South America Travel Tips

Iguazú Falls: Argentina beats Brazil 8-4

Yes, Argentina lost 3-0 against Brazil the other night. People in here are in shock, and Argentina is almost out of the World Cup qualifications.

However, in another remote place, and exactly the Iguazú Falls, Argentina beats Brazil 8-4. And here are my travel notes and pictures to show you one of the best places I’ve ever visited.

From Puerto Iguazú to the Iguazú Falls

I’m staying in an AirBnB in Puerto Iguazú, and I’m about 5km from the entrance of the Falls (Argentinian side) and 10km to the other side of the Falls (in Brazil!). Exactly, you can cross the border if you like and see the Falls from another point of view.

To reach the Iguazú Falls on the Argentinian side, you can get a 15min bus ride for 65 Pesos, just over 3 Euro. Same applies on the way back. The entrance to the Argentinian falls is 330 Pesos, not even 20 Euro. And you can buy your access for Day 2 at half price if you wish.

Iguazú Falls (Argentina)

The National Park on the Argentina side is big enough to keep you entertained for a full day. I mean, I walked the entire path in just under 4 hours, but then I went back to the “Cirtuito Superior” in the afternoon and I was delighted with that (and the rainbows).

Here’s the pic of the National Park map:

Not easy to see on this map (wish I could download one off the main website), but basically you’ve got 4 trails:

The Green Trail

It’s 655 meters long and takes you in 15 minutes to the Central Station, where all the others trails start as well as the Train for the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s throat). It’s an enjoyable walk through the rainforest.

Circuito Superior (Upper Trail)

This is the first trail I walked. I was definitely not expecting anything at this stage, as you can’t see and hear the water at all. But then, throughout the 1.750 meters, this happens (you will be on top of the waterfalls edge):

And you can also meet cool friends:

Or walk on top of the water:

Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s throat)

When I completed the Upper Circuit, I got to the train station to reach the Garganta del Diablo. However it was full of people and there was a long queue, so I decided to walk instead. It was pretty hot, but I enjoyed the 4km, featuring lovely butterflies and other new friends:

Absolutely incredible, and the weather was awesome!

Circuito Inferior (Lower Trail)

And when you think you’ve seen enough, and that you couldn’t believe your eyes and ears, here comes the Circuito Inferior. This time you’re not over the water, you’re UNDER the waterfalls 🙂

And you can even pay extra to get a boat if you like 🙂

Circuito Superior (Upper Trail) AGAIN!

After lunch I decided I had to stay longer and see again the Circuito Superior. Being a Wednesday, it seemed students and organized tours had finished, and I was basically walking on my own in the afternoon.

Well, take a look at these – was it not worth it?

Iguazú Falls (Brazil)

Of course I had to go to the other side as well. To reach the Iguazú Falls on the Brazilian side from Puerto Iguazú, you can get a bus ride for 40 Pesos each way (how it can be cheaper than going to the Argentinian side no one knows).

The bus has to stop twice. At the Argentinian customs to get your “exit” passport stamp, and then at the Brazilian customs (after 3 minutes drive) to get your “entry” stamp.

Well, my lovely bus driver, Hugo, didn’t realize I was still waiting on customs (it took me like 15 minutes instead of 5 minutes as the passport reader machine wasn’t working properly)… and completely forgot about me. Lol. He just left with the rest of the passengers!

Bus drivers here are pretty crazy. And I had no clue what to do, stranded at the border 🙂 Thankfully, a very kind driver from another company gave me a lift to the Brazilian customs. I then found out he is friend with Hugo and actually called him and told him to wait for us at the passport check. Well, Hugo and the bus were there, and I hopped back on the right bus… not a great start for my first Brazilian experience!

Anyway, the entrance to the Brazilian falls is approximately 65 Brazilian Real (17 Euro):

The Brazilian side has only one trail, that you can only reach via a bus:

The trail is no more than 1 hour long. So I did it twice! And got soaked twice (totally worth it):

Then, I took a lift… incredible. Once you get over the terrace, you can really, REALLY hear the energy:

Iguazú Falls (Argentina) vs Iguazú Falls (Brazil)

I really enjoyed both days, don’t get me wrong. And you MUST go to both sides, as they’re very different. 80% of the waterfalls are on the Argentinian falls, but the best views and “getting wet” experience are on the Brazilian side. Here’s why Argentina beats Brazil 8-2:

Goal for Arg: size

When talking about the size of the two parks, Argentina wins. You can spend a full day in Arg, while half day in Brazil is more than sufficient. This doesn’t mean the Brazilian side is not worth visiting.

Goal for Arg: walking

Following up from above, the Argentinian side has more trails, more alternatives and different views. In Brazil you have one walk, and pretty short.

Goal for Bra: noise of water

When you get to the Garganta del Diablo (and get wet), you can really hear the noise of the water. I didn’t notice it that much in Argentina. Totally worth the effort!

Goal for Arg: tourism

This is more like an own-goal for Brazil. The Brazilian part is very touristy, and everything is engineered to make you spend more. There are shops beside the views, the bus that takes you back to the entrance forces you to enter the souvenir shop and most tours are extra.

In Argentina you can get a free boat to the Isla San Martin (it was closed when I was there, due to high water levels), free train rides, and it’s more educational.

Goal for Bra: getting really wet

If there is something cool about the falls is walking on the “wet” walkways. I got soaked twice in Brazil but I thoroughly enjoyed it. In Argentina wasn’t that “wet”.

Goal for Arg: fauna

With the park being bigger it’s also more likely to make new “friends”. From iguana to butterflies, from coati to lagartija, you can have lots of fun. I saw a tucano on the Brazilian side though, AMAZING colours!

Goal for Arg: clothes

You can go to the Argentinian side without carrying extra clothes, umbrellas or extra socks.You’re not going to get very wet, mostly if it is sunny and you can dry up quickly. In Brazil you need a change of clothes and shoes if you really want to enjoy the walk fully!

Goal for Arg: over/under

In Argentina you’re over or under the falls, and you can enjoy different views. In Brazil you can enjoy them from further away, however the Garganta del Diablo walkways totally wins in Brazil!

Goal for Bra: Garganta del Diablo walkway

You might have seen it from the pics above – the noise, the energy, the position, the view is spectacular from both ends, but Brazil here wins.

Goal for Arg: boat tours

You can pay extra in Argentina to get a boat and go under the fall. I mean under, seriously. You get completely soaked, but it must be a very cool experience (I didn’t do it).

Goal for Bra: helicopter tour

Yep, I don’t know how much it is, but outside the entrance you can get an helicopter ride. They take you above the falls and you can enjoy an incredible view.

Goal for Arg: nature vs man-made

Overall, both ends are incredible. Go to Brazil to enjoy a short walk with an amazing feel, and to Argentina to feel the nature.

These two days I spent there were like nothing else I’ve ever done before.

And Argentina beats Brazil 8-4… but I won’t joke too much with the angry Argentina fans after the horrible loss to Brazil the other day!

Hasta luego 🙂

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