Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentine province of Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu.
On your tour thoughout the various paths you will be able to admire as many as 260 individual waterfalls in this natural wonder. The Devil´s Throat, one of the spectacular attractions of the park is the most impressive falls there is.
The Ecological Jungle Train is the primary mode of transportation to take you through Iguazu Park. The Crossing to San Martin Island. The Macuco Trail and the Green Trail for those who love trekking in full contact with the flora and fauna of the Parana Jungle.
The Full Moon Walk is truly a wonder of nature that has to be experienced to be understood.
An Unforgettable Experience
An unforgetable experience and a spectacle of nature, the falls are considered a wonder of the world. They originated 200 thousand years ago in the place that is known today as “the 3 frontiers” marked with stone pillars, where the Iguassu river and the Paraná river meet. A geological fault produced on the Paraná river made the outlet of the Iguassu river become an abrupt cascade approximately 80 meters high. From that point, where the falls originate to where the Devil’s Throat is located today, covers 23 kilometers. This is due to the slow process of erosion, however the steep drop which defines them as waterfalls remains.
This original cascade, has become the most impressive falls of the group, The Devil’s Throat. Eighty meters high, it is located on the principal river course. Depending on the water level, you can see anywhere between 160 a 260 falls, that on average flow at a rate of 1500 cubic meters of water per second.
The violence of the falls produce a permanent fog, where sunbeams form multiple rainbows of incredible beauty.
The Devil’s Throat
This wonder of nature permits the observation of one of the most unique landscapes in the World; constituted by the upper Iguazu River and the Subtropical Forest, which frame the incredible Devil's Throat balcony. Three ring-shaped balconies permit a special view of the colossal “throat”, the culmination of the journey: a giant horseshoe-shaped waterfall 150 meters / 492 feet long, and 80 meters / 262 feet high. Here the water falls with such potency that it creates dense clouds of vapor as it pours into the river below.
From here you can experience such wonderful sensations, offering you amazing and unforgettable moments:
- Just listening to the roar of the waterfalls
- Feeling the vapor of waterfalls
- Appreciating the rainbows that form amongst the clouds of water and rays of the sun
- Admiring the contrasts of colors between the green forest and the blue sky, or the white color of the water foam and the red soil.
- A separate spectacle is offered by the “vencejos” - birds unique to the Iguazu Falls that swoop down along the falls, as if they wanted to be confused with the curtains of water.
This fabulous place is located 2080 m / 1 mile from the Devil's Station. You arrive by the Ecological Jungle Train, 5 km / 3miles from the Central Station. The Iguazu National Park Waterfalls Area has assorted activities. Along the upper and lower walkways you will be able to admire between 160 and 275 falls, the Devil's Throat being the most impressive one.
Stroll under the light of the Full Moon and dine in the La Selva Restaurant An experience that more people fall in love with every time, each month waiting anxiously to embark on the Ecological Jungle Train to the Devil´s Throat.
The light of the full moon accompanies you on the trip through the jungle; bathing everything in its presence and making them shine like drops of silver water in the Iguazu river. Strolling along the footpaths you will experience complete peace - and nearly complete silence - hearing only the sounds of the jungle and of the calm current running along the dark rocks.
From whichever of the four stations you choose, and from twilight until well into the night time, the moon will surprise you with its changes in color as it reaches its fullness. A monthly phenomenon, the full moon inspires verses, prose, and serenades, it is welcomed by astrologers, revered by mystics, and waited for with great expectations by lovers of natural spectacles.
The fascination that visitors feel about the nocturnal stroll is totally justified, as the experiences of the visit are inspiring to say the least; there are some who benefit from bathing in the moon’s rays for relaxation and meditation; others who look to the moon to renew their love; and there are always people who shed some tears simply from the significant emotions of appreciating the Devil´s Throat in a unique perspective under the full moon. On the balcony overlooking the falls only the overflowing water seems to move - time stops and words disappear - they become useless, and returning becomes difficult. Once you manage to leave the balcony, the ample moon again accompanies you on the walk to the Central Station, from which the group will go on to the Food Court and to the “La Selva” restaurant where each passenger will be invited to a complimentary cocktail.
