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Iguašu Falls (A.k.a. Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls) [Wikitravel]:

One of the great natural wonders of the world, the Iguašu Falls (Portuguese: Cataratas do Iguašu, Spanish: Cataratas del Iguaz˙) are situated on the border of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

The Tri-Border

The city on the Brazilian side is Foz do Iguašu - big, but less secure. The town on the Argentine side is Puerto Iguazu - small and pretty. The city on the Paraguayan side is Ciudad del Este - a hectic (but exciting) centre for contraband and cheap electronic goods.

Crossing the borders between these countries is fairly relaxed - they assume most people are on a day trip across the border and won't even stamp your passport. So, if you are crossing into another country for good, you will have to persuade them to stamp you passport (otherwise you could run in to problems later).

Get in

By plane

From Foz do Iguašu there are frequent flights to Rio de Janeiro etc. From Puerto Iguazu there are daily flights to Buenos Aires

By Bus

On the Brazilian side, Foz do Iguašu is about seven hours by bus from Curitiba. From Puerto Iguazu there are several daily buses to Buenos Aires and Posadas and from Ciudad del Este there are lots of buses to Asuncion.

Get around

There are hourly (or so) buses between Foz do Iguašu and Puerto Iguazu and Ciudad del Este. There are also hourly (or so) buses between Foz do Iguašu and the Brazilian side of the falls and between Puerto Iguazu and the Argentine side of the falls.

It is only a short walk across the Friendship Bridge over the river Parana between Foz do Iguašu and Ciudad del Este.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi.

See

The Iguašu Falls are an awesome sight as tons of water throw themselves over cliffs and the mist rises amongst the jungle.

It is well worth spending a day on each side of the falls.

On the Argentine side (30 AR$ pp, second day for half price if you get your ticket stamped before leaving on the first day) there are a whole series of walkways and trails by the main visitors centre, allowing you to stand right on the edge of the precipice, below some of the waterfalls themselves, see a good overview and take a short boat trip to Isla San Martin below the falls. Wear waterproofs and protect you camera!

There is a free train running up to a 1km walkway across the river to stand just back from the main horseshoe of falls - the Devil's Throat (Garganta del Diablo), where the roar and spray are tremendous.

On the Brazilian side (20 R$ pp, cheaper for brasilian residents) you get an excellent overview of the Devil's Throat and the rest of the falls, from both above and below.

Sleep

Albergue Paudimar Campestre, Av das Cataratas. Twelve kilometres outside Foz do Iguašu on the way to the Brazilian side of the falls is more a miniresort than a hostel. It offers free internet and budget meals and has a swimmingpool and bar. They also arrange tours to the Argentinian side of the falls. Half the taxifair from the busterminal is returned if you go with two persons or more and stay at least two days, look for the stand at the busterminal.

Get out


From Ciudad del Este or Foz do Iguašu you can visit the Itaipu Dam - one of the largest in the world. No entrance fee, but expect a quick tour in a bus and a bit of propaganda. Between Puerto Iguazu and Posadas the red sandstone ruins of the Jesuit mission of San Ignacio are well worth a visit.






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Copyright Rhett Butler 1994-2012

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