Checked off 280 amazing waterfalls from my bucket list. My mind was completely blown by this incredible place. I’ve dreamt of this place for quite sometime, so standing in-front of this surreal place was absolutely a once in a life time experience that literally, yes literally, took my breath away. So let me get down to the logistics of getting to this magical destination.

I flew into Sao Paulo from the US, but you can fly into Rio de Janeiro as well. I bought a flight on Tam Airlines to IGU (Foz Iguazu)- We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel which was (St. Martin Resort), It was approximatly  $4.  The hotel we stayed in was about 3.5 stars. Only because I may or may not have flooded our entire bathroom, you can only imagine how that went down, haha! But there isn’t a lot going down by the falls as far as night/city life goes. We ate at the hotel and played Ping-pong (which I love). The Brazilian side of the falls from our hotel was about a 5 minute ride. Super close and convenient, thats partially why we chose to stay at St. Martin Resort.

When we arrived into Iguazu we headed straight to the Bird park which was right next door to our hotel. If you love parrots, flamingos, toucans (and other weird looking birds), then you will love this. Be prepared you might get feathered in the face by one of these colorful creatures, so make sure your duck game is strong, it’s pretty amusing and perfect for kids!

We didn’t waste a lot of time trying to find the cheapest route to get to Iguazu because sometimes you need to pay a little more to get everything done in the short amount of time you have in such a majestic place. We booked a private van, through our hotel,  to pick us up at (8am) and take us straight to the Argentine side- we paid $80 total. A little pricey, but I would say it was worth it as we had time to do both the Brazilian and Argentine side in one day.  Make sure you take your Passport/Brazilian Visa because you do have to go through border control to get your passport stamped. Our van driver took care of getting our passports stamped as well as getting us across the border safely and efficiently, he spoke zero English… so make sure you coordinate with the hotel on telling your driver when to pick you up on the Argentine side if you choose to follow my Itinerary.

THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART OF IGUAZU- So listen up peeps!

I had the BEST opportunity to experience Iguazu Jungle. They offer multiple boat tours throughout the park such as the Ecological raft – a smooth and quite tour that will take approximately 30 min starting at Devil’s throat. We didn’t have time to do this as there is SO much to see in the park and limited time. There is a Safari tour as well that’s approximately 1.5 hours long- again we didn’t have time to do this… but we did have time for the Nautical Adventure ride— WOW– this is the ultimate ride and a MUST DO- the speed boat departs from the lower trail and offers views from inside of Devil’s Throat canyon.  The boat will take you inside the San Martin waterfall ( 2nd largest waterfall). Brace yourself to get SOAKED from head to toe!  Be sure to bring an extra pair of clothes and a small towel to dry off.  Get ready to laugh a lot, and don’t forget your Go-pro as you can use a Selfie stick :). You do have the opportunity to purchase video footage from the tour guide, if you don’t have your own GoPro.  Side note- they do stop a few times before you get drenched for some epic photo ops.  You get to experience going into the BIG waterfall two times, and then some little ones a few more times. It was such an incredible and exhilarting experience if you can’t tell by my fun little video below. I can’t stop smiling about this day!

So- here goes my personal opinion on how to do Iguazu. We only had one day to do both the Argentine and Brazilian side. Did we get everything in that we really wanted to do- yes! Were there other things that I did want to do and didn’t have time to do – yes. Did we make it the the Brazil side just in time for the park to close (last call was at 5pm- park closes at 6pm) and see sunset over the falls and experience a surreal time with nobody else there- yes, but we were very rushed as the park was closing and we had 30 minutes to run into the sunset and see all the falls!

I would take 2 days in the park if you enjoy hiking, if not only do one day in the park. This is what I would definitly recommend.

  1. Upper falls
  2. Lower falls
  3.  IGUAZU JUNGLE boat tour through the falls 
  4. -hiking shoes for Arrechea Fall hike- its a bit longer of a hike and can be quite muddy. Bring Shoes and your swim suit for a nice swim (from what I hear you can swim, we ran out of time to do this hike but a pro told me its an amazing hike)
  5. last- head to Devils Throat (Gargantuan del Diablo)- take train through park to get there. (wear a rain jacket because yet again you are going to get soaked!) Dancing in the “rain” while taking selfies of waterfalls, okay sure! You can either take the train back to the main station or take the Ecological boat tour back down- its a very calm and soothing ride in a raft back down.

Day 2- I would recommend getting an early afternoon flight back out to your next destination.- however we were staying on the Brazil side so this is why I’m recommending waking up early to do the Brazil side of the park as it is a different perspective of the falls, absolutely captivating (keep in mind if you are staying on the Argentine side you DO need a Brazilian Visa/Passport to pass border control)! There is a nice pathway that leads you though different views of the park as well as different bus hop on/off stops. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore the Brazilian park as much as we would like to, as I mentioned before we only had 1 day to rush through both parks. 

There you have it in a nutshell. If you make it all the way to Iguazu you should experience both the Argentine and Brazilian parks. Best panoramic photos are from the Brazilian side, but the best way to “feel” the Falls is from the Argentine side. These majestic Falls far exceeded my expectations, and left me smiling from ear to ear.

xx, Courtney

Special thank you to Cristian at Iguazu Jungle for the history and the incredible tour of Iguazu!