Iguazú Falls (Brazil & Argentina): Practical Travel Guide (Rates 2020)
Note October 2019: thanks to the internet users who just visited the falls (thanks Anne-Laure and Alexandra), I was able to update most of the prices. Please note that the high inflation in Argentina makes the exercise difficult.
When I wrote the article for the first time, the rate was 1€ = 16.38$AR. Now, the rate has increased to 1€ = 64$AR (October 2019). Remember to take a lot of dollars or euros to exchange on the spot because the distributors are often empty and take a lot of money or go through Azimo when you are in La Plata (near Buenos Aires).
A. Which side to visit?
The French are fortunate not to have to pay for the Brazilian or Argentinean visa. So I recommend you to visit both the Brazilian and the Argentinean side. But the Brazilian side first (otherwise you might be disappointed).
From Brazil, we have an overview of the falls but the visit lasts only 3 hours maximum.
From Argentina, the experience is much more wow and there are many more gateways and fun activities. One day will be necessary to visit everything in Argentina.
B. How to get there…
The three cities closest to the falls are Puerto Iguazú (Argentina), Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) and a little further, Ciudad del Este (Paraguay). All three cities have an airport.
1/…from Puerto Iguazú in Argentina
The most logical option would be to go to Puerto Iguazú (Argentinian side). Because from Argentina, one can make the round trip in one day to visit the Brazilian side. If you don’t stay in Brazil, you don’t need a Brazilian entry/exit stamp and it makes the trip faster.
To get to Puerto Iguazú, you can take the bus from Buenos Aires (5580$AR one way or 88€ for 17h of travel, 2019 fares). Or by plane (117€AR from Buenos Aires, fares 2019).
Transport Puerto Iguazú -> the falls
Then, from the omnibus terminal of Puerto Iguazú, many buses (Rio Uruguay or Crucero del Norte) leave every 20 minutes to drop you off in front of the entrance of the Iguazú National Park (180 Argentine pesos 2019 one way). You will have to pay the entrance (
330 pes os 800 pesos in 2019) and walk 650m following the Sendero Verde circuit before seeing the falls.
There are lockers for your luggage at the entrance of the park.
2/…from Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil
Sometimes, when landing on the Brazilian side (Foz do Iguaçu), you can get prices around 87€ for the return flight from Sao Paulo (2019 prices). This option is preferable if you can book the plane tickets in advance.
The airport of Foz do Iguaçu and the national park on the Brazilian side both have lockers, you can leave your luggage there, visit the Brazilian side in 4 hours and then come back to pick it up later, before taking a bus during the day to Argentina. The borders are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Transport Foz do Iguaçu -> the falls
From the bus terminal of Foz do Iguaçu (or from the airport), the bus 120 will drop you off in front of the entrance of the Iguaçu National Park (for 3,75 reals/person, fares 2019). You then buy an entrance ticket (70 reals, fares 2019), allowing you to take a panoramic bus to the falls (you can’t walk instead of taking the bus). This panoramic bus leaves every 15 minutes.
3/…from Ciudad del Este in Paraguay
The Iguazú Falls aren’t in Paraguay at all but they are only 30km from Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), so if you are there now, why not take the opportunity to go to the Iguazú Falls?
I wrote a long article about visiting the Iguazú Falls from Paraguay here.
C. How to visit the *Brazilian* Falls in one day from *Argentina*
I have put here the schedules of the bus Rio Uruguay. The bus you need is CATARATAS – BRASIL (first column, left), which will drop you in front of the Brazilian National Park (and not Foz do Iguaçu – 150$AR – which brings you to the center of the city).
If you make the round trip to the falls of Brazil in one day, you don’t have to stop at the Brazilian immigration (do it if you want to have extra stamps on your passport). However, you do need to get your passport stamped twice at the Argentinean immigration.
If the bus does not wait for you, keep the ticket and get on the next one with the same ticket. The fare is 640 Argentine pesos round trip (2019 fares).
Attention the prices on this picture are incorrect.
C bis – How to visit the *Argentine Falls* in one day from *Brazil*
There is no public bus that serves the Argentinian waterfalls directly from the city of Foz do Iguaçu, so the easiest way would be to opt for the van offered by your hostel. El Shaddai(link Booking 40€ double room) proposes a van for 55 reals/person (12€) to visit the Argentinean falls in one day, and come back to Foz do Iguaçu. So you don’t have to sleep in Argentina, you don’t lose anything.
D. 10 things to know before visiting the falls
1. On the Brazilian side, don’t buy food in the park, not only is it expensive but you risk attracting quatis (don’t touch them, they bite). As you leave the park, at the crossroads, there is an excellent seller of homemade empañadas for 10 reals.
2. The “helicopter” option exists only on the Brazilian side. The 10 minutes of flight cost 430 reals/person. It isn’t necessary to book in advance. You can pay by credit card or cash. The company is called Helisul and is located outside the park (search for the exact location on Google Maps). Here is what you can see from the helicopter. I really think it’s worth it, despite the exorbitant price.
3. There is a
zoo refuge / reserve for rescued animals (following the construction of the dam between Brazil and Paraguay) just in front of Helisul (Brazilian side) if you are interested…
4. On the Argentinean side, you can get an “Iguazú” stamp on your passport. Contact the guard office to the left of the park entrance.
