Some 275 separate waterfalls make up the thundering Iguaçu Falls, creating a monumental spectacle that is one of the most recognizable and impressive natural sights in Latin America.
Straddling the border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, Iguaçu (or Iguazu if you're on the Argentine side of the falls), forms a great gorge that splits the Earth in two for nearly three kilometres wide and 82 metres high at its longest drop, creating a vast curtain of water. Visiting the falls is a visceral experience that will leave you drenched through; using a network of platforms and walkways on both sides of the falls you can make your way almost into the centre, where you can enjoy the spectacle of the Devil’s Throat, a narrow chasm into which almost half of the river’s flow falls.
The noise, sight and immense power are enough to leave most visitors speechless, and if experiencing it from above isn’t enough there’s also the chance to view the waterfall from an exhilarating speedboat ride that cuts through the gorge beneath the falls. If you’d prefer to stay dry, it’s also possible to take a helicopter flight from the Brazilian side over the falls for amazing aerial photographs and comprehensive views of Iguaçu, as well as the surrounding national park.
There are many accommodation options in Iguaçu, the majority of the hotels are dotted just outside the National Park, often surrounded by lush, tropical gardens, nature trails and boast an inviting swimming pool. The finest hotel in the area and the only hotel within the National Park itself is the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas. Staying just a stones throw from the falls affords early morning and evening access, so you’re likely to have the park to yourself. Occupying a charming colonial-style building within extensive gardens and the standard of service you would expect from Belmond, staying here is a real treat for any Iguaçu holiday.
While visiting Iguaçu it’s worth taking some time to explore the national park, either by boat or Jeep to get close to toucans and parakeets – you may also see the odd monkey swinging through the trees. Further along the river, you’ll find the Itaipu Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric power station that bridges Brazil with neighbouring Paraguay, creating around 90% of Paraguay’s energy and 25% of Brazil’s.
For more information on holidays to Iguaçu and multi-centre breaks to Brazil, call our Destination Experts today.