anything here on the blog. Remember that hard-drive crash I had awhile back? Yup, lost all of my Brazil videos and photos, welp! I spent this afternoon scraping up whatever I could from our trip – photos from my and Waseem’s instagrams & for some reason Lightroom had some decently sized thumbnails saved, no original files though 🙁 I screenshotted and fixed up what ever I could so please don’t judge me for the quality of these photos. I just wanted to live vicariously as I’m watching the opening ceremony on TV now! Enjoy the throwback!
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.