Spread between Argentina and Brazil, Iguazú Falls has been classified as the Seven Wonder of the World. It features 275 waterfalls up to 80 meters high, and one of the most spectacular and colossal is the Devil Throat, a massive drop of turbulent water as you’ve never seen before. Puerto Iguazú is the closest city to the Iguazú National Park in the Argentinian side, and travelers visit the city all year round since it’s on this side that the 80% of the falls are located. First inhabited by the Guaraníes and then colonized by the Spanish Jesuits,
Iguazú still displays many of the traditions of both Argentine and European culture. Not far from Puerto Iguazú, the archeological remains of San Ignacio Miní Mission can be visited, as well as native communities that still live in the area. The Iguazú National Park is a natural reserve aimed to protect the Selva Misionera (the jungle of Misiones) where half of the bird species in Argentina can be found and some endangered species like the Jaguar are protected.
This vantage point to the west of the city center is located high above the confluence of the Iguazú and Paraná rivers, which also form the Triple Frontier. A mini blue and white obelisk will remind you that you are in Argentina; across the Iguazú River the equivalent will be yellow/green in Brazil; further afield, on the other side of the Paraná, Paraguay will be represented in the colors red, white and blue.
Addrese: Avenida Rio Iguazú and Avenida Tres Fronteras.
Days and times: Open 24 hours a day.
Rainforests around the world are threatened by human activity, and Argentina’s are no exception. This unique place has the goal of both preserving endangered native species, as well as broadening the appreciation of the visiting local ecology. Designed to ‘capture the consciousness of man’ (an Aripuca is a trap used by the Guarani to catch small animals) this interesting structure is made from the wood of 29 different endangered native tree species. While this may sound counterintuitive, the wood used here was salvaged, and the trap itself is a work of art. Visitors can either adopt a tree for 30 years, or for life, and are encouraged to visit their “child” to check on his progress.
Address: RN 12, Km 5, Puerto Iguazú, 3370.
Days and times: Monday to Sunday from 08:00 to 18:00.
As its name suggests, Güira Oga (the house of the birds in the Guaraní language) is a paradise for native birds. Wounded, sick, abandoned and endangered species are housed and attempts are made to recover them. If the birds evolve positively, they are returned to their natural habitat. It is an original visit and in which fauna that, otherwise, could not be appreciated. The center also aims to play an important educational role, raising awareness of the plight of endangered animals and the impact of human activity.
Address: RN 12, Km 5, Puerto Iguazú, 3370.
Days and times: Monday to Sunday from 09:00 to 18:00.
It is a project that a local family created in their home garden. You can spend a couple of hours seeing more than 20 species of native hummingbirds throughout the year. They get very close to you. So grab your camera and shoot. You have to pay a ticket, and you can stay as long as you want.
Address: Fray Luis Beltran 150, Puerto Iguazú, Argentina.
Days and times: Winter: 08:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00 / Summer: 08:30 to 12:00 and 15:30 to 18:30.
Chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers, this monumental structure produces 25% of the electricity in Brazil and 78% in Paraguay. It was the largest hydroelectric plant on the planet until the “Three Gorges” dam in China was completed. If you are interested in visiting it, consider the special tours, which will take you inside the cavernous structure and include a visit to the control room.
Address: Av. Tancredo Neves 6702, Foz do Iguaçu, 85867-970 Brazil / Telephone: 800 / 645-4645.
Days and hours: Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.
Flamingos, parrots and toucans are just some of the most colorful inhabitants of this “Parque das Aves” which is located on the Brazilian side of the Falls. It is located just outside the Foz de Iguazú National Park and is an interesting complement to the visit to the falls. You will walk through the jungle and discover hundreds of species of birds. In addition, you will be able to spot iguanas, alligators and other featherless friends, who have their own enclosures.
Address: Km 17.1, Rodovia das Cataratas, Foz do Iguaçu.
Days and times: Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 17:00.
In the middle of the jungle and overlooking the river, there is a sanctuary called Our Lady of Iguazú. It has an old amphitheater with a capacity for 7,000 spectators and, the most peculiar thing is its cross that is inside the chapel, made of a jungle vine, known as a “monkey ladder”. This center of devotion is located 2 km from Route 12 by kilometer 5 approximately, opposite the entrance to the Jardin Güira Oga. You can go by public bus from the bus station.
This traditional fair, known as the feirinha, operates on a property owned by National Parks, where more than 70 stores are located with typical products of the region and other parts of the country. In addition, there are stalls to taste cheeses, wines and hams. It is worth shopping around to see everything they have to offer.
