Seeing Iguazu Falls From Different Perspectives
It was amazing to see the Iguazu Falls from different perspectives. Each experience added to our understanding of this magnificent UNESCO site. It was not hard to understand why it was considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
We hiked on the lower and upper paths on the Argentina side of the Iguazu National Park (Parque Nacional Iguazu) for many different views to the various waterfalls. The boardwalk in Argentina gave us a view down the thundering Devil’s Throat. On another day we hiked in the Parque Nacional Do Iguacu along the Iguazu River on the Brazil side. This gave us a different view of the falls and another close-up experience of the Devil’s Throat.
We took a boat tour for a soggy view from below the falls. And then did a helicopter tour and saw the mighty falls from above.
We had a very busy 3 days in Iguazu Falls and were so glad we saw the Iguazu Falls from both the Argentina and Brazil sides. We were left with with so many great memories of this iconic sight.
Hiking The Iguazú National Park Lower Path Along The Iguazu River
For our visit to Iguazu Falls we booked several tours with Tully Luxury Travel. But we had a free afternoon the day we arrived. We wanted to start with a hike around the Lower Path (Circuito Inferior). This 1,700 meter walkway wound through the rainforest and provided many great viewpoints of the falls.
After quickly getting checked-in, we headed to the Lower Path well ahead of the last park entry at 4:30. Our stay at the Gran Melia Iguazu had us located right inside the Iguazu National Park on the Argentina side. It was an easy walk from the back of the hotel to the beginning of the Lower Path.
The initial grade went steadily downhill. We knew that would be a challenge at the end of the hike! As we did the hike we walked up and down stairs as we moved along the Iguazu River. There was a solid walkway on much of the route but this loop was not an accessible route.
We wandered through the park and finally came to the first two waterfalls on the edge of the Iguazu River. The paths went close to both the Lanusse and Salto Alvar Nunez Falls.
As we continued along the path we got views down to the river and saw the boats on the water. We knew that was our fun the next day. Just around the bend in the river we got our first view of the series of cascading waterfalls by the Devils Throat (or Garganta del Diablo).
Iguazu Falls From The Lower Path
As we continued along the path, we got our first view of the stunning series of Iguazu Falls on the Argentina side. In the distance around the horseshoe we saw the Salto Mbiguá and the mighty Salto San Martin Falls (the second biggest falls in the park).
When we continued to the end of the path we got an even closer view of the Salto Bossetti and the Salto Adan y Eva Falls. At just the right angle we saw rainbows over the waterfalls. We had caught up to the crowds and people jostled to be in the perfect spot. And we saw several people that refused to move until they took dozens of selfies for the perfect social media post.
From this point the Lower Path headed back into the rainforest. We were delighted when we took a path that led us to the Salto Chico Falls hidden in the bush.
As we continued our walk along the path we hit a wall of mist. Continuing we found the twin Dos Hermanas (Two Sisters) Falls emptying into a large natural pool.
By the time we hit this point, the park rangers were gently herding people out of the park. We stopped for our last view and headed back to the exit. We were almost the last people out of the park but we were glad we started with the Lower Path. Our first hike was a great way to get us excited for what was to come for two more days as we explored Iguazu Falls from different perspectives.
Heading To The Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo)
Our tour guide Chilcinielly met us early the next morning and we headed out into the park. We walked to the Cataratas Station for the Ecological Train. The train was included with the park access fee. Since the train started at the main entrance, timed tickets were needed at this stop and seats were more limited boarding here. But we managed to get 3 spots on the crowded train.
The train went for about 5km through the forest. Beside the train track was a walking path along the waterway. Several times we saw people who hiked rather than wait for the train.
We got off the train at the end of the line and headed to the boardwalk that led out over the Devil’s Throat. The original walkway was destroyed in big flood waters and we were so glad it was re-opened just before we visited.
The 1.1 km boardwalk took us over the Iguazu River. Back from the falls the waters seemed calm. We often caught sight of fish in the water. But never saw the alligators our guide kept watch for. When we stopped we were fascinated by the Diaethria Anna butterfly (also known as Anna’s eighty-eight) we saw. It was said to be good luck in some cultures.
An Exciting View Over The Devil’s Throat
As we approached the Devil’s Throat we stopped to watch as the water gathered force before it tumbled down the falls. We saw the mist over the end platform and prepared to get wet.
