Water, Water Everywhere: Iguazu Falls Argentina & Brazil

Iguazu Falls Argentina & Brazil  is the largest cluster of waterfalls on Earth, spanning nearly 3km (1.8 miles) at the border of Argentina and Brazil. Roughly 275 waterfalls plummet and roar as they cascade and crash at a bend in the Iguazu River. They’re surrounded by lush, thick jungle forests and the air drips with moisture. This is no ordinary waterfall experience: you’ll gape, inhale the humid air and won’t care when you get wet, it’s all part of the fun. You can visit from either the Brazilian or Argentinian side, but your best bet is to do both and dedicate two days to see it all. From Argentina you get closer access to the falls, while the Brazilian side offers sweeping views and panoramic photo opportunities.

Feeling inspired to check out these stupendous falls? Check out a full listing of our Argentina and Brazil trips, including Iguazú and other destinations. Each tour can be customized to suit your needs and we work directly with local, certified tour operators.


The Argentinian Side

The base on the Argentinean side of the waterfalls is Puerto Iguazú. It’s a charming small jungle town with a laid-back atmosphere. The falls are located 18.5 km (12 miles) away in the protected national park, Argentina’s.

This side is all about getting up close to the falls. You can take a boat and ride directly under the plunging water, but the best way to navigate the area is on foot via a labyrinth of trails. The paths are linked by a jungle train that whisks you to the main circuits. Circuito Superior and Inferior bring you to viewpoints along upper rim of the waterfalls and to longer walks at the bottom end. Don’t miss the star of the show, Garganta del Diablo or Devil’s Throat, a narrow chasm where 14 waterfalls converge. The trail brings you to a viewing point right on the edge of it for an exhilarating vantage point. Bring a poncho—you will get wet!

The Brazilian Side

Foz do Iguaçu, a city with 300,000 inhabitants, is the base on the Brazilian side of the falls. It’s much bigger than Argentina’s Puerto Iguazú. The town is minus a small-town atmosphere, but offers a wider variety of restaurants and more of a buzz. Access to the falls is 25 km (15 miles) away.  

The falls here are also protected and are part of Brazil’s Parque Nacional do Iguaçu. This side gives you a sweeping overview of the falls and you can appreciate grandeur of this natural phenomenon. There’s less walking in the jungle than the Argentina side but more opportunities for fantastic photos that fully take in the scale of the falls from a number of angles. The highlight is the walkway in front of the Devil’s Throat, where you see water spraying every which way at the confluence of 14 separate falls—keep your eyes peeled for rainbows. You’ll get misty but it’s easier to keep your phone or camera dry and avoid getting drenched on this side.

When to go

You can visit the falls anytime, but when you go depends on a number of factors: level of water flow, trail access, activities, air temperature, rain versus blue skies and number of visitors.

Most agree March to May or August to September is the best season. Crowds thin out, temperatures are comfortable, the risk of rain is lower and most trails are open. The falls don’t have the highest water volume at this time, but the rock faces peeking through the falls are spectacular.

December through February is the rainy season, when the water volume increases, cascades are wider and the number of falls increases to about 325. This season is very humid and hot, expect high temperatures around 90ºF/32ºC (and lows in the mid 70s F/20s C). You’ll often be greeted by grey skies and muddy trails around the falls, and some trails close for safety reasons. Most Brazilians and Argentineans take vacation over this time, so it’s a crowded season.

June to July and October to November typically bring blue skies, agreeable temperatures and the least number of visitors. It’s hit or miss in terms of water levels but remember, this is the tropics and there are no rules. It might rain, or not.

Caroline Sieg

Caroline Sieg is a half-Swiss, half-American writer, editor and content marketer focusing on travel, food, art, design & the outdoors. She's traveled throughout Latin America, is addicted to empanadas and tacos, and loves outdoor adventure, from trekking in Patagonia to zip lining in Costa Rica.