[well]Iguassu Falls Quick Facts:
Iguassu Falls is the international name of the falls, however is is referred locally as Iguazu Falls (Spanish) and Iguaca Falls (Portuguese). The falls are located on the border of Brazil and Argentina and not far from Paraguay.
The majority of people note that the Iguassu Falls system is comprised of 275 independent falls over 1.67 miles (2.7 km), however there are some locals who argue that there are approximately 75 separate falls. The difference is accounted for by where you count the breaks in water both vertically and horizontally. At one spot, visitors can be surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfalls. Although the highest part of the falls measures 269 feet (82 m), the majority of the falls are around 210 feet (64 m).
Devil’s Throat, Garganta del Diablo, which is the U-shaped start of the falls is often considered the most impressive part. Devil’s Throat is the highest point of the falls measuring 269 feet (82 m) high, 492.1 feet (150 m) wide and 2,296 feet (700 m) long.
Iguassu Falls is wider than Victoria Falls, however because it is split into numerous distinct individual falls over 1.67 miles (2.7 km), Victoria Falls has the claim to the largest single curtain of falling water.
Iguassu Falls has a variety of places to stay whether you choose to stay on the Argentinian or Brazilian side of the falls. Here is a comprehensive listing of Iguassu Falls Hotels that you may review for a potential trip to this wonder of nature.
Hotel das Cataratas is the only hotel located within the national park on the Brazilian side of the falls. Iguassu Falls is literally just off your doorstep. Take a leisurely one minute stroll down the steps if the hotel and you will be greeted by one of the most spectacular panoramic views anywhere.
In addition to the proximity of the falls, another immediate benefit with a stay at this hotel is access to the falls outside the national park hours – NO crowds, it is just you and the falls. The hotel was refurbished in 2010 and it has successfully maintained the historic features of the hotel while enhancing the luxury of this Portuguese colonial property.
The Hotel das Cataratas leverages class, character and convenience to help deliver the best natural wonder experience possible. Learn more about Hotel das Cataratas from our site or go directly to the Hotel Website. But only check it out if you want to be further enticed to visit.
Iguazu Falls is the Spanish and local name of the Argentinean side of the falls. The Sheraton Iguazu Resort & Spa is the only hotel inside Iguazu National Park on the Argentinian side of the falls. When asked why visitors should stay at the Sheraton, the Hotel Manager replied, “When investors look at a property they always take three things into mind, Location, Location, Location. And, we have all three.”
The Sheraton Iguazu Resort & Hotel provides visitors with exclusive backdoor access into the national park. Additionally, the hotel faces the falls allowing guests to view the falls directly from the balconies of their rooms. “Iguassu Falls is not a neighbor of the Sheraton; it is the backyard,” Phillip Imler
One of the things visitors will quickly discover is that the perspective or image of Iguassu Falls changes with every step. The best view depends on what aspect of the falls one enjoys the most. Visitors should plan at least a day and a half in order to explore the falls on both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides of the falls and to capture all the various eclectic views offered of the falls.
The Argentina side of the falls allows visitors to see various panoramic views of the falls while also providing visitors with the opportunity to view the water flow and surrounding area from atop the falls. The Brazilian side provides the most inclusive and comprehensive panoramic views of the falls.
The Argentina side of the falls offers two different trails: 1) upper falls and 2) lower falls. The upper falls trail takes visitors across catwalks that cross over several of the falls and allow visitors to look over the edges and watch the water fall to the rocks below. The lower falls trail allows visitors to get up closer to the falls and delivers some of the best views of the falls. Some of these views are actually used in many of the postcards seen in gift stores and in the hotels.
The upper and lower trails should be taken in the morning. The sun is rising from the Brazilian side and provides the best lighting of the falls during the morning. The train and viewing of Devil’s Throat should be done in the afternoon when the sun has at least risen above the falls. Viewing Devil’s Throat in the morning will leave visitors starring into the sun.
