After a 15 hour bus journey from Sao Paulo, we were hoping Foz Do Iguacu would live up to our expectations. In case you don’t already know, the Iguacu falls is a series of over 275 gigantic waterfalls that lie on the borders of Brazil and Argentina covering an area over 3km wide making the Iguacu falls wider than Niagara!
The falls can be viewed from either the Brazilian side, or from Argentina. We opted for the Brazilian side, mainly because it was cheaper for us, but we had also heard it was better on the net. This was confirmed to us by a very nice elderly Canadian couple today, who told us that the views from the Brazilian side are much more spectacular. Although 2/3 of the falls are situated on the Argentinian side, they told us that the views are no where near as good, as you walk along the top of the falls, rather than walking down beneath them on the Brazilian side.
We were not disappointed! It costs $37.70 Brazilian Real to eneter the national park and it is worth every penny! The ticket includes a bus that takes you from the entrance of the park, to various along the stops along the way, and finally to the falls themselves.
At the various stops you can pay for extra activities that aren’t included in the entrance fee, like jungle walks, and boat tours etc. We were there just for the falls so we didn’t try out any of these optional extras but I’m sure they would have been great.
If you are going on a round the world trip, or plan to be in Brazil for any reason you need to visit Foz Do Iguacu. Put simply it is probably the most spectacular example of nature you will ever see!
Before seeing the falls, you will hear them! This is a really horrible analogy, and is a dis-justice but as we got closer I thought they sounded like a very very busy motorway! The roar is amazing and as you get closer you will barely be able to hear each other speak over the thunder.
The thing I really liked about the falls, was that unlike other very famous falls such as Niagara, Iguacu is comprised of hundreds of smaller falls as well as the main larger ones. This means rushing spouts of water emerge from within the forest to join the stream below. It really is like a scene from paradise, and makes the whole experience far more engrossing as you are always spotting new outlets as you walk along the paths.
One word of advice, take some waterproofs! We expected to get wet, but had no idea how wet! Even when you are quite a distance from the falls the air is thick with water vapour stirred up by the water and before you know it your hair will be dripping.
If you continue on, you have the opportunity to walk a pier that tracks the bottom of the falls. If you decide to take this path (you don’t have to) you will get soaked through to the skin. In my opinion it is something that needs to be done to fully appreciate the power of the falls and the sheer amount of water that rushes over them every second. Standing on the pier you can see clearly how fast the water is rushing beneath your feet.
After are amazing trip to the falls, the next day we decided we would pop in to Foz Do Iguacu itself to see what it has to offer. The answer is not very much. Its quite clear that the city is purely focused on the Iguacu falls and the national park. The city itself contains your average touristy shops, but not much else. Of course we didn’t mind this as the main reason we came here was for the falls, and looking on the bright side, we did get another delicious Pastel for $1.75 Brazilian Real!
For more photos of the falls, check out our Flickr page. We took loads!
We have a few videos of the falls which will hopeful be up shortly, as you really can’t get an adequate idea of how powerful this place is from photos! Next up we are heading to Campo Grande where we will be taking a tour of the Pantanal, a huge wet land area where we hope to see plenty of animals and maybe even go piranha fishing! Internet will be hard to come by during the tour, so don’t worry if we go quite for a couple of days!