Iguazu Falls are one of the most incredible natural sites in the world. Listed as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the world, the falls are shared between Brazil and Argentina. Each side has its own park and is a complete different visit so in this post I will tell you everything you need to know for visiting Iguazu Falls in Brazil.
For information about the Argentinian side of the falls read: Complete guide to visiting Iguazu Falls in Argentina
In this post you will find:
Where are the Iguazu Falls located
The Iguazu Falls are located on the Iguazu River, which is the limit between the province of Misiones in Argentina and the state of Paraná in Brazil. They are located in two national parks: the Iguazú National Park in Argentina and the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil. Each side must be visited on different days since the visit takes time and you need to pay two different tickets to enter each park.
There are two cities from where you can easily get to Iguazu Falls: Puerto Iguazú (Argentina) or Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil). Both are cities prepared to receive tourism so there are many accommodation options and places to eat.
Iguazu falls Argentina or Brazil side?
The visit to each park is a different experience. The Brazilian side park is smaller and has fewer circuits to explore, but offers beautiful panoramic views of the falls. Iguazu Falls are formed by 275 falls and 80% of them are located in Argentina, so the park in this country is bigger and in my opinion, allows you to immerse yourself completely in the falls.
Although I enjoyed the Argentine side more, I think both sides are worth it since the visits are very different and complement each other. If you travel to Iguazu Falls, I recommend visiting both the Brazilian and the Argentine side. I chose to visit the Brazilian side on my first day to get a first impression of the Falls and visit the Argentine side on the next day. Here are some photos of the Brazilian side:
Where to stay to visit Iguazu Falls
During my visit to Iguazu I stayed on the Argentine side, in the city of Puerto Iguazú. I didn’t visit Foz do Iguaçu so I can’t recommend hotels on that side but I know that the city is equipped with different types of accommodations. You can see the complete list of hotels in Foz do Iguaçu here.
- O2 Hotel Iguazú: this was the hotel where I stayed with my boyfriend for 4 nights and we were fascinated. The O2 Iguazú is a new hotel, with all the facilities, located in the center of Puerto Iguazú about 6 minutes from the bus terminal. It is also close to restaurants and shops. The hotel has a rooftop pool overlooking the Iguazu River, gym, sauna, and a restaurant located on the ground floor. If you are looking for a nice place but don’t want to spend too much this hotel is perfect. Prices of O2 Hotel Iguazú in Booking.
How to get to Iguazu Falls in Brazil from Puerto Iguazu
Iguaçú National Park is located 15 km away from Puerto Iguazú (Argentina). When crossing between Brazil and Argentina you are required to do immigration procedures, no matter how you decide to get there.
PUERTO IGUAZU TO BRAZILIAN FALLS BY PUBLIC BUS:
This is the option I chose to get to the Falls. From the Bus Terminal of Puerto Iguazú, there are local buses that leave you at the entrance of the Iguaçú National Park. The bus company which offers this trip is called Río Uruguay.
The first bus departs at 7.30 am and has a frequency of 1 hour. A one way ticket costs ARS$180 (price from December 2019) and can be purchased at the moment of the trip at the bus terminal. They only accept cash (it’s about time they change this).
The bus leaves you at the entrance of the park. The trip takes about 45 minutes because you have to get off the bus at the border. The bus will stop and everyone will get off the bus to do immigration procedures. The bus driver will wait for everyone to get on the bus again. Getting to Iguazú Falls by bus is a comfortable and cheap option if you are staying near the bus terminal.
- Book a tour: the best option so you don’t worry about transportation is to book a tour in advance. This tour includes the hotel pickup and drop-off from Puerto Iguazu with an english speaking guide for just USD$11.55. More info about the tour here.
What documentation do you need to enter Brazil
Brazil requires tourists from certain countries to obtain a visa. Holders of passports from certain countries don’t require a visa.
Some of the countries that don’t requiere a visa are: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, United States and United Kingdom (check the complete list of countries with visa exemption here). For these countries, only a passport valid for at least six months is required to enter Brazil.
Entrance to Iguaçu National Park
The park opens every day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased directly at the ticket offices on the park, where you can pay by debit or credit card, and cash.
Tickets can also be purchased online at the park’s website: https://cataratasdoiguacu.com.br
These are the ticket prices for Iguaçu National Park (updated in February 2020):
Prices are shown in reales, which is the brazilian currency. USD$1=R$4.33.
|Mercosur Residents (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela)||R$44|
|Rate for National Residents||R$30|
|Rate for children under 12 years||Free entry|
|Rate for people over 60 years old||Free entry|
To access discounted rates, you must present your ID or passport to prove your nationality.
What does the entrance include? The entrance to the park includes transportation in the park buses, access to the “Trilha das Cataratas” trail and the panoramic elevator.
