Iguazu Falls From Argentina And Brazil Sides

Iguazu Falls From Argentina And Brazil Sides

We Explored Iguazu Falls From Argentina And Brazil Sides

We were so glad we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.  Our stay at the Gran Melia Iguazu inside the Iguazu National Park (Parque Nacional Iguazu) was the perfect spot to enjoy this great outdoor adventure.

Hiking on the lower and upper paths on the Argentina side of Iguazu National Park we got so many different views of the waterfalls.  We walked the boardwalk in Argentina and peered down the mighty Devil’s Throat.  And a boating adventure gave us a wet view from below the falls.

On another day we crossed the border into Brazil and got a very different perspective on Iguazu Falls (Parque Nacional Do Iguacu).  Wandering out on the boardwalk gave us another close-up view of the Devil’s Throat.  But our excitement did not end there.  We finished our day in Brazil with a helicopter tour over the Iguazu Falls.

Helisul Helicopter Tour - Belmond Cataratas Hotel - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

We travelled from our stay in Buenos Aires and had a very busy 3 days in Iguazu Falls. We saw the stunning set of waterfalls from every possible perspective.  And we went home with so many great memories of this iconic sight in South America.

Planning Our Visit To Iguazu Falls

The Iguazu Falls were a top UNESCO destination for any trip to South America and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.  We visited Niagara Falls at home in Toronto many times.  But we were excited when we learned the Iguazu Falls were nearly twice as tall as Niagara Falls.  There were 275 waterfalls on the border between Argentina and Brazil in a series of complex cascades across the Iguazú River over a 4 km long horseshoe shape. 

On our cruise around South America, we really wanted to do an excursion and visit Iguazu Falls.  We would only have time for a day trip.  But we could not make it happen.  So when we planned our cruise to Antarctica, we added some great stops in South America.  And looked at options to visit Iguazu Falls.

Our cruise company Silversea Cruises offered trips to Iguazu Falls before and after their Antarctica cruises.  But when we planned our cruise late, there was no availability left on the Silversea Cruises trips.  

We did the investigation on flights to and from Iguazu Falls.  And determined we wanted to stay within the park at the Gran Melia Iguazu.  Early planning gave us a budget number without any tours. But when we booked our Antarctica cruise with Tully Luxury Travel we found a much better option for planning our visit to Iguazu.  Tully put together a complete itinerary from Buenos Aires that included the flights, hotel, airport transfers and two full tour days.  We were so excited when we reviewed the plans to explore Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.

Travelling To And From Iguazu Falls

We arrived in Buenos Aires from our stay in Santiago at dinner time.  And knew we only had a quick stop in Buenos Aries before we got on a plane again.  We were happy when the hotel kept our big luggage with all of our winter clothes from our cruise to Antarctica.  

Our wake-up call got us a quick breakfast at 6am before we took an Uber to the domestic airport.  The  quick availability of an Uber and the short ride gave us an optimistic start to yet another transit day.  But what should have been a quick flight from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls turned out to be a disappointing start to our visit.  

When we arrived at the airport our first dilemma was around the baggage allowance.  Nothing about baggage limits was on our ticket and when we clicked the baggage link for Air Argentina, no page was available.  We were not sure if our small rolling bags were acceptable as carry-on with a backpack.  When we finally found a sign with a baggage sample we felt we could manage without checking our bags.  

Despite a very early arrival at the airport, the gate for our flight was moved three times.  We got no advance notice that our flight was delayed.  Our 8:30 departure time finally happened at 11:00.  We joined the group of anxious travellers excited when we finally saw a gate sign with our flight on it.  And we were happy when we got on the plane and our rolling bags fit overhead!  

The return flight from Iguazu to Buenos Aires was again late – but not as much.  We had a worse issue trying to get an Uber from the domestic airport.  After being cancelled by Uber drivers twice, we finally just grabbed a cab.

We were sad to start and end an amazing adventure to Iguazu with lousy travel experiences.