The Brazilian side should also be explored in the morning with the sun lighting the falls from behind you. The Brazilian side is shorter and may easily be completed in the morning hours. This makes it possible to view the falls from all perspectives within a day and a half. However, visitors should be encouraged to allow for more time to enjoy the falls at a more leisurely pace as well as multiple times as the weather changes or wildlife is experienced.
Iguassu Falls may be experienced a couple of different ways. Without question, visitors should hike through the upper and lower trails on the Argentina side. The Brazilian side is for viewing the falls, the Argentina side is for experiencing the falls.
After that visitors should plan on taking one of the exhilarating boat rides that take you directly into the falls. A common question is, “Will you get wet?” – The answer is no you will not just get wet – you will get drenched, soaked, flooded, and out right sopping wet. For many, this is a welcomed event following a hiking experience throughout the trails. No matter what it is an adventure that is just out right fun.
The good news is that there is really not a bad time to visit the falls with the temperature and climate being fairly consistent throughout the year. The high season for Brazilians and Argentinians are the months of January and February. A visit during this time frame will also include higher waters and higher temperatures. Easter week is also unseasonably busy as many people travel to the falls for the holiday.
The months of May and July are the rainy seasons and also the highest water levels. Some prefer this because of the force and significance of the water flowing over the falls. Probably the best times to explore Iguazu Falls are during the months of September and October. The weather is nicer, the falls are beautiful and the area is less crowded.
The best pictures of the majority of the falls will occur during the morning hours whether from the Argentina or Brazilian side, with two exceptions. The sun rises from the Brazilian side and lights up the falls during the morning. The park on the Argentina side opens at 8:00 a.m. and photographers should be up and ready to embark on their photography adventure.
The Brazilian side opens up at 9:00 a.m. and it is a good idea to be there before that. Here is a reason to stay inside the park if you can. The Brazilian hillside and rainforest shades photographers as they view the sun light falls across the way towards the Argentinian side.
Here is the first exception on the morning photography recommendation. The falls reach the border and make a u-turn. This part of the Brazilian falls is best photographed in the late afternoon. The park closes at 5:00 in the evening so that will be the latest you can shoot unless you are staying inside the park.
The second exception is Devil’s Throat. Devil’s throat is the U-shaped waterfall which is closer to the Brazilian side of the falls. It is best photographed in the afternoon once the sun moved across the sky. If you attempt to shoot Devil’s Throat in the morning you will find yourself and your camera facing directly into the sun.
The park opens at night four evenings a year during the full moon. This also makes for creative images out over Devil’s Throat. One key point is to make sure you take a tripod.
Many of the views of the falls from both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides are engulfed with spray or mist from the falls. Make sure you have protective gear for your equipment. If you do take the boat ride into the falls – the captain will drive the boat up to near the beginning of the mist and pause allowing you to take pictures. Then he will provide you with a water proof bag to store your equipment as he makes way into the falls – you will get drenched. This is not a place where the camera goes under your shirt – it is a downpour.
Iguassu Falls can be accessed easily from either the Brazilian or Argentinian side. Both Foz de Iguacu, Brazil and Port Iguazu, Argentina have airports. Common connections will go through either Sao Pualo, Brazil or Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is easy to cross the borders either direction, however it is quite probably that you will need a Brazilian visa which is required in advance and not available at the border.
Iguazu Falls is also in an isolated area and rarely part of an individual destination. In most cases visitors are incorporating a stay at Iguazu Falls as part of a more extensive itinerary. If enjoying nature and relaxing in pristine beauty are desired – a longer stay at Iguazu Falls is ideal and encouraged.
Iguazu Jungle: a tour company that offers packages and personalized tours of the falls. Packages may include the adventure boats into the falls, the jungle tours through the rainforest, and an ecological guided raft trip atop the falls. Iguazu Jungle can also assist you with guided services through the park and with the open aired train ride out to Devil’s Throat. For more on Iguassu Falls resources and other ways to engage the falls and surrounding area.