We joined the crowds on the platform over the Devil’s Throat. The Devil’s Throat spanned more than 150m (350 feet) long and had 14 falls. We watched the thundering waters fall over the edge and down 90 metres. When a large flock of birds appeared in the mist below we were quite surprised.
Thoroughly soaked but amazed, we finally left and headed back down the boardwalk. We were delighted we got close-up views when we visited Iguazu Falls from both the Argentina and Brazil sides.
The return train trip did not require booking for a specific time. So we waited on the crowded platform for empty spots. The plush-crested jay birds entertained the crowd as they watched for food.
The view down the Devil’s Throat was a stunning way to start our second day as we explored Iguazu Falls from different perspectives.
Different Views From The Upper Path When We Explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
When we got off the train, we headed for the Upper Path (Paseo Superior). This path had no stairs and the 1,750 meters tree-lined walkway was fully accessible.
We walked a short way and found viewpoints over the Salto Chico and Dos Hermanas Falls far below. Above the treetops we got our first view of the horseshoe of waterfalls from Salto Bossetti to Salto San Martin.
We continued and found great viewpoints on both sides of Salto Bossetti Falls from the top. The water cascaded down multiple levels.
The walkway took us to amazing views over the Salto Mbiguá. A boardwalk similar to the one we took to see the Devil’s Throat took us to the viewpoint at the top of Salto San Martin. But this was a much drier viewing experience! These viewpoints gave us stunning views of water as it rushed over the cliff edges. It was an amazing spot for a very different perspective on the Iguazu Falls.
We backtracked on the boardwalk and then took the path back to the exit. This was a long walk through the rainforest with no more waterfall views.
We were so glad we walked the Upper Path. It was another amazing spot for waterfall views as we explored Iguazu Falls from different perspectives.
Heading For Our Next Adventure On The Water
We had a very short break before our next adventure and grabbed a quick snack. There were a couple of spots in the park that provided food and souvenirs.
The tour package we booked included the Great Adventure tour. This started with a short jeep ride in the jungle followed by a boat trip under the falls. The ticket gate was a short walk from the Cataratas Station. Even though our tickets had a firm time, we ended up in a long line with everyone else.
When we finally boarded the jeep, it began to rain. Dressed in a rain coat, our jeep tour leader alternated between Spanish and English. He provided commentary about the jungle as we drove for about 30 minutes through the rainforest. The rest of us got the first but not last drenching during the drive.
When we got the the dock area, we all left the jeep and began a steep walk down about two hundred stairs to the actual dock. At the bottom we got life jackets and boarded the boat at the Embarcadero Macuco.
Enjoying Iguazu Falls From The Water
Our boat took us slowly up the river. When we reached the Isla San Martin, we waited for the other boats to exit and then headed towards the Devil’s Throat. We went past a series of waterfalls we later saw clearly when we visited the Iguazu Falls from the Brazil side. The mist drenched us quickly as we went up the river and stopped close to the falls. We backtracked and then followed the river along the route we walked on the Upper Path. From the water level we got a great view from the bottom of the Salto Bossetti.
Our boat driver took us very close to the Salto Mbiguá and Salto San Martin Falls. And ensured we were all drenched by the mist and crashing waters.
As we drove back, our boat pulled in several times for close views of the other sights on the river. We saw the strange pig-like Capybara on the red soil. Waterfalls cascaded into the river. And we saw the other boat tour area on the Brazil side. Only that site had a funicular rather than steep stairs down.
We were soaked and exhausted by the time the boat returned to the dock. It was a much harder walk back up the stairs. Much like the train, there were no time slots for the return jeep ride. So we just jammed in with everyone else until we finally got on a jeep. It was a very quiet ride back.
We were glad we saw the falls from the water level when we explored Iguazu Falls from Argentina and Brazil sides. We really felt the power of the waterfalls as the water thundered down around us. Certainly another great way to enjoy Iguazu Falls from different perspectives.
Heading To Brazil For The Iguazu Falls
The next morning it was pouring rain when our guide picked us up to explore the Iguazu Falls from the Brazil side. With our passports and tickets in hand we moved through several different border stops. There was still a check for our Covid vaccination records. But it was a much shorter process than we worried it might be to get into the Brazilian side of Iguazu National Park.
Everyone went through the main terminal to explore the park. Buses were available to go to the different points on the walkway. The terminal had food and souvenir options too.
