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.
We had a very busy 3 days in Iguazu Falls but 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Our first view of the stunning series of Iguazu Falls on the Argentina side was stunning. We continued and got even closer views.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From the platforms we got more views out over the boardwalk and the falls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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