Staying Inside The Iguazu National Park On The Argentina Side At Gran Melia Iguazu

When we did our initial planning, we wanted to stay at the Gran Melia Iguazu.  The hotel was located inside the Iguazu National Park in Argentina and many rooms had views out over Iguazu Falls.  On other visits to National Parks we stayed outside the park and always regretted it.  This time we were not making the same mistake. 

In our initial discussions with Tully we considered an upgraded experience at the Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas on the Brazil side of Iguazu Falls.  This was a much more luxurious hotel.  But with a busy agenda for 3 days we felt we would not really take advantage of the extra amenities.  So in the end we stayed with the Gran Melia Iguazu.  But our booking with Tully got us upgraded to the Red Level service with a better room and lounge access.

We were picked up at the airport by our guide.  Chilcinielly whisked us quickly to the car and we were soon at the hotel.  We had a free afternoon and then she would meet us the next day.

As soon as we entered the hotel we knew we picked the right spot to stay.  From the lobby we saw the Iguazu Falls in the distance.  When we got up to our room, we got an even better view over the hotel property and out to the falls.  

Gran Melia View
Gran Melia Room View - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
Gran Melia Room View To Falls

Our first views sure made us excited when we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.

Interesting Sights From Our Balcony

The view from our balcony was dazzling throughout the day.  But as we watched the colourful sunsets turn to a dark night sky we were amazed when we saw the full moon shining brightly for our entire visit.  We inquired about taking a special night tour to Iguazu Falls for full moon views but in the end we did not set it up.  We happily enjoyed the view from our balcony.

Gran Melia Sunset - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

But we were not the only ones who loved the great views from the balconies.  When we checked into the hotel we were warned about the Capuchin monkeys and were told to never leave our patio doors unlocked.  When we went up to our room after dinner the first night, we learned why.  

A curious group of monkeys entered someone’s unlocked room and brought out all the snack food.  The glass bottle of nuts was broken and spread across several balconies.  We saw wrappers for many other things strewn along the path.  And in the midst of this mess we saw a group of monkeys enjoying the treats.  Or maybe they were just enjoying the view! 

Gran Melia Capuchin Monkey - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
Gran Melia Capuchin Monkeys
Gran Melia Monkey View - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

Every day we saw monkeys on the balconies.  One morning we were up early with other guests and from our balconies we all enjoyed the sight of monkeys as they scrambled from spot to spot.  One day a newly arrived guest was surprised when a monkey quickly scooped up her lunch on an outdoor patio.  When we finally saw Capuchin monkeys in the park, we passed them by.   We had all the monkey entertainment we wanted at the hotel.

Gran Melia Capuchin Monkeys

We came for the waterfall views as we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.  But we had many interesting sights on our visit.

Starting On The Lower Path In The Iguazú National Park Lower Path

The Iguazu National Park on the Argentina side offered many things to see and do.  Different hiking paths offered varied perspectives on the Iguazu Falls.

We had a free afternoon when we arrived so we headed out and hiked the Lower Path (Circuito Inferior).  A hike around the 1,700 meter walkway provided our first viewpoints to the Iguazu Falls. 

The Lower Path was not an accessible route. We made our way down below the falls and then climbed our way back up. The first waterfalls we saw got us excited for the view we knew awaited us.

Lower Path
Lower Path Lanussse and Alvar Nunez - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

Our first view of the stunning series of Iguazu Falls on the Argentina side was stunning.  We continued and got even closer views.

Lower Path San Martin - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

From the Iguazu River, the Lower Path headed back into the rainforest.  Stops along the way showed us more of the variety of waterfalls in the park.

Lower Path Dos Hermanas - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

Our hike along the the Lower Path got us excited for what was to come for two more days as we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.

