Parque Nacional do Iguaçu Things to Do

  • A speed boat along the Devil's canyon
    A speed boat along the Devil's canyon
    by csordila
  • parrots
    parrots
    by mindcrime
  • wet fun at iguazu boat ride
    wet fun at iguazu boat ride
    by hanspeter_W.

Most Recent Things to Do in Parque Nacional do Iguaçu

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    animals on the way!

    by mindcrime Written Apr 22, 2008

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    Although not so many as in the argentinian side I met a lot of small animals like this walking around the path. It’s not allowed to feed them though so if you like them respect this, it’s for their own good!

    strange little animal! respect the sign!
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    catch the rainbow!

    by mindcrime Written Apr 22, 2008

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    While I walking in the path with the river below, I was impressed of the greenery landscape all over the place.

    Of course I was really happy watching some circular rainbows here and there in front of many falls.

    You have to see this although unfortunately a photo is impossible to catch the real thing…

    I think you can see most of them in the afternoon although the mist will bring some for you in the morning too! :) I took several photos of many falls but after a while I put my camera in the bag and I was just admiring the view…

    oh the rainbow... another rainbow! green everywhere! the river runs through green jungle...
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    walk on a paved path

    by mindcrime Written Apr 22, 2008

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    The main path is a 1500km long paved path, and it goes through trees and every few steps you can check out the falls from different angles. In fact what you see is the argentinias side of the falls, the one you probably will walk at the day after! The view from some parts of the path are brilliant and it gets better and better until the metal catwalk at the end of the path. There you can stand at the foot of the falls, listening to them and of course getting wet cause of the wind!

    the catwalk the path in the beginning end of the path!
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    first stop, first shock!

    by mindcrime Written Apr 22, 2008

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    Most of the visitors of the park stop at Hotel Tropical das Cataratas(photo 2).

    From there the path (1500m) starts and this is the first image of the falls you have!(photo 1)

    I’ve been told that usually a dozen of tourists are there waiting to take their first photo of the falls but in early april I was almost alone there and I loved it this way! Anyway, then you can continue walking along the trail and believe me, the next falls will be even more amazing! Don’t forget that there are almost 275 falls in the area!

    hotel Tropical das Cataratas

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    buy your ticket and open your eyes!

    by mindcrime Written Apr 22, 2008

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    As I came from Puerto Iguzu the taxi dropped me just outside the entrance of the park (the bus drops you there too).

    Outside of the main building you’ll notice a beautiful pool painted in many colors like a rainbow. Although its nice after a while you will be shocked from the real rainbow! The main building has a tourist Info, a gift shop (you can visit it on your way back, don’t carry things with you), lockers for your bags etc

    Just go to the ticket office, pay 38pesos (8euros) and get on the bus… of course you can pay in real, euros or dollars but I had pesos with me , I didn’t want to change any money for my half day trip to Brazil….

    Have in mind that you cant visit the park on Mondays before 13:00.

    main building

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Visit the Argentine Falls

    by toonsarah Written Jan 22, 2008

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    The Falls at Iguaçu straddle the border between Brazil and Argentina, and whichever side you choose to stay on it is worth crossing the border to see the falls from the other side. I’ve read accounts of border crossings here which suggest that it can be quite a slow process, especially if you plan to stay the night, but we went with a local guide just for the day and had no problems at all.

    Once in Argentina you’ll find that as in Brazil the falls are protected by a national park. We found it just a little more commercialised than where we’d come from, but still very low-key and unobtrusive. There is a large network of walks and trails which not only follow the water’s edge but also climb down to do the same at a lower level. We took two long walks, firstly at the upper level, from where we had extensive views of the whole series of falls, and then on the lower level to get closer to the water. Compared to the Brazilian side we found the views of some sections better and other less good, so it really does pay to view the falls from both sides if you have the time. We also found that the light was at a better angle for rainbow photos on the Argentine side. As we only spent a few hours here we didn’t have time for any of the cat-walks but if you want there are similar opportunities to get out into the spray and really feel the power of the falls here.

    We also enjoyed watching the antics of the many coati that were on the scrounge for titbits from the tourists. Feeding them is probably not to be advised but they were great fun to watch.

    Do enlarge my second photo to see the boat heading into the Devil's Throat - it looks tiny from up here, and i couldn't believe that just the day before we'd been in a similar position ourselves!