The walks also include an option to have dinner in the park, either before or after your stroll, in the La Selva Restaurant, located in the Park´s Food Court.
San Martin Island
Like a green mountain rising out of the water San Martin Island offers a panorama of different sights and extreme contact with the environment.
This is the only island of the lower Iguazu, and thankfully one composed of scenic beauty and a wealth of flora and fauna unique to the Park.
Before entering the footbridge to Salto Bosseti, you will come across the stairway that will take you to the boats which are fully equipped for crosses to San Martin Island. The boat will drop you of on the sandy beaches of San Martin, where you can soak in the sun’s rays before climbing the stairs to the San Martin balcony.
On the island there is a unique geologic formation called “The Window”, that allows a spectacular panoramic view of the Devil’s Throat and the Brazilian side of the falls.
This trip has a high degree of physical difficulty and requires approximately two hours to complete the route; which is completed by descending the stairs to the beach and crossing the river back to the Lower Circuit.
Above the falls, the Iguazu river meanders at variable widths and contains several small islands. At San Agustin island (1 km in length) the river surges to 1,500 meters at it's widest point, forming a huge "U" that contains the great fault which has caused an abrupt drop in the ground and, thus, the falls.
Over the course of its winding path a number of islands fragment the river into various branches. As they arrive at the edge, each branch becomes a unique waterfall, and taken together these constitute the great fan of the Iguazu Falls.
Puerto Iguazú - The City
Port Iguazú City is located at the northeast of the Argentine Republic, in the Misiones Province. It limits with Brazil and Paraguay in the confluence of the Paraná and Iguazú rivers.
Tourism is the main economic activity and it is 18 km/ 11miles from one of the Seven Natural Wonders in the World, the Iguazú Falls has been declared Natural Heritage to the Humanity” by the UNESCO.
Other tourist attractions, besides the Iguazú Falls, are the Landmark of the Three Frontiers, the craft fair, the Port, the Forest Images Museum, the Mbororé Museum, the Güira Oga’s rehab center for birds and an assortment of activities for a pleasant visitors stay.
Regarding accommodation there are one, two, three, four and five stars category hotels; hostels; campings and cottages.
The main access by land is the National Route N° 12 that communicates to the south with Libertad Port, El dorado, Posadas and Buenos Aires. To the east the National Route n° 101 with pavement to the access to the Iguazú Falls, as from therein there is a soil road until Comandante Andresito. The Tancredo Neves International Bridge represents an access entrance from Brazil and Paraguay to the East.
Port Iguazú international Airport is one of the favorite for tourist arrivals, being the busiest of the whole Northeaster area.
The weather is subtropical humid. Rains reach 2000 mm a year and relative humidity oscillates between 75% and 90%. Average temperatures: June-July 11 to 23 °C and December-January 20 - 32 °C
The Iguazú National Park was created in 1934, with approximately 67,620 hectares/167,091 acres was declared “Natural Heritage to the Humanity” by the UNESCO in 1984 due to its scenic beauties and to the great biological diversity of the subtropical forest. This natural sanctuary, located in the Argentina’s northeaster corner, bestowed with benevolent rains and temperatures (15ºC/59°F average in Winter and 30ºC/ 86°F average in Summer) brings about a very humid atmosphere almost windless due to the leafy vegetation canopy.
The Iguazú river has a total extension of 1320 km/ 820 miles until flowing into the Paraná River, 23 km/ 14 miles after the waterfalls. Inside the National Park, the river widens to about 1500 meters/ 0.9 miles and turns south, next it turns north, in the shape of a wide “U” where the river mouth presents the abrupt slump of soil which conforms the cataratas: a magnificent waterfall. All along the above mentioned prominent curve, a proliferation of reefs, islets and prolonged islands provoke the fragmentation of the river in numerous branches. When the river reaches the cliff, each branch becomes a waterfall and together comprise the great Iguazú Waterfalls.
