Foz do Iguaçu is a small region in the south of Brazil and is best-known for the Iguazu Falls, a collection of waterfalls so impressive that former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, supposedly exclaimed “poor Niagara!” when she first saw them. Here are 11 reasons why you should visit Foz do Iguaçu at least once in your lifetime.
Foz do Iguaçu has the largest waterfall system in the world known as the Iguazu Falls, which lies between the border of Brazil and Argentina and near to Paraguay. There are anywhere between 150 and 300 waterfalls there, depending on the rainfall, which vary between 60 and 82 meters (197 and 279 feet) high.
Argentina claims the majority of the waterfalls, providing at least a day or two of exploring the paths and bridges that take visitors up-close and personal to the falls. Wooden decking takes you to the edge of the Devils’ Throat, a fall that marks the border between Argentina and Brazil.
The Brazilian side may be significantly smaller than the Argentinian side, yet it offers panoramic views of the waterfalls and a pathway studded with viewpoints. There is also a glass lift that goes up to wooden decking that runs along the edge of the falls.
Whether you stay on the Argentinian or Brazilian side, Paraguay is just a short bus trip away. Ciudad Del Este is the first town that lies on the border and is known as a commercial district of cheap clothes, electronics, and other goods – some counterfeit, others not. If you have more time, you can take a bus further into Paraguay and visit the country’s capital, Asunción, a lesser-explored city that is full of hidden gems such as international restaurants, trendy nightlife, and friendly locals.
The Buddhist temple is surrounded by peaceful gardens that create a zen-like atmosphere and provide panoramic views of the city. In and around the temple are over 120 statues, including a 7-meter (23-foot) high statue of Buddha, while the temple itself contains space for reflection and meditation.
The Bird Park contains over 140 different species of birds as well as reptiles and butterflies. Visitors can walk through many of the large aviaries and get close to birds such as toucans and macaws. The park runs several conservational and educational programs that play a critical role in the survival of these species in the wild.
At 8 km (5 miles) wide, the Itaipu Dam is the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world and is considered at the forefront of modern engineering and sustainability. Visitors can take informative guided tours around the plant, which is one of the most popular attractions in Foz do Iguaçu. It’s built on the Parana River that runs between Brazil and Paraguay, and is located on the Brazilian side.
The Devil’s Throat is made up of 14 falls that make a long curtain of cascades in the shape of a horseshoe. You can visit the Devil’s Throat on both the Brazilian and Argentinian side; with the latter, you can follow the wooden decking that runs along the edge of the Devil’s Throat.
There are plenty of hikes to enjoy in the Iguaçu National Park, such as the Poco Preto trail that takes you through the forest and offers great opportunities for wildlife-spotting.
An aerial view of the waterfalls is one of the best ways of taking in the whole panoramic view, which includes not only the waterfalls but the surrounding forest that stretches for miles and the immense river that meanders through it. Helicopter rides are only available on the Brazilian side.
Boat trips are available on both the Brazilian side and the Argentinian side. Most visitors love the boat trips on the Argentinian side as they get close to all the waterfalls. You will get soaking wet – that’s inevitable – but you will have an unforgettable experience.