Visiting Iguazu Falls Brazilian side
The visit to the park begins at the visitor center. There you will find the ticket offices to buy the entrance ticket to the park, restrooms and some food stores. You can avoid long lines at the ticket office by buying your ticket at some machines located right on your left when you access the park.
From the visitor center, you have to take a bus which takes you to the different circuits of the park. This bus is included in the ticket. The bus ride is very entertaining because it has an audio guide (in portuguese, spanish and english) that tells information about the falls.
Buses stop at: Poço Preto Trail, Macuco Safari, The Path of the Falls and at Porto Canoas station. On this map you can see the route that the bus takes:
- The Path of the Falls (Trilha das Cataratas)
Unlike the Argentine side of the Falls where there are several trails, on the Brazilian side there is only one trail included in the park ticket which is the Trilha das Cataratas.
It is a 1200 meter trail of low difficulty. It begins with panoramic views of the Falls from several viewpoints and you go down until you reach the walkways that take you practically over the water. In these walkways the water splashes over so it is best to put the camera away and take pictures with your cell phone or GoPro.
What I noticed is that the paths on the Brazilian side are much narrower than the Argentine one, and as there is only one circuit to see the falls, all the people concentrate and it can get too crowded.
After the last walkway you will find Naipi square, where there is a viewpoint of the imposing Salto Floriano. In this place you will also find restrooms and a kiosk.
From this point begins the last part of the visit to the Falls which consists in going up a panoramic elevator that leaves you on an elevated platform with panoramic views of Iguazu Falls. The views are stunning and it is a great way to end the visit, admiring the greatness of this natural spectacle.
At the end of the circuit you reach Porto Canoas Square, where you can find souvenir shops, restrooms and a food court. This is the perfect place to rest after your visit and stop for lunch. There is a large food court where you can eat food from the shops or bring your own food.
I had a vegetarian sandwich for R$20 and a drink for R$8 from one of the restaurants at the food court. There is also a buffet restaurant where you can eat for R$68.
From Porto Canoas station you can get on a bus to get you back to the park entrance to finish the visit.
Other excursions (not included in the entrance to the park):
- Poço Preto Trail
A 9 km trail that can be done on foot, by bicycle or car. The trail can be done only with a guide and is not included in the entrance fee to the park, it is necessary to hire it separately. At the end of the trail you can take a kayak tour.
- Macuco Safari
Another tour that is not included with the entrance ticket to the park is the Macuco Safari. The tour is done in an electric vehicle that goes through the jungle until you reach the port, where it is possible to get on a boat to navigate the Iguazu River passing under the Falls. You can buy your ticket for the Macucho Safari here.
I didn’t do this tour so I can’t give you my opinion. In my visit to the Argentine side of Iguazú Falls I took the tour “The Great Adventure” which also includes a tour through the jungle and by a boat ride through the Falls. I think it is much more worth it to take the boat tour in the Argentinian side of the Falls since the tour is longer. The Brazilian side excursion only accesses the Brazilian side of the River, while the boats that depart from the Argentine side also have access to the Argentine sector and the jumps are much more incredible. More information about The Great Adventure here.
Tips to visit the Iguazu Falls
- How long does the visit take?
The visit to the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls takes around 3-4 hours. If you are also taking one of the extra tours, you need a few more hours.
- Can you enter with food to the park?
You can take your own food to the park, there are different spaces with tables to eat.
- What to pack for Iguazú Falls?
It is best to wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. You must also bring sunscreen, hat and sunglassess to protect from the sun and insect repellent. Many people also prefer to wear a rain poncho which is quite useful if you don’t want to get wet.
You should also bring your own reusable bottle with water. I didn’t see any places to refill your bottle inside the Brazilian park.
- DO NOT feed or touch the animals in the park.
Inside the park you will probably encounter animals, especially the famous coatis who are not afraid of humans and get closer to try to steal your food. It is very important that you DON’T feed these animals. Many get sick from eating human food and stop getting their own food because it is easier to steal. The coatis are very cute, but they are still wild animals, therefore you don’t have to touch them as they can transmit diseases.
Other things to do in Foz do Iguaçu
In addition to visiting Iguaçu National Park, you can take the following tours in Brazil:
- Bird Park: Just in front of the Iguazçu National Park you will see the Bird Park, which focuses on conservation of bird species from the territory. I didn’t visit the bird park but many people visit it the same day they visit Iguazu Falls in the Brazilian side. Get your ticket to the Bird Park here.
- Helicopter ride over the Iguazu Falls: in the Brazilian side of the falls you can take a helicopter tour that flies over the falls offering unique views. More information about helicopter tours here.
I hope this complete guide to visiting Iguazu Falls in Brazil has been useful for planning your trip. To know about the visit of the Argentine side read my article: Guide to visiting Iguazu Falls in Argentina. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment below!
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