Flaura And Fauna
The importance of the area preservation lies in that the species protected therein are in extinction risk, for example the yaguareté (Panther onca), ocelot (Felis pardalis), the yacutinga (Aburria jacuntinga), macuco (Tinamus solitarius) just to mention a few which still find suitable survival conditions at the Iguazú National Park.
The Park shelters a natural patrimony that includes:
• A native flora with more than 2000 species: luxuriant ferns, bromelias (Guzmania hibrida), orchids, palm and gigantic trees holding a great variety of climbing plants that permanently provide fruits and attract monkeys, coaties, deers, toucans, just to mention a few.
• 450 species of birds show themselves candidly in the early hours and at sunset. It is easy to bump into toucans, magpies, tero birds, parrots and the incredible vencejos (apus apus), the latter is exclusive specie of the Iguazú Waterfalls area.
• 80 mammal species, with five feline varieties moving camouflagingly through the chiaroscuros of the forest.
• Countless varieties of insects, calling attention among them the abundance of colorful butterflies.
• The countless area watercourses are patrolled by yacarés (crocodiles), turtles and herons which feed on small fish.
9 Things Must Do In Iguazu Falls
So that you can experience this unique natural spectacle in its entirety, we suggest 10 things that you should not miss inside the Iguazu National Park.
1 – Visit the “Ivira Retá” Natural Interpretation Centre.
- A detailed explanation of the jungle´s biodiversity and local culture. Time: 25min. Accessibility: High.
2 – Ride the Ecological Jungle Train.
- A spectacular trip across the jungle and along the Iguazu river, it stops at stations for the Upper Circuit, Lower Circuit and the Devil´s Throat. Time: 25min. Accessibility: High
3 – Visit the Devil´s Throat
Iguazu National Park has an endless number of activities to make your visit unique and unforgetable.
- An indescribable natural beauty - a mix of sensations, views, sounds and emotion. Not to be missed! Time: 2 hrs Accessibility: High
4 – Dine in the “La Selva” Restaurant
- A unique opportunity to enjoy typical Argentinian foods and other international dishes with the best Argentinian wines. Time: 1:30 hrs Accessibility: High
5 – A trek along the Green Trail
- An alternative path to the Falls Station and to the Upper and Lower Circuits which also passes by a rest area. Along the trail you can observe birds, butterflies, and other native wildlife. Time: 10/15min Accessibility: High
6 – A walk along the Upper Circuit
- Beautiful panoramic views of the falls and along the upper Iguazu river. Time 30/35min Accessibility: High
7 – A walk along the Lower Circuit
- Strategically placed catwalks with an infinite number of views of the falls from below - an intimate encounter with nature. Time: 1:15 hrs Accessibility: Moderate - with stairs
8 – An adventure to the Isla San Martín
- A unique site in the heart of the Iguazu Falls, offering spectacular views of the San Martín and Escondido falls through a rocky formation called “The Window”. Time: 1 hr Accessibility: Low - with stairs
9 – Trek along the Macuco Trail
- Impressive walk along the Misiones jungle. Trek the 3.2Km until the Arrechea waterfall, in contact with the flora and fauna of the area. Time: 3 hrs. Accessibility: No
Within Argentina it is possible to arrive at the falls by either bus or car.
If you choose to travel by car, then you can take National Route 12 until arriving at Posadas, which continues along the border of the Parana.
Another possibility is to take National Route 14, along the Uruguay river, until arriving at its junction with National Route 12 through Provincial Route 40.
It is possible to access the park through National Routes 12 and 101. The city nearest to the park, Puerto Iguazú, is 17 kilometers away and easily accessed by road.
