There is no doubt in my mind that Iguassu Falls, which straddles Brazil and Argentina, is a real tourist trap. People from all over the world include Iguassu in their itinerary, with the preponderance of the visitors from Brazil and Argentina. If you have followed Calypso Island Chronicles, you may have gathered that I’m not really fond of tourist traps.
Despite the fact that I read all the hype about these famous falls, I really didn’t know what to expect. I had seen many waterfalls during my travels to the tropics, but none of them could compare with the grandeur and awesome power of Iguassu. Iguassu totally blew me away! Some people, who have been the world famous Niagara Falls, say that Iguassu with its 275 cascades is far more spectacular.
If you’re arriving from the Brazilian side, the Falls are located just outside Foz do Iguacu, a city of over 325,000 inhabitants. Getting to the falls from city center is quite easy as there is frequent bus service to the falls - there is no reason to take a taxi. Cost is about 1.50 reals. The falls are hidden from view and set back from the highway in a heavily forested area.
Once you pay admission for entrance to the falls at the Iguacu Information Center, you jump on a Double decker jitney which will take you to different trails and venues – there are many different ways to see the falls, including renting a mountain bike, joining a tour group with a bilingual guide or by taking a helicopter tour.
Like the majority of the visitors, I opted to see the falls by taking the easiest walking trail, which ends up at the Iguassu Cafe and souvenir shop. The trail is about 3 km long with designated vista points for taking the best photographs. To be honest with you, there is no reason to hire a guide for the walking trail.
While viewing Iguassu Falls from the Brazil side is best for panoramic views, if you want to see the falls up close and personal, I suggest you also visit from the Argentinian side. From there you can either boat tour - inflatable rafts are used - which goes underneath the cascades or you can choose between a number of walking trails.
As I was in Iguassu for only 3 days/2 nights, I did not have time to visit the falls from the Argentinian side. Sure wish I had extra time! To see the falls from both sides, I recommend that you allow yourself a good four days. Iguassu falls? A must see!