    Rainbow in the spray Devil's Throat from Argentine side Tourist feeding the coati

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    On the cat walks

    by toonsarah Written Jan 22, 2008

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    If you want to get up close and personal with a waterfall, this is the place to come! There are more walking trails on the Argentinian side but we enjoyed the Brazilian walks best, perhaps because they were just a short stroll from our hotel, the Tropical Hotel das Cataratas, and we could wander by the falls whenever we wished. Also, as there are more cataracts on the Argentinian side, you can see them better from Brazil!

    Not only can you walk along the river bank to see the falls, but in several places you can walk out on a sort of jetty that sticks out into the water right under the spray, for instance at the fall called Salto Union. You really do need to have a waterproof jacket on if you’re going to do this (you can hire one from a little booth here, though we had our own with us), and be very careful with your camera. As you walk out the light spray that has been drifting over you becomes a heavy drenching, and you have to remind yourself that this is still just the edge of the spray from the falls themselves – of course it would be impossible to walk under the actual torrent of water. The noise thunders around you and visibility shrinks to maybe a yard or two. It is a truly awe-inspiring experience to be in the midst of so much power.

    In the spray On the cat walks

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Boat trip beneath the falls

    by toonsarah Updated Jan 22, 2008

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    One of the best ways to see the falls at Iguacu is by boat. There are trips available on both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the river. We went on the tour organised by Macuco Safaris. This consists of a short ride in open wagons towed by jeeps followed by a walk down through the forest to the water's edge - this is about 600 meters and you can opt out if you're not able to walk down the rather steep pathway. The guide points out the different plants and other sights, and there's a small waterfall.

    At the bottom of this path you come to the final part of the tour, which is the real highlight - a boat ride right into the jaws of the falls! The boats are inflatables and easy to manoeuvre which is important as the pilot will take you right up to the base of the falls, at the point known as the "Devil's Throat". You WILL get wet! The tour company provides life-vests and plastic containers to protect photographic and filming equipment, so make sure you use these. You might like to take a disposable waterproof camera for the last-minute shots as you go right into the spray - we found this the only safe way to take photos. You also need to consider what to wear - you can either use the waterproof clothing the company offers (plastic macs) or do as we did and go in your swim-wear. The weather was hot when we visited so that seemed like a good plan, but be warned - the water is VERY cold and you may find yourself thinking the mac would have been a better option!

    But whatever you decide to wear I really recommend this trip. It's a truly amazing way to appreciate the sheer power of the water pouring over those falls.

    Heading into the Devil's Throat Getting closer On the boat - BEFORE I got wet!
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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Itaipu Dam - World's Largest Power Station

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Sep 5, 2007

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    If you are just taking a walk along the Rio Iguacu to enjoy the sights of the Falls, and not doing a Jungle Adventure tour of some sort, it should not take more than about a half-day to get your fill of Parque Nacional do Iguacu. That leaves lots of time to also include an excursion to the nearby largest power station in the world at Itaipu Dam. This tour, as well as a stop in the city of Foz do Iguacu are often thrown into the package tours of the Brazil-side of the falls.

    Located on the nearby Parana River, only a few miles away from Iguacu Falls, the Itaipu Dam is one of the engineering marvels of the world. Back in the mid-1970s, Brazil and Paraguay began construction of the dam, presently the world's largest power station in terms of electrical output. Taking 18-years to complete, this massive 200-m high concrete structure stretches for about 8-km (5-miles) across the Parana River only a few kilometers above Foz do Iguacu.

    The Rio Parana is about the same size as the Mississippi River in the USA in terms of water flow, and is second only to the Amazon for drainage area in South America. As a result, the flows into the headpond of the dam very often exceed what is needed for maximum electrical output from the hydro generators. Once that flow level is exceeded, the excess water is diverted away from the power house and discharged directly into the Rio Parana below the dam (othewise it would come right over the top of the dam - and that would not be good!). The photo shows this 'spillway' complex where three huge concrete chutes channel the water down to the edge of the Parana. In this case, we were in a lower flow period, so only one of the three chutes was in action as a man-made waterfall!

    Itaipu has twenty generators, each rated at 700 MW of power or 14,000 MW maximum total plant output. This is enough electricity to supply the needs of half of either New York State or Ontario, Canada (or one quarter of Brazil's demands). For more details, see my 'Foz do Iguacu' page.

