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Iguazu Falls – Feel the Sheer Power of Nature

No less than 275 separate cataracts make up Iguazu Falls, an almost 2-mile-wide crescent that’s four times the width of Niagara Falls and significantly wider than Victoria Falls.

 

With its cascading water plunging 269 feet over forested cliff edges, the falls represent Mother Nature at her most powerful. This is best seen where dozens of tributaries of the Iguazu River converge at the ominously named “Devil’s Throat” in a once-in-a-lifetime, must-see display.  While here, be sure to enjoy both sides of the falls, in Brazil and Argentina, as each offers an entirely different perspective. A major tourism destination, Iguazu is served by a number of world-class accommodations; and since the falls are located at a 3-country border, consider combining your Iguazu adventure with Surtrek tours in Brazil or Argentina.

 

Contact one of our Iguazu travel experts for help in planning your trip to this commanding wonder of nature.

What you’ll experience on a trip to the Iguazu Falls

 

Traveling to Iguazu Falls, you’ll find a host of ways to experience this tropical landmark. Here are the main ways of taking in this amazing natural wonder:

 

Elevated Platforms: Like all visitors to Iguazu falls, you’ll want to witness these mighty marvels from the safety of elevated observation platforms along the feet of the waterfalls, feeling the spray wash across your face and taking some truly fantastic photos. These numerous catwalks allow visitors to walk out along the entire base of the falls, some leading right to the middle of the central Devil’s Throat Waterfall for a spectacular vantage point.

 

Boat Rides: For thrill-seeking travelers who don’t mind getting wet, travelers can hop on board boats on either the Brazilian or the Argentine side of these gushing torrents. Both sides offer similar experiences, taking you almost directly underneath the falls in a way that allows you to palpably experience the full power and beauty of one of the seven New Natural Wonders of the World.

 

Helicopter flights: The ultimate way to witness the immense power of the Iguassu Falls is from above. Travelers can soar over the cascading water in a helicopter for a bird’s-eye view of this astounding sight. Carrying from one to seven passengers, these comfortable helicopters are flown by experienced pilots, first over the never-ending rivers and jungle that expands deep into Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. You'll then make your way to the falls themselves. Flying as close as safely possible to the tumbling falls, you can capture amazing photos and videos throughout the flight as your pilot circles the falls several times for shots from every possible angle.

 

Hiking: The surrounding Iguazu National Park is also well worth visiting; so why not strap on your walking boots for some active birding and wildlife watching on a nature hike? Both the Brazilian and the Argentine national parks surrounding the falls have decent trails and walkways, with tourist facilities readily accessible.

 

4x4 Jungle Safari: Or, for those looking to get completely off the beaten track, experience the thrills of a 4x4 off-road expedition through the tropical forest. You won’t be disappointed!

 

Is it safe to visit Iguazu Falls?

 

When visiting Iguazu Falls, you’ll stay in or around the small town of Foz do Iguacu (on the Brazilian side of the border) or Puerto Iguazu (on the Argentine side). Neither town experiences particularly high rates of crime, though common sense travel precautions should be respected and the advice of your Surtrek guide heeded.

 

Your primary safety concerns will more like be those related to the need for sun-block protection, insect repellant, and staying hydrated. As the area around the falls can get quite hot and sunny, make sure you have sun protection, including sunscreen (at least 30 SPF), wear a hat, and drink plenty of water. In addition, so don’t forget to bring lip balm with SPF protection.

 

If you’re prone to mosquito bites, take the usual precautions like wearing pants and long sleeves, especially at night. If you prefer insect repellant that’s high in DEET, bring it from home.

 

Also, on both sides of the falls, you’ll encounter raccoon-like coatis wandering free. Though these clownish omnivores seem tame, they become aggressive around food, scratching, and occasionally even biting to steal whatever you have. Therefore, it’s advised that you keep any food well away from them. Both parks have medical points in case of coati incidents.

 

Best time to tour Iguazu Falls

 

The best time to visit Iguazu Falls depends on whether you're after a tremendous volume of water crashing over the rocks during wetter weather, or easier access to the trails and islands during drier spells with less water.

 

For somewhat dryer, more accommodating weather conditions — yet with still impressive views — a good compromise is to visit the falls from August to November, which is what we recommend.

 

If you’re willing to deal with all the rain, heat, and humidity, you’ll witness the greatest volume of water tumbling down during December–mid-March “wetter” season (Iguazu is always rainy).

 

During the less-rainy months of June and July, the falls dwindle; however, the weather is warmer and you’ll have easier access to the park’s trails and islands.

