Visiting The Iguazu Waterfalls: The Ultimate Guide

Argentina South America
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Do you also find yourself daydreaming about your next holiday? Maybe you’re thinking about a trip to Argentina and would like to see the Iguazu Waterfalls. In this blog post I will tell you more about what to expect and how to prepare for your visit.

Disclaimer: this post is based on my visit to the Iguazu Waterfalls in January, 2019.

HOW TO GET TO THE IGUAZU WATERFALLS?

From Buenos Aires you can take a plane to Puerto Iguazu. The flight time is around 1.5 hours. Puerto Iguazu is the gateway to visiting the Iguazu Waterfalls from the Argentinian side.

Did you know that these waterfalls are spread across three countries? You can also visit them from Brazil or Paraguay. I only went to the Argentinian side, but I can testify that the waterfalls are spectacular from this side.

WHERE TO STAY?

I would advise staying in Puerto Iguazu. This city is located about 30 minutes from the waterfalls and has good connections to the Iguazu National Park.

HOW TO REACH THE FALLS FROM PUERTO IGUAZU?

There are several ways to get to the National Park from Puerto Iguazu. The easiest and fastest way is by taking a taxi.

If you’re traveling on a budget, you might be more inclined to take the bus. In that case, you need to go to the bus station of Puerto Iguazu. Several buses leave from here to the waterfalls. Be aware: the bus stop mentioned on the bus is called ‘Cataratas’, not Iguazu Waterfalls.

We paid €3 per person for a one way ticket. The bus ride takes about 30 minutes from the station to the park entrance.

Iguazu waterfalls

HOW MUCH DOES AN ENTRANCE TICKET COST?

Once you reach the entrance, you have to queue to get a ticket. I will already warn you in advance: you will be doing a lot of queueing and waiting when visiting the Iguazu Falls.

The entrance tickets sets you back €16.50 per person. You will also receive a ticket for the first train. Train, I hear you say? Yes, you have to take trains to get around the park. It’s also possible to walk, but this takes quite a lot of time.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR VISIT?

As I just mentioned, you will be doing a lot of waiting. This is because you have to wait for the train to take you to the central station (Cataratas station).

Once you reach the central station, you can either start several hikes, or you can choose to go to the Devil’s Throat. This is the closest you get to the waterfalls.

To get there, you have to queue for another ticket. The train to Devil’s Throat leaves every 15 minutes. By the time we were waiting for the train to Devil’s Throat, we were already inside the park for two (!) hours. At this point we hadn’t seen any water yet.

When it was finally our turn to get on the train to Devil’s Throat, it only took about 20 minutes to get there. From the Garganta train station, you need to walk for about 30 minutes to get to the Devil’s Throat itself.

You will be walking on suspension bridges that cross the river. The walk is 1 kilometer long. Be aware that you will have to share the view with hundreds of other people. Everyone is fighting for the best spot to see the waterfalls.

This means that it’s not easy to get a picture of the waterfalls. You can opt to get a professional picture taken, for €8. After you’ve admired the view, you need to walk back to the Devil Throat’s station to queue for another ticket and wait for the next train to the central station.

Then you can opt to go on a hike from the central station, or go back to the main entrance. Once again: you need to queue for a ticket and wait for the train.

Iguazu waterfalls

WHICH HIKES CAN YOU DO IN IGUAZU?

From the central station you can go on several different hikes. The most popular hikes are the superior and inferior circuits. If you go on these hikes, you see the waterfalls from above (superior) and below (inferior).

Superior circuit

This hike gives you a panoramic view of the waterfalls from the upper walkways. On the way you will see parts of the inferior circuit and you will be able to see the Brazilian national park as well.

The walkway is approximately 1.75km long and will take around 1.5 – 2 hours. The hike is relatively easy, you don’t have to mount any stairs. The only thing you have to take into account is the humidity.

Inferior circuit

This hike takes you to ground level so you can admire the waterfalls from below. You will walk through the jungle which means you can enjoy the local fauna and flora (and spiders).

This hike also takes in between 1.5 – 2 hours, depending on if you walk the long or short loop. The inferior circuit is 1.7km long and the difficulty is medium to high. There are some steep stretches and you have to climb up stairs.

Other hikes

You can also find the following hikes in the Iguazu National Park:

  • Macuco trail: 7.7km – 3 hours
  • Devil’s throat (from Garganta station): 2.2km – 2 hours
  • Green trail: 655m – 30 minutes
  • Isla San Martin: 700m – only reachable by boat first

CAN YOU DO A BOAT TRIP TO THE IGUAZU FALLS?

Would you like to get even closer than the Devil’s Throat? Are you not afraid of getting wet? Then a boat trip to the waterfalls is the best option for you.

This is the priciest way to visit the waterfalls (think around €100). You can book them through a travel agency. We didn’t do this since it was a bit too expensive. But if you want to get up close, this is the best way to do it.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to reach out below!

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