Address: Av. Brasil 530, Puerto Iguazú
Days and times: Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 23:00.
It is the typical tourist bus in which the passenger can start his tour at any of the stops and also end it where he prefers. In this case, the ticket has 4 dies (1, 2, 3 and 4) that will allow the passenger to climb up to 4 times. This is a great advantage since in this way you can combine the visit to another attraction and then you can go back up at the next time without having to pay again.
Address: To buy the ticket: Av. Córdoba and Av. Misiones, Local 1. To take the bus: Departures from Plaza San Martín.
Days and times: Tuesday to Sunday at 8:30, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30 and 16:30.
Av. Córdoba and Carlos Thays, Puerto Iguazú. Tel. +54 3757 422064.
Latin / Argentine / Vegetarian Friendly
In Aqva you can eat typical dishes with a special touch: meat, fish and pasta; whatever you choose is not going to disappoint you. The presentation of the dishes is also something to highlight. Of course, we recommend that you book before going, since it is often full.
Bompland 110, Puerto Iguazú. Tel. +54 3757 420151.
Latin / Grill
Excellent place for meat lovers. But not highly recommended for vegetarians, as it specializes in grilled meat and fish. Although there is live music every day, you can also choose to sit in a separate room, if you prefer to chat with friends and be more calm. It is a good choice to learn about Argentine folklore. The musicians are good and the food is plentiful. It is a very good option considering price / quality.
Av. Córdoba 135. Tel. +54 3757 420206.
Pizzeria / Minutes
This informal restaurant offers pizzas, minutes and dishes prepared at completely competitive prices. It is super cheap and that is why many people frequent it. Therefore, sometimes the service can be a little slow, and that leads to it being better to order pizza, which comes out faster.
Hotel Loi Suites – Selva Iriapu Sin Numero, Puerto Iguazú. Tel. +54 3757 498300 Author / Gourmet
To get to this restaurant you have to go through the jungle, which makes it an experience in itself. Although it is a bit far from the town, it is surrounded by greenery, has excellent decoration, and stands out for its music and atmosphere. It is not economical, therefore, it could be that “taste” that we can give ourselves on the trip; to get out of your everyday options a bit and try some gourmet delicacies.
Córdoba 28. Tel. +54 3757 42-2531
Pasta / Meats
In this restaurant you will find options such as pasta, fish and meat. Those who frequent it highly recommend surubí. And, although it is not cheap, the good quality of the products they use justifies its price.
Av. Perito Moreno 261, Puerto Iguazú. Tel. +54 11 5951-6786
Brewery / Pizzeria
If you are looking for a relaxed place that also serves pizza and craft beer, Humulus Cervecería is where you have to go in Puerto Iguazú. Its moderate prices and its relaxed atmosphere will captivate you. The patio is very picturesque to spend a nice moment and if we talk about their menu, you don’t have to miss out on trying their four cheese pizza.
Perito F P Moreno 207 Street, Puerto Iguazú. Tel. +54 3757 42-4639
Pizzeria / Empanadas
La Misionerita is – nothing more and nothing less than – the best empanadas and pizzas house in Puerto Iguazú. Of course, do not expect luxuries, it is a cheap and informal restaurant. Also in La Misionerita you will be able to try the typical “Paraguayan soup”.
Avenida Brasil 57, Puerto Iguazú. Tel. +54 9 3757 54-0018
Latin / Argentine / Vegetarian Friendly
The Argentina Experience, as its name implies, is not just a restaurant, it is an experience itself. In this place, you will prepare drinks, taste typical Argentine food and spend an unforgettable moment with other tourists. On their website you can book the experience in both English and Portuguese and pay in advance, so you won’t get any surprise later.
We recommend at least 2 nights to get to know both sides of the falls. If you don’t have time you can take a flight and visit the Argentine side of the falls in a one day round-trip from Buenos Aires.
The months of March, April and May are considered the best time to visit Iguazú Falls, since the rains decrease and the temperatures are more pleasant and moderate. However, those who want to avoid crowds should aim for a date away from the Easter holidays or weekends.
The climate in the Iguazú Falls is humid subtropical, typical of the jungle. Summers are very hot while autumn, winter and spring have mild days. However, it is important to bear in mind that during the winter months there may be cool days (average temperatures of 15ºC), so it is advisable to bring something warm. In summer (from December to March) temperatures can be suffocating (average highs of 32ºC) for those who are not used to heat and humidity.
You can visit the Brazilian side in a half-day excursion from Puerto Iguazú (Argentina).