Distances from Brasil.
In order to arrive from Brazil, one of the possibilities is to take the highway that connects Curitiba (State Capital of Paraná) with Foz do Iguaçu, the BR 277, or directly the highway of the Cataratas, BR 469, that unites the park with the city. To come from Porto Alegre take route BR 277, which is the same route you can take if arriving from Sao Paulo.
Distances from Paraguay.
The only way to access the Iguazu Waterfalls from Paraguay is by taking the International Route (Ruta Internacional).
Tancredo Neves International Bridge - Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The bridge unites the cities of Puerto Iguazu in Argentina, with Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, which is then connected to the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este by the Friendship Bridge.
If you decide to take a bus, there are a number of different companies which will transport passangers from points around the country to the city of Puerto Iguazu.
Bus to Puerto Iguazu
It is possible to arrive at the city of Puerto Iguazu via la ruta Nacional Nº 12 . It will take approxamately 17 hours to cross the 1.234Km/745Mi from Buenos Aires.
Salta – 1242Km/745.2Mi
Santa Fe – 1160Km/696Mi
Santa Rosa - 2123Km/1273.8Mi
Córdoba - 1511Km/906.6Mi
Corrientes - 609Km/365.4Mi
Mendoza - 2139Km/1283.4Mi
Neuquén - 2668Km/1600.8Mi
Paraná – 1191Km/714.6Mi.
Resistencia - 632Km/379.2Mi
has importance, not only because of its strategic placement near the triple border with Brazil and Paraguay, but also because it is located in a site of great interest to both national and international tourism, processing more than 500 thousand passengers annually.
Location: Iguazu International Airport is located 7 km from the area of the falls, and 20km from the city of Puerto Iguazu.
In order to arrive at Iguazu Falls via air, only from Buenos Aires.
Flight time to Iguazu: 1:30 min
Foz de Iguazú International Airport (Brazil)
Operating 24 hours per day, with an average of 16 flights daily; transporting 460,000 passengers annually on flights to the main points throughout Brazil.
Its infrastructure offers a pre-departure area, luggage storage, parking for 280 vehicles, an integrated flight information system, and migration control.
In the airport you will find Traveler’s information, restaurants, a bar, cafeteria, crib loans, postal service, bank information stand, currency exchange, automated bank machines, luggage carts, a jewelry store, candy store, newspaper stand, clothing store, artisan shop, car rentals, taxis, local busses, tourism agencies, and units of the Federal Police, Military Police, Federal Treasury and Sanitary Control.
The airport offers handicapped accesible facilities in its entrances and washrooms in both arrival and departure areas.
Its geographic location designates it as the Brazilian port of Mercosur.
Location: Located in kilómetro 16 of the BR 469, access road to the waterfalls. Situated16 Km from the centre of Foz de Iguazu city, 12 Km from the waterfalls (Brazilian side), 10 Km from the Tancredo Neves bridge, that unites Brazil and Argentina, 20 Km from the Friendship Bridge, that unites Brazil to Paraguay, and 25 Km from Itaipú Binacional Dam.
Address: BR 469Km 16,5 Foz do Iguaçu – PR CEP:85863-900
Tel: (45) 521-4200 FAX:(45) 521- 4264
Guarani Internacional Airport (Paraguay)
IATA Code: AGT - ICAO Code: SGES
Ciudad del Este, capital of the departamento of Alto Paraná in the Republic of Paraguay. It is the second most important airport in the country. Located in the city of Minga Guazú, 26 kilometres from Ciudad del Este, which is the neighbour city of Foz do Iguaçu.
Its passenger terminal is 9,500 square metres. Currently operating flights direct to São Paulo and acting as stopover point for flights from Curitiba to Buenos Aires.
Address: Ruta Internacional nº 7, barrio Rodrigues de Francia, km 26, Minga Guazú. Tel: 0021 564-420843 595