Different Views From The Upper Path When We Explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

Having hiked the Lower Path, we wanted to see the falls from another level. The Upper Path (Paseo Superior) had no stairs and the 1,750 meters tree-lined walkway was fully accessible. When we reached the river, we found viewpoints out over the Iguazu Falls.

Upper Path Bossetti - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

We continued along the Upper Path and crossed boardwalks that took us over the top of the cascading falls. We got stunning views of water as it rushed over the cliff edges. 

Upper Path San Martin - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

As we walked the Upper Path we got more amazing views as we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.

A Close-Up View Of The Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo)

For a different walk in the Iguazu National Park, we took the Ecological Train to the start of the boardwalk that went to the Devil’s Throat. 

Devils Throat Walkway

On the platform over the Devil’s Throat we got a close-up view of the thundering waters falling over the edge and down 90 metres. 

Devils Throat Falls - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
Devils Throat Falls - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

Even though we got thoroughly soaked, we were so glad we walked along the boardwalk to the Devil’s Throat. It was an exciting and memorable sight as we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.

Seeing The Iguazu Falls At Water Level

We booked the Great Adventure tour and got a jeep ride and a fast boat trip on the Iguazu River.  From the water level, we marvelled at the wide perspective we got of the Iguazu Falls. And then the boat went right up to the falls. We were quickly drenched by the mist and crashing waters.

Macuco Great Adventure Boat
Macuco Great Adventure Boat - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
Macuco Great Adventure Boat
Boat Ride Close up View Under Falls

We were glad we saw the falls from the water. From this perspective of the Iguazu Falls we really felt the power of the waterfalls as the water thundered down around us. Our boat trip was a fun adventure as we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.

Exploring The Brazil Side Of Iguazu Falls

We also got to explore the Iguazu Falls from the Brazil side. The trail went along the Iguazu River and provided us with vistas over to the Iguazu Falls on the Argentina side. 

Brazil Falls Walk - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
Brazil Falls Walk - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

At the end of the path we found the metal boardwalk down at water level that went out into the mists of the thundering falls.  A long walk in the rain got us soggy but stunning views of the falls close to the Devil’s Throat.

Brazil Falls Boardwalk - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
Brazil Falls Boardwalk View

From the platforms we got more views out over the boardwalk and the falls.  

Brazil Falls Walk - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
Brazil Falls Walk

It was amazing to see the waterfalls from this different perspective on the Brazil side.  We were so glad we planned to cross the border when we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.

Helicopter Views Of Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

Wet but extremely satisfied we stopped for lunch at the Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas.  This was the other hotel we considered for our stay in Iguazu.  So we wanted to get a quick look while in Brazil.  From the front of the hotel we saw the view right to the Iguazu Falls.

Cataratas Hotel - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
Cataratas Hotel

We found a spot on the covered patio and ordered a light lunch.  There was a great menu and a buffet at lunch too.  Our view by the empty outdoor pool was a relaxing way to finish an exciting morning. 

Belmond Cataratas Hotel
Cataratas Hotel Lunch - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

We really wanted to do a helicopter tour while we were on the Brazil side.  But no helicopters flew in the bad morning weather. When small patches of blue sky appeared after lunch, we were excited when we got a helicopter tour at the Helisul helipad.

Our first view of the Iguazu Falls from above was simply breathtaking! The helicopter circled a few times for panoramic views of the different cascades on both the Argentina and Brazil sides.

Helisul Helicopter Tour - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil

We got a great view down to the Devil’s Throat. From the air we easily found the long walkways we walked for views of the rushing waters on both the Argentina and Brazil sides.

Helisul Helicopter Tour - Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
Helisul Helicopter Tour

Our helicopter tour put all the different viewings of Iguazu Falls we had into perspective.  It was definitely a stunning way to finish up as we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.

Saying Goodbye To Iguazu Falls

Our guide picked us up on the last day to go to the airport.  But we were not yet done with great sights in the Iguazu National Park.  The driver stopped when he saw one Toucan.  And then a group of Toucans landed in the trees.  

