I can’t decide whether we got more wet from the waterfalls or the crazy rain at Iguazu Falls. All we know for sure is that our waterproof trainers definitely aren’t Iguazu-proof! However despite almost getting trench foot, we had a great couple of days exploring the amazing waterfalls that lie on the Argentinian-Brazilian border. Here’s how we did a trip to Iguazu.
How did we get there?
Visiting the waterfalls had always been high on our must-do list for the trip. We’d read online about how the views of the falls were really different from both sides of the border, so we planned to take a few days to visit both national parks. We flew from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu (on the Argentinian side) and flew out of Foz do Iguaçu (on the Brazilian side) to travel to Ecuador. To get across the border to the Brazilian side, we took a bus with Rio Uruguay which was really cheap and easy.
What if you don’t want to fly? You can get a bus from nearby cities, but when we looked into getting a bus from Buenos Aires, it was going to take about 22 hours and cost almost the same as a flight, so we decided against it.
Slightly regretted this move in the end – our flight ended up being delayed for an hour and then for some reason the flight took half an hour longer, and then the bus into Puerto Iguazu was delayed, so in the end it took us pretty much all day to get there! Oh well!
The Argentinian Side
When we woke up the next morning to go to the falls, it was chucking it down! Torrential rain and thunderstorms – great. We hung off until 11am because the forecast said the weather would improve after lunch (more on this later, forecasts are rubbish).
Getting to the Argentinian national park is really easy. Rio Uruguay run regular buses to and from the park and the Puerto Iguazu bus terminal (100 pesos return per person, about £4). This was going to be our main option however we ended up missing the bus into the centre of town and we were starting to get pretty soaked, so we took a taxi. It wasn’t too expensive and it meant we got there in 20 minutes, so it worked out ok. Entrance to the park was a bit more expensive at 500 pesos each (about £20) and there are also options to do safaris or boat rides in the park. Since we’re both such thrill-seekers, we decided to book a boat ride with Iguazu Jungle, which pretty much takes you right into the falls.
We had time before the boat ride so thought it would be a good idea to have our picnic lunch before doing the lower trail to get to the jetty. We managed to find a sheltered picnic table and started enjoying our lovely cheese sandwiches, when we noticed the other residents of the park – coatis.
There are signs everywhere telling you the coatis are pests and will bite or scratch you to get your food, so we were on edge. We thought they were staying away but before we realised what was happening, a coati jumped up on to our table and made a grab for Joe’s lunch. Joe tried to grab it back but the little bugger snatched it away and ran off. We’d been robbed!! I was relieved it hadn’t bitten us, but I think Joe was more gutted he’d lost his lunch. He felt pretty sorry for himself for a while after (he felt a bit better later when we saw them rob another unfortunate family).
After a consolation empanada to make up for the stolen sandwich, we set off on the lower trail to get our first views of the falls. By this point it was still raining heavily, but our waterproof jackets and trainers were holding out. We’d come prepared, bring it on.
Still, the rain couldn’t dampen our spirits when we saw the amazing Iguazu Falls! SO MUCH WATER!
The trail took us closer and closer to the falls… and the rain got even heavier. Although didn’t stop us from wanting to go into the mist at the far point of trail, which was almost right in the falls!
And we got totally drenched.
Yes, trainers were well and truly wet now. Turns out goretex can’t keep out waterfalls. The timing also couldn’t have been any better, we were just about to do our boat ride so getting soaked in the mist was like a warm up for the main event.
We were the first to turn up for our ride so got prime front row seats on the boat. We checked that our coats with fully zipped up to protect maybe the 1 inch of dry clothing we still had. Then we were ready.
The boat took us first to the left side of the falls, near the Devil’s Throat waterfall. The captain kept us hanging back for a bit to get a good view of the falls, and then sped forward right into the mist.
And we got drenched all over again!!
Luckily a miracle occurred after our boat trip… the rain stopped!
We pretty much skipped with happiness along the trail to the top of the incredible Devil’s Throat waterfall and even managed to squeeze in a walk along the Upper Trail before the park closed. Happy days!
The Brazilian Side
The sun came out for us in Brazil!
The day after visiting the Argentinian side, we took a bus over to Foz do Iguaçu on the Brazilian side, which is a much bigger town and we even got our food fix at a churrascaria restaurant. Lush!
It was even easier to get to the Brazilian national park that the Argentinian one, we took a local bus for 3.50 Reals (about 90p) which took us straight there. It even goes past the airport on the way so we used the same bus for when we flew back up to Peru. Entry to the park was 64 Reals each (about £16), so a tad cheaper than the Argentinian side.
The park was a LOT busier though.
We’re not sure if it’s because it was better weather or because there’s only one proper trail so everyone was on it, but it felt like the whole of Brazil was visiting at the same time as us!
It didn’t stop us enjoying the awesome views though!
We saw so many rainbows and got a proper panoramic view of the falls, it was amazing. We also got another opportunity to get soaked by the mist along a walkway that takes you right up to the falls.
And the best views had been saved till last. At the very end of the trail there was a platform that looked out across all of the falls. Definitely my favourite view of Iguazu!
We were really glad to be able to see both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides of Iguazu – they’re both so different!
Our experiences in both nationals parks were also really different, from crazy torrential rain in Argentina to gorgeous sunshine in Brazil. I think we enjoyed the Argentinian side more, mainly because there are more trails and we did the boat ride – you definitely need a full day to see it all. On the other hand we loved the panoramic views from the Brazilian side, made even better because of the weather.
All in all if you are lucky enough to have time to visit both sides of Iguazu Falls, do it! We’re so glad we did!
Have you visited Iguazu Falls? Which side was your favourite? Let us know your comments! Follow us on Instagram for more travel photos @pitkinswithpassports