Our guide parked and showed us the stairs down to the trail. The trail went along the Iguazu River for a distance of 3.22 km (2 miles) and along the way there was an elevation change of 106m (347). She let us wander on our own at our pace and joined us at the other end of the trail.
Exploring The Brazil Side Of Iguazu Falls
As soon as we hit the bottom we got our first view over to the Iguazu Falls on the Argentina side. We clearly saw the Salto Bossetti, Salto Mbiguá and Salto San Martin Falls. From this side it was clear these were not one solid wall of water but a series of cascades. We got our first view of intricate Salto Tre Mosqueteros Falls along the side of Isla San Martin.
We were not the only ones walking the path on the Brazil side of Iguazu Falls in the rain. Unlike the very pushy crowds we found on the Argentina side, the smaller crowds we found tended to queue up for the good spots for photos. At each spot we stopped we got a slightly different perspective on the waterfalls. In some places there were clear views and in others we caught glimpses of the falls through the trees. Even with grey skies, we got some amazing sights.
As we kept going the thundering view of the Devil’s Gorge came into sight. And we got a much better view through the trees of the multiple cascades at the Salto Tre Mosqueteros and Salto Dos Mosqueteros Falls.
Our first views from the Brazil side were a great addition when seeing Iguazu Falls from different perspectives.
A Close Up Look At The Devil’s Throat From The Brazil Side
Our guide caught up with us and pointed out the metal boardwalk down at water level that went out into the mists of the thundering falls. This looked like a much more exciting walk to the Devil’s Throat than we did on the Argentina side. But it looked like we would get even wetter with the longer walk and the rain.
We both put on our rain ponchos and advanced on the metal boardwalk. The winds were far too high to be safe using our umbrella. On one side we watched the Iguazu River rush below us and over the edge. We got another view of the Salto Tre Mosqueteros and Salto Dos Mosqueteros Falls down the river. It was a stunning sight.
When we reached the end of the boardwalk we got a great view to the Devil’s Throat. Down the river we saw the large number of waterfalls that joined the river. Even soaking wet we just stood and took in the view.
After we slowly made our way back along the boardwalk we went to the viewing platforms. At the ground level it felt like we were right under the waterfalls! We then went to the upper deck and got a final great view out over the boardwalk and the falls.
It was amazing to see the waterfalls from the Brazil side. We got a wet close-up look at the falls and saw Iguazu Falls from different perspectives.
A Panoramic Helicopter View Of The Iguazu Falls From Brazil
We often took helicopter tours at sights that really benefited from a view from above. We explored the canyons around Sedona by helicopter and toured a part of the Big Island of Hawaii by helicopter that we not accessible any other way. So we really wanted to do a helicopter tour over Iguazu Falls. But no helicopters flew in the bad morning weather.
As we finished lunch the rain finally stopped and small patches of blue sky appeared. So as soon as our guide picked us up we rushed right to Helisul helipad. And were excited when they took us on the first flight of the day!
We joined one other passenger in the helicopter and were quickly on our way. As soon as we were in the air we got our bearings and saw the flight path down the river to the Iguazu Falls. Our first view of the Iguazu Falls from above was simply stunning!
Our pilot took us over the waterfalls and then circled around for another look. We got such stunning panoramic vistas of the different cascades on both the Argentina and Brazil sides. We even saw the walkways we hiked for our first views of the falls.
From the air we got amazing views down to the Devil’s Throat. We saw the long walkways we wandered for our close-up views of the thundering waters on both the Argentina and Brazil sides.
As we circled back we went over the beautiful grounds of Gran Melia Iguazu and the Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas. We understood why these were the preferred hotels with such great views of the Iguazu Falls.
The whole helicopter tour took about 15 minutes but it was amazing. Seeing Iguazu Falls from different perspectives gave us a real sense of the magnitude of this iconic sight.
Amazing Views Of Iguazu Falls From Different Perspectives
We were so glad we saw Iguazu Falls from different perspectives. We enjoyed walking the different paths for varied views of the multiple cascades in the Iguazu National Park. Close up encounters with the Devil’s Throat left us wet but enthralled.
It was awesome to experience the power of the Iguazu Falls from the water level. And then fly over and get a panoramic vista that showed the enormity of this natural wonder.
We had a very busy 3 days in Iguazu Falls and were so glad we had enough time to really enjoy the sights from so many different vantage points.
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