The Iguazu Falls is divided between the Brazilian and Argentinean sides with a total of 275 individual falls. It is nearly three times as wide as the Niagara Falls and nearly twice as tall. The Brazilian side offers a more panoramic view and the helicopter rides also operate out of Brazil. The Argentinean side offers a more upclose view of the falls (two-thirds of the falls are located on this side).
There are two hotels inside the national park. The Hotel das Cataratas (former Orient Express hotel) on the Brazilian side is probably nicer but we opted for the Sheraton Iguazu Resort & Spa on the Argentinean side. The main reason is you can enter the park very early in the morning directly from the pool entrance of the hotel. Also if you get soaking wet from the zodiac rides, it is a quick walk back to the hotel and a hot shower. However, the food at the Sheraton is very mediocre. We did venture into town one night (which was not super close with the taxi ride on the expensive side) but the town wasn’t much to write home about either.
On our first day, we visited the Brazilian side for a more panoramic view as well as take the helicopter ride for the aerial view of the falls. The helicopter company Helisul (at the time of writing) opens at 8:30am. We got there around 9am and only had to wait about half an hour for our turn. The helicopter seats 5: pilot + 4 passengers (1 next to the pilot and 3 in the back row), so try to avoid the middle seat in the back.
The walk around the Brazilian side is fairly easy and you have to take one of the park’s buses to get around from the entrance to the main viewpoints.
The second day, we visited the Argentinean side starting very early in the morning. Like on the Brazilian side, there are well maintained walkways here with marked upper and lower circuits. The famous Devil’s throat and zodiac rides into the falls are also on this side of the falls. We were able to do the upper and lower circuits in the morning with only a handful of others around.
In order to get to the Devil’s Throat, you have to take the ecological train in the park and then walk about 1.5km along the metal walkways. Devil’s Throat is best photographed in the afternoon with the sun behind it.
If you happen to be visiting around full moon, you should do the Full Moon Walk to the Devil’s Throat. We planned our visit on the day of full moon but unfortunately it was raining and the tour got cancelled. But I heard it is amazing when the falls change colors under the moonlight.
If you are up for some adventure, do one of the zodiac rides that takes you into the falls. The operator there provides a few options, some with a more extended boat ride to admire the flora and fauna of the area. There is also a boat ride out to San Martins Island which lies in the middle of the Iguazu Falls but was unfortunately closed when we visited.
Iguazu Falls is truly a magnificent display of nature and its raw power. In 2011, it was selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. This place should be on everyone’s bucket list!