In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about visiting Iguazu Falls.
If you have time, I encourage you to try and see Iguazu Falls from both - Brazil and Argentina. But if you are short on time then we will also compare both sides so you can decide which location is better to visit.
I will cover:
Getting to Iguazu Falls - Brazil & Argentina
Iguazu Falls Visit - Brazil & Argentina
Important things to know when visiting (for both sides)
Which side is better?
Crossing the border to each country
Where to stay around Iguazu Falls - Brazil
Getting to Iguazu Falls
Firstly you need to get to the town of Iguazu Falls - Foz do Iguaçu. Bus from all big cities like Sao Paulo and Rio is the cheapest option but you will need to take a long 16 to 25-hour bus ride. There is an airport with the code IGU (do not mix up with the airport on the Argentina side - IGR). Once you reach the town by bus or plane, from there you can take a bus or taxi to the Iguazu National Park entrance. The bus that goes from the town center is number 120 and it leaves from Terminal de Transporte Urbano. The distance is not too long so the taxi is not expensive, we paid around 5 USD (we used Uber though).
In general in Brazil, we find Uber better than normal taxis on the street. Definitely cheaper.
With Argentina, it is very similar. You need to get to Puerto Iguazu which is the Iguazu Falls town. You can get there by bus from nearby big cities or take a flight as Argentina also has an airport on their side, very close to the waterfalls. The code is IGR! From there you get a bus or taxi to the entrance of the Iguazu National Park.
Iguazu Falls Visit
Once you arrive at the Iguazu National Park entrance in Brazil, you will see straight away a self-service ticket office. Get your ticket and enter the building to get to the bus. There will be another bus station on your left from the ticket office but that is not the one for you.
You can buy tickets online in advance but I do not think it is necessary. If you haven't booked online it gives you the freedom to arrive whenever you want. Note that the park on the Brazil side closes at 5 pm so you want to be there at least 2 hours before. If you want to be double safe and purchase online then you can do it here.
The ticket price currently (07.2022.) is 107 BRL (~19 EUR / 17 GBP / 20 USD). I emphasize currently because the price is changing every month. Before Covid, it was cheaper to enter the park but now the prices have increased a few times. So by the time you are visiting it might be even more expensive.
Once you enter the bus, get out at the 2nd stop unless you want to visit Birds Park. The first stop is by Birds Park, then the 2nd stop is where the walking trail starts, and the 3rd stop is already the endpoint so you do not want to miss the 2nd stop.
The walk will take you around half an hour to get to the endpoint, which is the most fun part in my opinion. There is a pathway for you to be able to stand at the top of the waterfalls. Be ready, you will get a little shower too! There you will also find a lift where you can go up and see the waterfalls from above. The lift is included in your general ticket price as well as the bus.
Once you are done with your tour, go to the bus station and the bus will take you back to the starting point.
In case you did get off at the 1st stop to visit Birds Park, don't worry, just wait for the next bus at the same place you were dropped off.
In Argentina, the ticket price is a bit more expensive - 4000 ARS (~31 EUR / 26 GBP / 32 USD). Again no need to buy in advance, but if you want to then you can do it here.
The National Park in Argentina closes at 6 pm, so one hour longer than the Brazil side.
Once you enter the park, you have 3 options - take a train to the main point that you definitely need to visit - Devil's Throat. Or do one of the trails. You can do all 3 but if you only have time for one thing then I highly encourage you to visit Devil's Throat which is the main attraction in the park and you need to take a train to get there unless you want to walk there but it will be a very long walk for 5-minute joy.
The 2 trails are - Superior and Inferior. Both are around a 90-minute walk. On your way, you see several waterfalls. Superior is above the waterfalls so you see them from an ariel perspective. The Inferior trail is more below and you go in between waterfalls and see them from a spectacular panoramic view.
Important things to know for both sides
It is a rainforest so you get loads of mosquitos and other bugs. I was eaten alive both days in Brazil and Argentina so make sure you have mosquito repellent with you!
Also because it is a rainforest, dress light. It is very very humid out there.
Prepare your own snacks and drinks as cafes in both parks are extremely expensive.
Which side is better?
I have put together a little summary and after I will share my honest personal opinion.
I personally think that if you have time and capability then you have to try and visit both sides. Because both sides have something special about them.
What I can say from my experience is that you get better views of the falls from the Brazil side, which is just logical because Brazil only has 20% of the falls, so better to view them from Brazil. Argentina tho has the Devil's Throat, which is an absolutely incredible part of the waterfalls. I would say the most epic and powerful part of them. So you do not want to miss out on that. BUT in all honestly, after visiting both sides I can say that if I only had time for one side I would recommend Brazil! Because on the Brazil side you can see many beautiful views of the falls and also you are able to be above them and embrace them fully (make sure to check out the video below to truly understand what I am talking about).
Crossing the border to each country
You can cross by walking or by taxi. I believe it is easier to enter from the Argentina side into Brazil as you do not need to prefill any forms but when you will be returning you will need the entry forms. So if you are entering Argentina from Brazil either as the first entrance or as coming back you need to fill in Carta Jurada. Nothing complicated just definitely needed at the border checks.
Make sure to have your passport and Covid certificate with you. We were not asked Covid certificate upon entering Argentina but we were upon entering Brazil! The original was required.
Where to stay?
I only can comment on the Brazil side because I stayed in Brazil and not Argentina. I definitely recommend staying in the Centro area. That way you will have the bus station from where the bus to the National park goes and many different restaurants and cafes. Also laundry services and some supermarkets. Centro is closer to the border and falls than the bigger part of the city.
I stayed in Holiday Foz Hotel and I absolutely loved it. I have no affiliation with this hotel. I booked it myself and I really enjoyed my stay there. The breakfast is excellent and a lot of options. They have a really lovely patio with a pool and a place where to chill and work.