Park Toucan

We did not see any jaguars on our visit to Iguana Falls despite warning signs everywhere.  But we smiled when we saw the wires over the road. These bridges were used as overpasses by the frisky Capuchin monkeys.  We sure saw our share of those on our visit.

Park Monkey Bridge

The airport in Iguazu was small so it was a quick process to get to the gate.  In-flight we watched out the airplane window for a last sight of Iguazu Falls.  But either we were on the wrong side or the flight path missed the view.  

We landed back in Buenos Aires exhausted but thrilled by our visit to this amazing UNESCO site.

An Amazing Trip To See Iguazu Falls From Argentina And Brazil

We were amazed when we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil.  The Gran Melia Hotel in the Iguazu National Park was the perfect base to explore from. And the views from the hotel were memorable.

We saw the vast array of cascading waterfalls on hikes, at viewpoints over the falling waters, from the water and even from above on a helicopter tour.  The Iguazu Falls were a highlight of this visit to South America.  

When we flew back to enjoy our stay in Buenos Aires we were so glad we planned the 3 day trip to Iguazu Falls.  The stunning views of nature were a very different sight than we found when we explored the sights of Buenos Aires.  

Have you explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides?  Did you have a favourite sight or adventure?

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59 Comments

  1. This is incredible! What an amazing chance of a lifetime to be able to travel and see these falls. The accommodations look wonderful and it is fun to see monkeys too – the babies are especially cute!

  2. Although I’m even not that crazy about waterfalls, Iguazu was definitely a special experience. Unfortunately, I planned a too short amount of time but still got to see a lot. However, I went only to the Brazilian side where I also visited the bird park afterwards. Although I personally wouldn’t do it for environmental reasons, I totally can see how amazing the views are from the heli – a whole different perspective, indeed. Iguazu is definitely a place I would love to visit again.

  3. The world has so many natural wonders, and this is definitely one of them. Your photos are magnificent and really making me want to visit.

    • It was great to get to Iguazu Falls on this trip. We were close the last time we were in South America and could not pass on this trip. Amazing to visit Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides.

  4. Wow! What an amazing adventure! You certainly saw the falls from every angle. I’m sure the rubbish travel experience will not impact on your memories of this trip. I am really quite envious. I thought Niagara Falls were stunning, but Iguazu….words fail me! And those little monkeys! I would almost be tempted to leave the doors open to tempt them in….perhaps not!

  5. OMG this looks incredible! I always love visiting waterfalls but I have never been to one quite as amazing as Iguazu Falls – woooow! Everything from the multiple viewpoints to the fabulous views (and monkeys) from the balcony looks brilliant! <3

      • Lol I was thinking that when I read this! You guys often post about amazing waterfalls, so if you think it’s good, you know it’s going to be amazing!

  6. This place is definitely on my bucket list. It looks absolutely stunning. I guess the monkeys are a bonus 🙂 I really love your pics and you have inspired me to go. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Wow. You find the best hotels! I wish we had stayed there as our vrbo was disappointing. But the falls were certainly worth it. We only saw them from the Brazil side…I would love to visit again.

    • We have visited other parks and not stayed in the park and regretted it. So this time we wanted the full experience. And were so glad we saw Iguazu from both Argentina and Brazil.

  8. I was not aware that Igazu fall is on the border. I thought only Niagara fall is one such fall where you can experience it from both sides of the border. In comparison, Igazu seems so breathtaking. I really like the bridge that takes one closer to the fall. I suppose, the cruise one takes gets you completely drenched.

  9. I’ve visited Niagara Falls from the Canadian side and was amazed, so I can just imagine Iguazu Falls would blow my mind. The views you captured and were able to see both aerial and directly on the water are simply incredible! I have to visit in person one day.

  10. I love the detailed information here. Iguazu Falls is on my bucket list but it’s so far and expensive that didn’t manage to plan it yet.

