Straddling the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, the roaring Iguazu Falls are one of the most incredible sights to see in South America. For those planning a trip, here are the top 5 Iguazu Falls tourist attractions for an experience you won’t forget.
When visiting Iguazu Falls, naturally the most popular attraction is simply seeing the falls up close and personal from the many bridges and pathways below them. Iguazu Falls tours with a guide can provide fascinating information and guidance during your visit, and bilingual guides offer services on both the Argentina and Brazil sides of the falls.
The majority of the falls are in Argentina, with the main attraction being the highest and most impressive Garganta del Diablo, or Devil’s Throat. The Argentina side offers two different trails perfect for walking: the upper falls and lower falls. Walking the upper falls trail takes you across catwalks that cross over several of the falls, allowing you to look over the edges and watch the water fall to and crash on the rocks below – not for the faint-hearted! The lower falls trail allows you to get up close (and get wet!) and gives some excellent views of the falls used in many of the postcards seen in neighboring gift stores.
From the Brazilian side you get an excellent overview of Devil’s Throat and the most inclusive and comprehensive panoramic views of the Falls, from both above and below. For those who want to feel the spray of the falls even closer than paths allow, it’s possible to take an exhilarating boat tour at the base, sailing just beside where the tons of water come rushing down.
Because Iguazu Falls are housed within a national park of the same name, there are quite a few other things to see when visiting as well. Iguazu Falls tours can also include visits to the Iguazu Forest, a protected natural area designed to promote ecotourism. Activities with tours here may include light trekking, rappelling, and canopying, in addition to driving through the forest in vehicles designed to offer close-up views of the exotic animals and wildlife.
Nature lovers will also want to explore the forest on a Macuco Safari. This includes a 3km tour through the forest, where guides will point out the park’s flora and fauna (including orchids, bromeliads, centenary trees, and wild animals). Through the Macuco forest is a 600-meter trail leading to the Macucos Fall, a 20-meter waterfall that may seem small next to the mighty Iguazu Falls, but is a beautiful oasis teeming with butterflies and constant rainbows upon the water. This is a great option for families traveling to Iguazu with children.
Easily one of the most popular attractions on the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls is the Bird’s Park. This protected section of the subtropical rainforest is home to more than 900 rare and colorful birds of 150 different species, as well as caimans, pythons, marmosets, and butterflies. The area is intended for the protection and research of the species and intends to educate visitors while providing the opportunity to walk amongst wildlife that would usually be too difficult for visitors to spot in the wild.
The biggest hydroelectric dam in the world, the Itaipu Dam is responsible for the water management feat of Iguazu Falls. A visit here includes a documentary viewing that outlines the dam’s history and significance, as well as a trip to the external part of the dam, the front of the spillway, and finally a stop over the upper part of the dam. Anyone with an interest in the history and engineering behind the Itaipu Dam won’t want to miss witnessing it for themselves.
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