Exploring the Falls in Foz do Iguaçu, Brasil

The city of Foz do Iguaçu is located where Brazil meets Argentina and Paraguay. The Iguaçu (Iguazu, Iguassu, Iguacu) Falls are the main attraction, with great viewing from both the Brazil and Argentina sides.

We arrived at about noon into the small airport of Foz do Iguaçu. The weather was sunny and pleasant.

20130907-103625.jpg

We headed to our hotel, Iguassu Resort which was ranked #2 on TripAdvisor right behind the classic and famous Hotel das Cataratas, run by Orient-Express, which is perched above the falls itself. Unfortunately, it could not accommodate all of us in a single room and two rooms seemed a bit pricey. The Iguassu Resort had nice rooms and a nice new lobby, but the pool was cold and food wasn’t great. They were also in the process of a major remodel of their golf course. The location was ok – about 5 minutes from the airport – but 15-20 minutes from the falls.

After getting changed and grabbing a snack, we headed to the falls. We booked a tour with Macuco Safari who took us on a little jungle ride and hike down to the water (note the ready-to-get-wet water shirt):
20130907-103531.jpg

Above the boat dock, they sell things like towels and ponchos. This should have been our first clue. We were given a couple ponchos by our taxi driver, and we found a third poncho above the changing area (2nd clue). With our crew outfitted, we headed to the boat:
20130907-103600.jpg

We donned life vests and cinched down the ponchos:
20130907-103647.jpg

The ride to the falls was warm and sunny, but it was about 4:30PM and the sun is starting to drop behind the walls of the river.
20130907-103540.jpg

We stopped briefly at the fork in the river that delineates Brazil and Argentina.

And then we headed to get up close and personal with the falls. First just a drive by to see the pretty rainbows from all the spray.
GOPR2737

And then it got a little wetter:

You can watch more here (same video as the preview):

Gallons upon gallons of cold water soaked us instantly. If they didn’t feel we were quite wet enough, they would back the boat under the falls. Yep, they got us good an wet to the point where teeth were chattering. Fortunately, the ride back was sunny and warm, and we decided it was time to head back to the hotel.

Above the Falls

The next morning we decided to get up early to see the falls from above. So, we hopped a taxi to take us there, but first we needed money to pay the taxi, and through some bad translation from the hotel staff, our taxi driver took us 30 minutes into town (away from the falls) to find a bank.
20130907-103738.jpg
Strangely, it only took about 10 minutes to get back… Back to the falls!

You can walk along a series of paths along the river, across from the falls. We saw the Argentina side and boats that we had seen the previous day:
IMG_1921

IMG_1927

Falls all around:
20130907-103832.jpg
20130907-103915.jpg

And more scenic look outs, but this time we came prepared to get a little damp.
IMG_7036

The mist generated by the falls created a great effect in the trees and sun beams:
20130907-103927.jpg

Devil’s Throat

Devil’s Throat is an narrow area of the falls which sees a high volume of water come through it. A month prior to our visit, they had to close access to the falls for a few days because it was flowing over the top of the walkways.
There are walkways on the Argentinean side over Devil’s Throat, and there is one on the Brazil side that walks below it.

Here is a quick tour down the walkway:

20130907-104032.jpg

20130907-104022.jpg

20130907-104006.jpg

20130907-103957.jpg

DCIM100GOPRO

Ultimately, we got right under one of the falls. Very impressive!

IMG_1948

DCIM100GOPRO

After the falls, we hopped the bus back to the visitors’ center and grabbed a taxi to our hotel. A quick lunch and we were off to the airport for a 5PM flight to Porto Alégre for the night before an early morning flight to Peru.

Happy RTW Travels!