Weekend runaway to Foz du Iguazu

I had to go on a business trip to Paraguay and decided to take advantage of the flight and visit a new place! The Iguazu falls, recognized as one of the seven modern wonders of the world was my pick for the weekend…

Highlights

  • Argentinian side boat tour
  • Brazilian side panorama

  • The acai bowl

 

Tips and Recommendations from my experience

  • There are three airports you can fly to, all close to the falls so you can just try to find the cheapest ticket. You have Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, Foz du Iguazu in Brazil and Puerto Iguazu in Argentina.
  • The Itaipú hydroelectric plant tour is free in Paraguay but costs money in Brazil and the lookout in Paraguay’s side is nicer
  • If you want to do a special visit to Itaupú, make sure to reserve at least 15 days in advance. The regular tour is only panoramic, lasting 45 min, but if you want to visit the machine house and see the whole thing, you must book it in advance.
  • Don’t go for more than two days. Visiting the falls and going to Itaipu is practically all there is to do, and you can do it in two days. You could also take a city sightseeing bus but it won’t be very interesting, go skydiving, or on a rafting tour on the river but from my perspective, there are better places to do this.
  • Your must do both sides of the falls (Brazil and Argentina). Argentina side is more about feeling the strength of nature and Brazil is more of appreciating a panoramic view. If you must choose one, I would go with Argentina because you get to feel a little bit of everything, but if you are a photographer, probably Brazil’s side is better. Still… the best choice is to do both!
  • Change currency to pesos before going to Argentina to avoid ridiculous change fees.
  • Go to the boat tour on Argentina. The boat tour is available on both countries, but the one in Argentina is better because they visit more falls… on Brazil, they can’t go to the nicest ones because they are on Argentina and they can´t cross the border.
  • Choose well the city you plan to stay at. You can stay in Argentina at Puerto Iguazu, or in Foz du Iguacu, Brazil. It will all depend on your airport of choosing. If flying to Ciudad del Este, my recommendation would be Foz
  • Keep in mind practically no one speaks English
  • There is Uber in Foz
  • You can go to the parks by bus, taxi or by a tour. I would recommend grabbing a tour when crossing the border because it will be easier and faster, and just go by yourself in the country you are staying at to enjoy it at your own pace
  • My tour guide was real nice and spoke good English, it was FallsVision, but I booked it through iguassufallstour@gmail.com (which was cheaper)

 

Detailed Description of My Trip

I had to go on a business trip to Paraguay and decided to take advantage of the flight and visit a new place! The Iguazu falls, recognized as one of the seven modern wonders of the world was my pick for the weekend. I took a flight from Asunción to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay and from there, hired a taxi to drive me to my hotel, Wyndham Foz du Iguazu.

My first recommendation here, is to find out which flight is the cheapest. The amazing thing about visiting these falls is that they are between Argentina and Brazil, and right next to Paraguay, so you can access them from all three countries and to make it even better, there are airports near the falls in all three (Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, Foz du Iguazu in Brazil and Puerto Iguazu in Argentina). While choosing the flight, also keep in mind which country you plan on staying. I chose Foz because it is the city between Ciudad del Este and the falls (so it was closer to the airport than the Argentinian city of Puerto Iguazu). The city is not so nice, but it was Christmas so there was a nice Christmas market in the city center and lots of typical Brazilian food.   

To keep describing my trip, I stayed at Foz for a couple of nights and whole two days. The first day I went to the Argentinian side of the falls. I chose it this way because I had the entire day to cross the border, visit the falls, and the return to the hotel without stress of losing my flight. Also, since I was travelling alone, I decided to grab a tour because it was going to be easier to cross the border with them and just go with the flow haha. I booked my tour with Iguassu Falls Tour (iguassufallstour@gmail.com) because they had a good price and did exactly what I wanted, a pick-up at my hotel, a day tour at the Argentinian side of the falls with a boat tour, and then return me to my hotel. I’m not sure if at the end that was my tour or they allied with another one called FallsVision because our bus and tour guide all had that logo, but anyways, I loved it! The guide, Claudio, spoke good English and had an amazing attitude and patience while we walked around, took photos and just admired the splendor!! In fact, the next day, which I will soon speak about, I run into him and he let me hang around with the tour as well.

Anyway, to make the story short, I went to Argentina, saw the falls from this side and was blown away. My first recommendation here, take the boat tour!!! And do it on Argentina and one the first half of the day. It is amazing!!! You get to go inside the falls which is really funny, but you will get entirely soaked so take some extra clothes with you and forget about a rain jacket… I had one and it just didn´t work out haha. After the boat tour, we went eating to the meat buffet, it cost about 600 pesos and they have all kinds of Argentinian meat cuts to try out! It was worth it. Later on, we went walking to the upper circuit, where you get to appreciate the falls from up high, meaning, you see them from the top. This was cool because you feel their strengths and that was just amazing. After finishing that circuit, we rode the train to the Devils Throat, which is just ridiculous… so much water!!! Imagine, we were about 500m away and you could see some sort of “fog” in the air which was actually the water that bounces back to the air! You can actually see it in the picture below.

It was so much water, that I got wet… again! and with no clothes changes this time, so keep that in mind! After that, we went back to the train and to the bus to return to Brazil. That same day, when I arrived at the hotel, I changed and went walking to the city center, where I saw the Christmas market and had the best acai bowl in my life!

On Sunday, I went to the Brazilian side of the falls. My original plan was to grab an Uber and just do it by myself and at my own schedule, but when I went asking to the hotel’s the front desk about the park entrance tickets, a guy from a tour agency (Loumar) offered me the entrance ticket and the transportation for a really good price so I switch my plan and went with that one. I arrived at the park around 10 am, got a bus and went directly to the walking circuit which starts in front of the Belmond hotel. It took me about an hour to walk it all, which is of about 1.2 km but there is also a panoramic view you access with an elevator or stairs if there is a long line, and lots of people everywhere so it goes slow!! Around 12pm, I finished the circuit and took the bus back to the park entrance, and then back to the hotel. I regret not going to the bird park, but I wanted to visit the Itaipú hydroelectric plant in Paraguay and to do so, I had to be there by 3pm (because they close at 4pm). That being said, I got ready, called in a taxi and crossed the border back to Paraguay and straight to Itaipu.

You may wonder why did I do this tour in Paraguay? Well, for started, it is free and in Brazil they charge you. Also, this way I didn´t had to worry about spending much time crossing the border and for a last point, the view from this side is better than the Brazilian side! So keep that in mind. The tour lasted about 45 min and was mostly panoramic… if you want a special visit, entering the machine house and all, you have to book it at least 15 days before.

After the tour, I had no idea of how to get to the airport because there were no taxis, no buses, anything!!! But I asked the people that work there, and they told me that I could go walking to the end of the street and that over there I could grab a cab or, I could wait and they could give me a ride somewhere close to the airport. Off course I chose the second option, so they took me to a supermarket on the way, a bought some food and then asked a taxi to drive me to a good restaurant which was a total fail because everything was closed!! That being said, I ended up at the airport around 5pm and had to wait until 8:30 for the flight. I wouldn´t recommend that last part… there is nothing to do at that airport! I was lucky that the guy from the tourist information center was really nice and we just talked for the rest of the day.

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