My previous São Paulo report is here:
Our Iguassu Falls vacation rental was practically perfect. A modern, upscale three-bedroom villa in a nice area, with a private pool, waterfall and Jacuzzi, huge kitchen and living room, another hot tub in the master bath, ice-cold air-conditioning throughout. I don’t know what else to say to convince you. Or maybe this: It cost us $80 a day.
Iguassu Falls Vacation Rental
Living room with a large screen TV and a lot of English-language channels
Bar and Grill
Other Bedrooms (sorry for the pic)
Raphael lives a couple minutes away, and he was a great host. The internet and TV stopped working once, and he showed up minutes later. He was always available at a moment’s notice.
Raphael also got us in touch with a local tour company, who drove us around. We couldn’t be happier. The listing is here. Very highly recommended!
Iguassu Falls Vacation: Time Management
Iguassu Falls is a real Wonder of the World (not just because some company said so, but because it is!), and now that both Brazil and Argentina suspend visa requirements until September, it’s the perfect time to visit. You can do Iguassu Falls in two days, but here is the thing – why do you need to rush? Yes, it’s easy to do each side in one day, and we did exactly that, by I would set at least 4 days to explore the Falls, the area and just relax — it’s your vacation, not a reconnaissance mission.
I’m surprised that so many travelers dismiss the Brazilian side of the fall. Yes, the path is shorter and you can walk it in two hours, but so what? You get to see some major falls up-close and personal, something that the Argentinian side doesn’t have. Do these look like the waste of time to you? The cost is R$47 or about $14.
Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the boat ride to the Eye of the Hurricane edge of the waterfall. Costs more, but man, what a thrill! Do yourself a favor and change into a swimsuit before boarding – there are changing rooms and lockers for a nominal fee. Leave you non-waterproofed cellphones and cameras behind or prepare to lose them, as you will be soaking wet, guaranteed. A similar trip is available on the Argentinian side, as well.
If you start in the morning and don’t rush things, you’ll be home around 3PM (after getting beers or/and food supply from a supermarket). Relax at the pool, then go to the Rafain Churrascaria Show, which is probably the biggest tourist trap in the area. Visit it not for a so-so buffet, but great Latin America cultural show. You will enjoy it as long as you’re not there for the food… 🙂
Argentina Day 1
You can easily see the Argentinian side in one day (which we did), but why hurry, especially that you can get the second day ticket for 50% off? See the Devil’s Throat first (you will ride a fun train (where your knees will get intimately acquainted with the knees of complete strangers, so don’t try to fight it), then walk along the Lower Circuit. Take a boat to Isla San Martin for some beach time. Note that the entry fee must be paid in cash and only in Argentinian Pesos. If you don’t have the local currency, you will be turned away. If you are not staying on the Argentinian side, change your money in Brazil. The ticket costs 330 pesos, which is about $24.
They often close Devil’s Throat if the water level is too high. I didn’t get to see it when I visited Iguassu Falls for the first time 9 years ago. Isla San Martin is also often off limits, as it was this time, too.
Approching Devil’s Throat
Try to describe Devil’s throat and you’ll run out of superlatives really fast. I haven’t been to Victoria Falls yet, so I’m not sure if there is a site there that would impress me more than this. For now, it’s safe to say, I’ve never seen anything like it in my whole life. If you are on the first train to visit Devil’s Throat in the morning, you will have it to yourself and a small group of like-minded early birds for at least 30-40 minutes. However, some people like visiting it later in the day due to better conditions for photography. There are always trade-offs as pointed out in this article. Well, here is the thought — go in the morning, then return back in the afternoon. How does that sound?
Looking into the Abyss
The crossroad. Unfortunately, the island was closed due to the floods. Bummer!
Argentina Day 2
Walk the Upper Circuit. They have opened a lot of new walkways that weren’t there a few years ago. It’s a long trail, so go slow, take a lot of pictures, don’t rush it.
A boat like this will take you to the edge of the waterfall. Not to be missed!
Relatively small but famous Las Hermanas Fall
Chillout Barbecue Day (that never happened)
It was criminal not to use the state of the art grill at the villa – but we opted to tour the Itaipu Dam instead. That turned out to be a mistake. The tour was kind of boring, so don’t make the same mistake unless you’re planning to take the Itaipu Lake Catamaran ride.
We didn’t know about that option, and it seems you have to buy your Catamaran ticket before you start the tour.
The Catamaran Station
The view from the restaurant
Iguassu Falls Vacation: Butterflies of Iguassu
If you are a butterfly lover, prepare to be delighted. If not, prepare to be annoyed and accosted. Seriously, there are swarms of butterflies everywhere you go, that land on you in numbers, and at some point they become a nuisance. No, I’m not complaining, it is a scene to behold.
When you get hungry…
All in all, we couldn’t be happier with our lodging choice, not even mentioning the destination! Iguassu Falls is one of these places where you wouldn’t stay longer than a few days at a time. but always want to return to. I already do.
Next report: Salvador, Bahia.