    The 'Spillway' in Use at Itaipu Dam
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    Below the 'Devil's Throat'

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    The further we walked up into the main gorge of the Rio Iguacu, the closer we came to the main waterfall of Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat). It is there that the one main viewing platform area on the Brazil side is located.

    As you can see, it allows you to get out to the edge of Salto Santa Maria for a closer look into the gorge - if you can see anything through the mist from the Devil's Throat which is just up the gorge to the left. You can get plastic bags and raincoats before taking a stroll out to the viewing platform if you want to protect your sensitive equipment from the spray.

    Crowds exploring Salto Santa Maria
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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    The precipice

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    Well, we had come this far, so a bit of spray was not going to stop us now! Luckily, the clouds of mist generated by the numerous cataracts seemed to have intermittant lulls, so we seized the opportunity to take a walk on the catwalk out to the edge of Salto Santa Maria. From there, we had a great view up the gorge to the very area where the main cataracts of the Devil's Throat make their 275-foot plunge into the river bottom. I slipped my digital camera out of my back-pack long enough for this quick shot!

    Looking Into the 'Throat'
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    Above the falls

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    Once you have done the catwalk thing, the tour is just about over. On returning to the edge of the gorge, a short walk will bring you to a double elevator complex. After lining up with the other tourists for a short wait while the elevators did their job, we climbed aboard for the easy way to get back to the top of the gorge! The glass windows allowed a good view of the whole scene as we ascended, but it was a bit too crowded to do any serious photography!

    On exiting at the top, you are at the modern gift shop/restaurant complex where the park busses will pick you up for a return trip to the Park Entrance. We had some time to linger here while the remainder of our particular tour group straggled up from below. This view was taken looking out across the shallow waters of the upper Iguacu River before it disappears into Garganta del Diablo where the mist is rising on the left. At the right side is one of main waterfalls on the Brazil side, Salto Floriano - but all you can see is the water flowing toward it's lip.

    Topside View of the Devil's Throat Area
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  • swesn's Profile Photo

    FOZ DO IGUACU : IGUACU FALLS

    by swesn Written Nov 30, 2006

    Visit the falls, of course! What else are you here for??

    The Nationa Park of Iguacu was named a World Heritage Site in 1986. The breath-taking waterfall is one of the world’s largest. An immense volume of water pour over 275 waterfalls spread over 3.2km. This area is forever enshrouded in mist and sprays and the area is covered by lush subtropical rain forest and impenetrable vegetation.

    The falls were a holy burial site for the Tupi-Guarani and Paraguas indigenous Indian tribes. The word 'Iguacu' comes from the Tupi-Guarani language which means 'Great Waters'. Some distance away is the Itaipu Dam which is the world’s largest hydroelectric plant.

    On the Brazilian side, one sees the perpetually raging falls from a respective distance. Walk all the way to the board-walk that goes under and very near to the 'Garganta do Diablo' (Devil's Throat) which is the most spectacular part of the falls. Here, 14 falls curve around an 82-m drop, shaped like a U-shaped horse-shoe. Be prepared to get very wet.

    Recommended to see the Brazilian side of the Iguacu Falls before going over to the Argentinian side.

    The magnificent Iguacu Falls

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    The View Into Argentina

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Oct 24, 2006

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    On emerging from our Parque bus, the first view that greeted us was this panoramic view across the Rio Iguacu into Argentina. Naturally, any waterfall that has about 270 individual cataracts takes up a lot of space - in this case, 3 km (almost 2 miles) of water falling left and right! Most of this is on the Argentinian-side, which has 16 of the 19 largest cataracts.

    Here, in the distance at the right side, we can see the famous two-tiered waterfalls of the Upper and Lower Circuit walking trails in Argentina's sister Parque Nacional del Iguazu. Toward the left side, the water disappears behind a small island, called San Martin, located in the gorge. Behind the island, spray is visible from the second most powerful of all the waterfalls at Iguacu - Salto (waterfall) San Martin itself.

    Part of the 3-km Arc of Waterfalls
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    Be prepaired for the heat

    by VolsUT Written Jun 23, 2006

    Iguassu falls is located in a reinforest in Brazil so it is always hot and humid. The summer temps are almost always above 90 (30C) and can rise to over 100 (35). Be prepaired to do some walking around in the heat you will be glad you did.

    The shade was welcome.

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