 

What to pack for Iguazu Falls

 

First and foremost, pack a raincoat. Even if it’s not raining, you’ll need if you plan to walk along the catwalks that lead you up close to the water on the Argentinian side, where you’re sure to get splashed and sprayed. It’s also recommended to use waterproof covers to protect any belongings (particularly your phone and electronics) that you use on excursions.

 

Good mosquito repellent is also advised, especially if you want to watch the sunset in peace!

 

Do not forget to bring your passport when/if you are crossing the border between the Argentinian side of the falls and the Brazilian side!

 

For visiting Iguazu, other items that you should be sure to include or add to your general packing list include the following:

 

CLOTHES (recommended for visiting Iguazu)

 

  • Sports sandals, for the falls and lodge lounging
  • Socks – A pair of clean long socks for each day (un-cushioned, wool &/or polyester)
  • Pants – Long, loose-fitting lighter-colored (no slow-drying jeans)
  • Long-sleeve shirts & t-shirts (fast-dry, loose-fitting Dry-Fit shirts [preferable] or thin cotton)
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • A light sweater (it gets surprisingly chilly at night and on boat trips)
  • Headband or hair elastics (“scrunchies”) for those with long hair
  • Rain poncho, a cheap plastic one that fits over you and your pack (lodges should provide these too)
  • Clothes changes and a towel for visiting the falls
  • Warm nightwear

 

PERSONAL CARE

 

  • Sunscreen – High SPF, waterproof and fragrance-free
  • Mosquito repellent (50% DEET minimum)
  • Anti-malaria medication (consult your doctor if traveling to areas where you need it)

 

GEAR

 

  • Personal first aid kit (hydrocortisone cream, etc.)
  • Binoculars (8 x 40 are excellent for dim lighting beneath the forest canopy)
  • LED Flashlight or headlamp for nighttime jungle excursions
  • Wide-angle lens and telephoto lens for expansive landscape photos, especially for a waterfall as wide as Iguazu Falls, and telephoto lens to take photos of wild animals
  • Waterproof bag/dry sack for your electronics. Also, have a waterproof bag if you´re taking any of the Iguazu boat rides

 

Getting to Iguazu Falls

 

Flying into Buenos Aires, Argentina, you’ll land at the Ezeiza International Airport on the outskirts of the city, where Surtrek representatives will welcome you and accompany you on a private one-hour drive in-town to the city’s domestic Jorge Newbery airport.

 

Following a 90-minute flight from Buenos Aires’ Newbery Airport to the Puerto Iguazu airport, you will again be met by Surtrek representatives and privately driven to your upmarket Iguazu hotel accommodations near the falls themselves.

 

Similarly, if you fly in to a city in Brazil, Surtrek partners will be there to assist you in making your connecting flight to Puerto Iguazu and accompany you to your world-class Iguazu hotel.

 

Why Go to the Iguazu Falls with Surtrek?

 

As Iguazu Falls is one of the most popular destinations in South America, Surtrek has served countless adventurers by introducing them to this remarkable site. In fact, for over 25 years, we have served travelers by organizing authentic, tailor-made luxury travel experiences to Iguazu Falls, often in combination with travel to Peru’s Machu Picchu, the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia, and the Atacama Desert in Chile, and to the Galapagos Islands.

 

With our experienced travel team of 25 members strong — including native speakers of five different languages — we will work one-on-one with you to custom-design an Iguazu Falls tour that perfectly suits your particular interests and needs. Indeed, Surtrek is adept at offering some of the best and most complete tour services on any trip anywhere across South America.

 

Contact one of our Iguazu travel experts for help in planning your trip to this commanding wonder of nature.

 

Highlights

 

  • Witness the raw power of these 275+ cascades from the safety of an elevated observation platform
  • Get a bird’s eye-view of Mother Nature’s full-throttle ferocity from an exhilarating helicopter ride
  • Head out on a private jungle safari into the lush Brazilian rainforest in your own open-roofed 4x4 land explorer
  • Jump on board a motorboat for a wet-and-wild, adrenaline-packed ride behind the falls themselves!
  • Check out Iguazu’s “Bird Park” to get even closer to the exotic mammals, reptiles and some of the 1,000 bird species that inhabit Iguazu
  • Travel deep into the verdant jungle Brazilian and Argentine jungle in the comfort of the park’s purpose-built railway line
  • Immersive yourself in Iguazu Park’s extensive network of nature trails and wildlife walks

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“I found Surtrek online as it proved to be an excellent, efficient company. Our 4 days in the Galapagos were expertly planned and we were never left without a guide - we were even walked to dinner each night and assisted with ordering!”Marian Lowenfish