Days spent: 2 (1 on the Brazilian side and 1 on the Argentinian one)
Days recommended: 2 are enough
Where we slept: Tetris Hostel in Foz do Iguaçu, made of containers, affordable, with a bubbly young personality. Also offers a free caipiriña for each guest…
What we ate: açai as an afternoon snack, overcooked pasta (our fault!), Argentinian empanadas.
What we drank: caipriña, many bottles of water.
How we travelled: we reached Foz do Iguaçu via night bus from Maringà (7 hours). Once there we travelled around by bus. We crossed the Argentinian border by taxi to make it quicker.
How many km we walked: 19 km
How Iguaçu waterfalls affected our wallets: not so much. Both the accommodation and the entrance to the parks were quite cheap (the latter was around 20€ each). Of course it depends on what kind of experience you look for. You can easily make it very pricey if you’re planning on long boat trips.
Issues we encountered: we heard stories of overnight touristic buses coming from São Paulo being stopped and robbed by gangs. We were unaware and nothing really happened. Maybe take a day bus if you are worried. Make sure to change some Brazilian real to Argentinian pesos before crossing the border because there’s no ATM nor money exchange at the park entrance on the Argentinian side.
Would we recommend it? Absolutely! One of the highlight of our trip! There’s a reason if these parks, which give home to the largest waterfalls system in the whole world, have been declared UNESCO World heritage sites. Both parks are absolutely worth it, because they can give a whole different experience.
Analogue tips: Wide angle lenses are a must (which, of course, I didn’t have). You really won’t be happy to miss out on some of the best panoramic shots you can take in a lifetime. I was quite upset…
What to do:
- Brazilian side. The best for panoramic views of them majesties waterfalls. You will stop every 2 meters to take another pic, thinking that this new angle is far better than the previous. It will never feel unnecessary and you will be happy to wait for all the tourists to get out of your way. Eventually, when you will scroll down the shots, you will realise that you took the same picture an embarrassing amount of times. I guess it’s an obvious sign that the show offered is to beautiful to be witnessed only with you eyes.
- Parque das Aves. just outside the Brazilian park’s entrance, we went there with very low expectations just because we had some spare time, however we were forced to change our minds. This bird park is one of the most spectacular we’ve ever witnessed. You can actually walk where the birds are enclosed and have toucans, macaws and other varieties of tropical species flying right next to your head. A must see.
- Argentinian side. This is the side to get the chills! the waterfalls are not just a panoramic view, but they become a proper playground. Get soaking wet and feel the strength of the falling water on a 15 minutes boat ride (ignore the longer ones: they are stupidly and unnecessarily expensive). Also walk along the boardwalk that leads to the Devil’s throat, the U-shaped edge of one of the mightiest falls of the park, and stop for few minutes on the lookout balcony to enjoy the breathtaking view.
Things we missed: we didn’t give Foz do Iguaçu and Misiónes, the towns that give home to the parks, the chance to let us down. There’s actually not much of touristic relevance to be found so we didn’t feel like we were missing out on anything.
Who deserves a big thank you: Georg and Stephan for sharing the taxi with us and joining us on a quite epic second day. Thanks for the insight on German politics and for answering my cheeky questions about Angela Merkel.
Canon EOS 300, Fuji Velvia 100 (35)/Agfa CT Precisa 100 (35)
Olympus OM-10, Lomochrome Purple 100-400 (35)
Olympus OM-1, Agfa Scala 200 (35, expired)
10-11/12/2016, Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) and Misiónes (Argentina)