The Iguazu falls are one of, if not the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. Placed between Argentina and Brazil Iguazu Falls are simply breathtaking. There is an attraction between humans and waterfalls, Iguazu falls is the pinnacle of this relationship between man and nature.
Iguazu falls are so beautiful in fact, that the Queen herself has a famous quote that says ‘poor Niagra’ when she first laid eyes on them. Referring to the great Niagra Falls.
Iguazu Falls are located on the border of Argentina, Brazil and not far away from the southern tip of Paraguay. They are independently located with no other major attractions around them, yet they are so impressive that Iguazu Falls attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year.
The unique placement of Iguazu Falls means that both Argentina and Brazil have their way to experience the monstrous falls. Both were very different from each other as I am about to explain. You simply cannot go all this way to see Iguazu Falls and not do both sides.
Whether you are travelling from Argentina or Brazil to see Iguazu Falls, crossing the border to see the other side, even if it is just for the day is very common and a very streamlined process. If you plan to just travel one of the countries and not cross over and travel into the next and you can do a day tour via bus or taxi depending on budget and comfort.
So to the biggest question, which side is better? Argentina or Brazil?
The Brazilian Side of Iguazu Falls
We were Traveling from Rio De Janeiro so naturally, the Brazillian side of Iguazu Falls was going to be our first experience. After a mighty 24 hour bus from Rio, (take a flight if it’s in your budget) we arrived in the border town of Foz do Iguaçu, or as we referred to it as Foz.
This would be our base for a couple of days to both recover from a long-ass bus ride and to see the Brazilian side of the falls.
Foz was surprising a very nice little town. It has one hostel that dominates and stands above all other hostel accommodation options called Tetris Container hostel. This is the perfect place to stay and would highly recommend it.
The rooms are a little small, but the amenities make up for it tenfold they have a pool, amazing places to hang out, plus a bar. They also have a fully equipped kitchen with a supermarket just down the road.
To get to Iguazu falls from here it is super simple. There is a bus stop quite literally right outside the hostel and takes you directly to the entrance of the falls. This is by far the cheapest option.
Once you arrive at the entrance you will cost R$57.30 per person. Which to be fair is super reasonable for what you are about to see. A bus will then take you a further 5-10mins (which is included) to where you will begin walking to the see the falls.
Iguazu falls are more a series of waterfalls, not just one big waterfall. So you get dropped at one side of them and gradually walk towards the iconic location where all the biggest waterfalls come together. The walk itself only takes 15-20mins plus time to stop, take photos and appreciate what you are seeing.
When you begin on the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls, you will look out over the first of the waterfalls which on their own are epic enough to match and normal waterfall around the world. Just watch out for your belongings.
There are Coatis everywhere!! I had no idea, and did not expect them at all! I absolutely loved them, small little dudes running around trying to get into peoples backpacks and anything else that isn’t tied down.
The Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls is a walk along the river looking out over at the Argentinian side in the near distance. The more you walk, the bigger and crazier the waterfalls get! There are plenty of lookouts and opportunities to take as many pictures as you like.
But the reason you are there is for the grand finale. A platform that quite literally walks right out into the waterfalls. to both look and be in the largest series of waterfalls in the world. This is one of the coolest experiences I have had in my entire life.
It is hard to fathom or put into words. You are out on a platform feeling the full force of the waterfalls around you, getting soaked. You quite literally have a 360-degree view of waterfalls.
Although the platform can get crowded and get a little frustrating as people are waving around their selfie sticks but can you blame them? Absolutely not. Just remember to breathe and take it all in, be present.
Once you are done with the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls, the track makes it way back up where more buses will transport you back to the entrance.
The entire experience will be dependant on how long you spend taking photos etc. but I would allow half a day at least. From the entrance, you simply take the same bus back to the hostel, but in reverse.
In conclusion, the Brazilian side of the falls is easily accessible and reasonably priced. In terms of experience, I honestly don’t think you can find anywhere else in the world like it. The feeling of being right out on that platform surrounded by giant waterfalls is unreal!
Crossing the border from Brazil to Argentina.
Depending on whether you are doing a day trip or crossing the border to carry on with your travellers the crossing is done in a very similar way.
After doing some research the most cost-effective and easiest way is to simply get a taxi. It is more than a taxi, a full border crossing service. They will take you from your hostel, get your exit stamp, cross the border, entry stamp, and then take you to your hostel (or location of choice) on the Argentinian side. All of this for around R$36.
Now for the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls.
We were fizzing from doing the Brazilian side, fizzing som much that we almost decided to not do the Argentinian side. I have no idea why we thought of this. You MUST DO the Argentinean side as well.
Getting to the entrance of the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls is just as easy. There is the main bus stop located in the centre of town, from there buses leave every 20minutes and cost only $40AR. The bus will take about 30mins to get to the entrance of the National Park.
When you arrive the procedure is just the same, purchase your ticket for $360AR and then begin exploring. Just be prepared, the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls is more of a full-day experience with lots of walking involved.
Unlike the Brazilian side which only has one walking path along the side of the river, the Argentinian side has kilometres of paths you can take. all offering a unique experience.
This is a once in a lifetime experience, so be prepared because I would highly recommend doing all the paths!
The difference of the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls is that you are walking on top of the falls, as opposed to looking out over them. It is more of a scenic nature walk as opposed to a full-on view of the falls that you get on the Brazilian side. Which some people may prefer and others may not.
In saying that there were some amazing outlooks of Iguazu Falls that you do not get from the Brazilian side at all. You simply cannot compare them.
As the day went on I was begging to think to myself that the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls was going to be my favourite side. That was until of course until the grand finale that Argentian had up its sleeve. Just like Brazil had at the end.
The last platform is so far away that it is accessed by a little train. Once you arrive, again be prepared to walk, but this was one of the craziest walks ever. The platform is built on top of the river which is nuts. Walking gets the heart racing as the roar of Iguazu Falls get closer and closer.
As you arrive at the end of the platform you come out at the Devils’ throat. Right at the waterfall’s edge before it drops over into the abyss. I have no idea how they built this platform where it is, but thank you to people who did. It is INSANE!
It quite literally takes your breath away! A different experience of Iguazu Falls from the Brazilan side but just as thrilling!
So which side of Iguazu Falls is better? The Brazilian side or the Argentinian side.
I personally think that you cannot compare them and you need to do them both. Each side offers a completely different experience of Iguazu Falls and you would be shooting yourself in the foot to go all this way and only do one side. YOU NEED TO DO BOTH SIDES. Enjoy 🙂