  11. I am from Argentina and I am sooo glad you had a great time there! Iguazu is one of my fave destinations in the country.
    The Melia hotel is truly an experience

    • We were so sorry we missed the Iguazu Falls on our first visit to Argentina. So we were sure to book enough time on this second trip to really see it all. Staying inside the park at the Melia made it extra special.

  12. Oh goodness! Those monkeys are cute, but it sounds like they are really rigorous in their quest for food. So mischievous! Also, I am very obsessed with Niagara Falls (so jealous you live near them), but the Iguazu National Park’s falls look like they’re even more breathtaking. How fun that you saw them from both Brazil and Argentina. What a great experience! Thanks for sharing it — I wasn’t even aware of these falls beforehand.

  13. Well Iguazu Falls is definitely on my bucket list though I have no idea how I would achieve it currently. Still after reading your interesting blog post , the flame has burned brighter again to plan a visit. The Hotel Gran Melia Iguazu is the perfect choice and you definitely did it right to stay inside the National Park. I truly enjoyed the photos you took of the majestic waterfall. What an incredible sight – and experience all in all. Seeing the capuchin monkey and toucan is the cherry on top.

  14. oh wow what a great writeup on Iguazu falls with some amazing photos, the excitement of the jeep ride and a fast boat trip on the Iguazu River going right up to the falls, what an adventure!

  15. It is great that you were able to see the Iguazu Falls from both Argentina and Brazil side and also you could marvel at the stunning sunset and moonlit views from Gran Melia Iguazu hotel. I have been to Niagara falls in Toronto and I admire it’s beauty in daylight as well as at night with colorful lights.But would love to visit the Iguazu Falls which is twice the height of Niagara falls and appears in a series of cascades shaped like a horseshoe. Nice that you were also able to view the falls from the chopper ride.

  16. You had a great go at the Iguazu falls from both sides! I love the name ‘Devil’s throat” – exciting. Monkeys can be a real pain, apart from stealing food, they can also grab things like hats or sunglasses while you are wearing them. I am a bit scared of them! The falls look really awesome with pics taken from every perspective.

  17. I love that you took time and explore Iguazu Falls from both countries. I had no idea that the falls are composed of actually 275 waterfalls stretching of over 4 kiloemters. That is impressive! You have definitely explores so many angles of this site. My favourite would be the Devil’s Throat, where you get very personal with the water – aka very wet.

  18. Wow! This is amazing and a helicopter tour is definitely the perfect way to see this magnificent view of the Iguazu falls.

    Gran Melia Iguazu is indeed the perfect choice for accommodation. Thanks for the heads up about the Capuchin monkeys. I find them cute and adorable — unless they steal my lunch (LOL)

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. You really inspire me and my husband to travel more.

  19. It looks like the views of Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side are more incredible. I think if I go there and don’t have enough time, I will choose to see the falls from this side, thanks to your experiences. But I can imagine how spectacular it was when you saw Iguazu Falls from the helicopter. And how fun it was to see monkeys on the balcony of the hotel.

    • We were glad we got to see the Iguazu Falls from both the Argentina and Brazil sides. It was interesting how different the views were. And the helicopter trip sure was the highlight.

      • What an experience to witness the Iguazu Falls from both Argentina and Brazil sides! I love the views from your balcony, right from day into the moonlit night. Monkeys for me are usually annoying but Capuchin monkey looks cute. Incredible that Iguazu are nearly twice as tall as the Niagra Falls!

  20. We did Iguazu from the Brazilian side first and then did the Argentinian side, and, in retrospect, we were glad that we did them in that order. I think the Brazilian size gives you an appreciation for how huge everything is, and then, the Argentinian side really lets you get out in the middle of them. Regardless, you can’t go wrong, no matter what side you choose.

  21. It would be so epic to visit all of the Wonders of the World one day! The Iguazu Falls are on the top of my travel bucket list, I couldn´t get enough of your sunset balcony views! Thanks for the inspiration

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