“One of the greatest spectacles of the nature”
5th of June, 2013
From the very beginning since we booked the flights to Brazil, we knew Iguazu would be part of the trip. How or when was secondary, the main point was to plan at whatever the cost was in this point, a day trip here.
Fortunately and considering the size of this country, Iguazu is quite well located at short flight distance from both Rio or Sao Paulo. In our case, this was a little less than 2 hours flight. Also, the choice of airlines was good enough to select good times at good prices.
As a tip, try to get a seat in the plane on the left hand side. You will get to see the falls in the distance few minutes before landing.
You must come once in your lifetime here to appreciate the magnitude and size of them. Before we came, we all had other view in our minds. But being there in person is something amazing. The size, the sound of the water falling down, the nature. Everything.
How to get there:
There is a choice of 3 different airlines making this route. Check the best time to your needs, and also prices. From our experience, our day trip was from Rio de Janeiro. We can recommend GOL Airlines. Their most convenient departure is at 10.10am from Galeao Airport, which is the airport located right by the business district. The arrival is estimated at 12.10pm.
The returning flight departs at 18.10pm, landing back in Rio at 20.10pm.
The town of Foz do Iguaçu is about 20 kilometres away from the airport, and the airport is in between the park and the town.
A bus service runs every half hour (R$2.20), efficient and easy to use. The stop is right outside the terminal building. As for any local bus in Brazil, board at the front of the bus and pay the person sat at the turnstile before passing through. This bus drops just outside the main visitor’s centre at the entrance to the park.
How to plan your visit:
Get your ticket from the Visitor Centre where the bus dropped you. The entrance fee is R$41.60. Once inside, everyone must board the panoramic buses which will take the visitors to the falls itself. This bus stops along the way at some points for different activities. All those activities are payable and not included with the general admission ticket.
As taken from the official website of the National Park, Macuco Safari offers boat trips up to the base of the Iguaçu Falls in 20 person zodiac boats. Your tour starts at the roadside entrance gate where you board the truck that will take you through the jungle towards the drop-off point. A narrator will describe the fauna that along the way. At the end of the ride, you have an easy hike down to the dock where you should put on your raincoat, a life preserver and place your valuables/dry things into plastic bags. The ride up the river to the falls is quite fun as the boats are powered by the two large motors that are needed to navigate the rapids. The first pause is at the beginning of the falls near the launch point for the Argentinian boat tours. There is time for photos and then to re-wrap your camera and up the river towards the Devils Throat. You cannot get that close the large falls as it gets exceedingly rocky in the river which prevents them from going all the way to the base of the falls. However, the captain will get you very close to going under the falls whenever he can.
From where the bus drops everyone off at the last stop, you start your walking. Don’t get too excited when you see the first viewing point. I promise this is just nuts to what is to come! There are plenty of viewing points along the path. And the extra hint of adrenaline comes when you reach the walkway along the canyon with an extension to the lower base of the Devil’s Throat. Here you will be right on top of one of the falls, and can go to the very edge. Beware, you will get absolutely soaked! There is no scape to getting wet. The fun in any case, is to be without rain coat. Let the power of the water come to you. Don’t worry on being wet. At 30 degrees you will be pleased to be wet.
After this path, you are at the end of the visit. You can go up by lift to another viewing platform on top of the shops. This must be the nearest elevator to a waterfall in the world. It’s not even 50 centimetres from the edge! The buses will be coming often to take visitors back to the main entrance.