Iguasu Falls (Brazil)

Iguazu falls are touted as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. They are on the River Iguazu, which straddles the Northern border of Argentina and Western Brazil. They are well publicised and we were keen to see them for ourselves. We’re pleased to say that the advertisements are pretty much spot on.

We bussed North from Puerto Alegre in South Eastern Brazil for 17 hours and arrived in Fos Del Iguasu. ‘Fos’ sits on the Brazilian side and is approx 20km North of the falls. We were fortunate to stay with couchsurfing host Walter, his wife and their 4 year old daughter, who all made us both feel very welcome. Walter kindly offered to drive us to the entrance of the National park and accompany us to the falls… we almost bit off his hand.

Arriving at the Park entrance we were greeted by a queue of Disneyland proportions. Walter explained that it was Santa Semana (Holy week) and, as we were there on Good Friday, the queues were not unexpected. Fortunately the entry ticket booths were all fully manned and after approx 30 minutes we had reached the front, paid the entry fee RSA$80 (approx $35 Australian) and enterred the park.

Its approximately 10km from the park entrance to the falls. Its possible to walk the route but this simply follows the road and does not enter into the forrest or give any views of note. Even so, we would both typically have preferred to walk but opted for the open-top bus provided as we were with our host.

After a 15minute bus ride, we arrived at the start of the falls proper. We were advised when exiting the bus that we had a 1km walk along to the base of the Brazilian side of the falls. Initially we could not see the falls but could hear them roar. At this point we saw our first wild Caoties (looks a bit like a racoon), followed very shortly by several more. Unfortunately some of the visitors feed them their snacks, which explains why they hang around.

As soon as we saw the falls our jaws dropped. The sheer scale was amazing and they seemed to go on for miles, spanning 180 degrees of the horizon. Walter advised us that there were actually over 250 seperate falls (we took his word on this).

Iguasu Falls looking very impressive
Walter our Couchsurfing host
We walked closer to the falls, negotiating the crowds of fellow tourists. With each step further bringing a better photo opportunity than the last, and the noise becoming deafening. Near to the foot of the falls is a concrete walkway that extends approx. 100m in front of one of the falls. You can walk out through the spray and hoards of visitors to get some close up photos but make sure to keep the camera dry and wear something waterproof.

From there you have the possibility of a walk or lift up to a constructed raised lookout where you can take yet more photos and the option of either a long walk or bus back to the entrance.

We could see sightseers on the far side of the river looking at the falls from the Argentinian side. We had spoken to several people who have visited one or other side and each has their own opinion as to which is the most spectacular. Walter things the Brazilian side is better but he might be a little biast. Regardless, the falls are stunning and a must see if you get the chance.