ATMs are located in banks, most of them, but are open 24hs. Each bank has a different fee that will charge you to use their system, plus your bank fee. We recommend bringing a couple of US dollars and exchanging them, so you have some cash to move around and then pay with Credit cards or use an ATM whenever you run out of money.
You can use credit cards and US dollars in Puerto Iguazú. However, it will be more convenient for you to exchange pesos rather than using US dollars. The rate that shops or restaurants use might not be the most convenient for you.
In restaurants, it’s customary to tip about 10% of the bill. Note that tips can’t be added to credit-card bills, so carry cash for this purpose. Estimate around USD 10/15 per person for the guide, for a full day tour and half of it for the driver. In hotels, you should tip porters for handling bags (calculate an amount of currency equal to about $1.00 for every two bags, same amount is calculated for drivers if they help you with your suitcases), the housekeeping (between US$0.50 – $1.00 per night), and the concierge staff if you have used them to arrange dinner reservations, transportation or leisure activities. In Argentina we don’t regularly tip taxi drivers.
Estimate around USD 50/100 per day, per person for daily expenses like eating, shopping and transportation, depending on how much money you want to spend on these.
As we are talking about a humid subtropical climate, it is important that you bring fresh clothes and the occasional coat, just in case. When you visit the Park, it would be good to bring an extra change of clothes and a hand towel. The force of the water from the falls causes a constant mist, which at the end of the day ends up wetting us. Don’t forget to bring sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. We also recommend that you wear comfortable shoes since if you decide to walk all the trails in the Park, at the end of the day you will have walked 7 km. Remember that the yellow fever vaccine is mandatory to visit this destination.
Argentine side: USD 25.- per person. You can pay at the ticket offices at the entrance to the Park in cash (in Argentine pesos) or with a credit or debit card. They can also be purchased online. Opening hours: The Park opens every day of the year from 8:00hs. You can enter until 4:30 pm and stay inside the Park until 6:00 pm.
Brazilian side: USD 15.- per person. You can pay with cash or credit card. Opening hours: From 9am to 4pm.
At the end of your first day of visit, go to the ticket offices of the Park Access to revalidate your ticket, and get a 50% discount on the value of your ticket for the second consecutive day of visit.
If you like running, you cannot miss the route of the Costanera del Río Iguazú. This route connects the small local port with the famous Landmark of the Three Borders, both with tourist activities and insurance for the visitor and the citizen.
Head to the Landmark of the Three Borders Amphitheater first thing in the morning to be able to meditate in a quiet and beautiful place.
Both at the Hito de las tres Fronteras and at the port of the city of Iguazú you will be able to admire the sunset freely and for free.
For those who want to have a more exclusive experience, the terrace bar of the Hotel Panorámic and the Hotel Amérian offer great views. Lastly, the Alter rooftop bar (at the Gran Meliá Iguazú hotel) has magnificent views of the sunset over the Iguazú Falls.
For more than ten years, Vida Silvestre, with the support of WWF (the World Conservation Organization), has worked for the conservation of the forest in Misiones, where the largest continuous block of remaining forests is located, one of the few that still shelters jaguars. From the heart of the missionary jungle, conservation and sustainable development actions are promoted. You can learn more about this project here.
In Puerto Iguazú, the MATE Project (Argentine Model for Tourism and Employment) is dedicated to increasing employment opportunities for young residents of poor neighborhoods. The MATE Model aims to develop the potential work capacity of the indigenous communities near the Iguazú Falls, through the generation of cultural activities and the exercise of fair, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible tourism. You can learn more about this project here.
The Yaguareté Project seeks to ensure the conservation of a viable long-term population of jaguars and the species with which they live in northern Argentina. Their efforts are focused on generating information on the situation of the species, the state of its habitat and understanding its threats, to implement conservation measures in the Paranaense Forest, in the Chaco Region and in the Yungas of Salta and Jujuy, and the reintroduction of the species in the province of Corrientes. You can learn more about this project here.
Rewilding is an association that is not specifically for the Iguazu Falls, but it does protect other areas of Argentina. It is a foundation created to confront and reverse the extinction of species and the resulting environmental degradation, recovering the functionality of ecosystems and promoting the well-being of local communities. You can learn more about this project here.
When you visit Iguazú, and if you are interested in the original culture of the area, do not miss this community. It is within the same city and you can surely walk from your hotel. Not only will you be able to know how the Guarani lived – since they retain many of their customs – but you will also be able to buy handicrafts and take home a memory of this great experience.
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