As water crashes down around you, filling the air with an almighty roar and a cloud of mist, you can’t help but think this is Mother Nature really showing off. Surrounded by the lush subtropical forest of the Iguazu National Park, the 275 cataracts of the the Iguazu Falls are a truly remarkable sight.
The falls sit on the border between Brazil and Argentina on a large horseshoe bend in the Iguazu River, which aptly means ‘big river’ in the local Guaraní language. Winding its way across Brazil for over a thousand kilometres, the river breaks out into the incredible series of waterfalls when it hits the rim of the Paraná plateau. The majority of the falls sit on the Argentinian side, where a well planned system of trails and walkways let you experience both the upper and lower falls.
One of the most dramatic sections of the falls is the Garganta del Diablo, or Devil’s Throat, sitauted along one of the widest stretches of the river. Here, several hugely powerful falls join and the froth of the water as it crashes down and the spray that soars back up into the air is quite something.
The Argentinian side of the falls is situated within the Misiones province and together with the neighbouring Iguaçu National Park in Brazil, make up a significant part of the Atlantic Forest, one of the one of the world’s most ecologically diverse regions. Home to thousands of plant species, hundreds of species of birds, and animals such as howler monkeys, ocelots and tapirs this endangered forest is teeming with life.
Guests can stay on either the Argentinian side or the Brazilian side. It’s worth noting that if you’re staying on the Argentinian side and wish to visit the falls on the Brazilian side, most nationalities require a Brazilian visa. Those wishing to visit the Argentinian side from Brazil, in most cases do not need a new visa.
When to Go
The falls are spectacular all year round, and reach their peak force in January to March.
What to do
- Walk along the trails and boardwalks
- Get close to the action with a boat ride around the base of the falls
- Keep your eyes peeled for colourful birds, butterflies and plants in the surrounding forest