5. On the Argentinean side, always take the “Sendero Verde” path just after the entrance, instead of waiting for the train for 30 minutes
6. Still on the Argentinean side, start your trip with a boat crossing (free of charge) to Isla San Martin (weather and water level permitting). Ask beforehand if it is open.
7. For both sides, expect to be soaked. Argentinean or Brazilian tourists come to visit in bikinis and shorts (on the Argentinean side you can even swim in a natural pool). Otherwise, bring a poncho and a waterproof bag to protect your electronic equipment (and money).
8. Here is the order of visit that I recommend for the Iguazú Falls in Argentina (in relation to daylight + interest)
- Morning :
- Isla San Martin (yellow course)
- Lower circuit (blue course)
- Afternoon :
- Upper circuit (red route)
- Devil’s Gorge (train and orange route)
- And the remaining routes close to the entrance if you have time left over
9. The plans of the parks :
Here is the plan of the Argentinean side (click on the image to zoom and save the picture)
Here is the map of the park, Brazilian side (click on the image to zoom and save the picture)
10. Payment options for park entrance and buses :
- Brazilian park: credit card, cash, payment in reals is cheaper than in Argentine pesos -> 70 reals / person (2019 rates). I’m told in comment that it is possible to book and pay online (with Paypal for example) and get a QR code on: https: //tickets.cataratasdoiguacu.com.br/ (careful I didn’t try this method, in general I avoid buying stuff online on Brazilian sites – because they always ask for the social security ID number – the CPF – which I don’t have).
|Entrada Integral (adult)||70 reals|
|Entrada Integral (child|
,Crianças between 2 and 11 years old)
- Argentinian park: credit card, cash, there is an ATM (it can be emptied very quickly and take considerable costs) -> 330$AR/person 800$AR/person (rates 2019). Tickets can be bought online ( https://ventaweb.apn.gob.ar/reserva/inicio?dp=02 ) I have not tested it personally
- Bus payment :
- at the bus terminal in Argentina, if you buy tickets at the ticket office, payment is made in Argentine pesos only.
- If you pay directly to the driver, payment can be in reals or pesos.
- Note for those who don’t have a lot of pesos on them : it is very difficult to withdraw money in Argentina, I’m told in October 2019 of 4000 pesos withdrawal, that is 63€ maximum for 6€ to 9€ fees
- You can come a lot of euros or dollars to exchange, or transfer money through Azimo when you aren’t very far from Buenos Aires
E. Recommended hotels
On the Brazilian side:
- Iguassu Central Bed & Breakfast ( Booking link)16€/double room(without breakfast) -> great location, close to buses, I recommend you with my eyes closed
- El Shaddai(link Booking 40€ double room) which offers vans to visit the Argentinean waterfalls in one day from Brazil
On the Argentinian side:
- Steve’s House(Booking link), close to the bus terminal that takes you to the park. Single bed 14€/person in a dormitory of 4 only. Private room: 34€. Swimming pool, super restaurant and reception
- 24€/night double room at HotelLilian (linkBooking ) very clean and not far from the bus terminal
F. What is the budget for the Iguazú Falls?
- Cab from Paraguay: 30 reals (or 180 Argentine pesos/person if you take the bus)
- Hotel: IguassuCentral Bed & Breakfast (link Booking) 16€/double room(without breakfast)
- Bus: R$7.5 round trip per person(2019 fares)
- Entrance to the park : 65
reals/person 70reals/person (2019 rates)
- Helicopter : 430 reals/person
- Lunch: 30 reals for two
TOTAL: 1147 reals for two or 252€(with the helicopter + one night at the hotel the night before) – the exchange rates applied are the 2019 rates
or 287reals for two or 63€ (without the helicopter, with one night at the hotel)
- Bus Foz do Iguaçu – Puerto Iguazú:
130$AR200$AR one way/person (payment in reals possible to the driver: 12 Reals) (2020 fares)
- Hotel : 2 nights
- 24€/night double room at Hotel Lilian (link Booking)
- otherwise it’s 5€/bed in dormitory at Hostel Park Iguazu (link Booking), breakfast included
- or Steve’s House(Booking link), close to the bus terminal that takes you to the park. Single bed 14€/person in a dormitory of 4 only. Private room: 34€. Swimming pool, super restaurant and reception
- Bus Puerto Iguazu => the Argentinean Falls: 400$AR round trip per person (2020 fares) or 24 reals/person
- Entrance to the park:
330$AR/person800$AR/person (2020 rates) on the first day, and -50% on the second day (you must keep a proof of purchase)
- Lunch (bought in town and brought to the park): 9€ (580 pesos) for two
- Restaurants: from 6€/person. For a good piece of argentine meat (and I recommend you), count 15€/person +10% gratuity
TOTAL: from 170€ for two(with two nights at the hotel and economical meals). If you spend only one night, it goes down to 116€for two (in this estimation, I did take off 1 night in a hotel and 2 meals)
Other possible expenses :
- Bus Buenos Aires – Puerto Iguazu (5580$AR or 88€ for a 17h ride, fares 2019). Or by plane (117€AR from Buenos Aires, fares 2019).
- Plane Rio de Janeiro – Foz do Iguaçu: 167€ round trip , 2020 fares, see Skycanner
- or Plane Sao Paulo – Foz do Iguaçu : 87€ for the return trip 2020 fares, see Skycanner
Visas for Brazil and Argentina are free for French citizens. But if you are Canadian, American… check the rates!
For more pictures, check out our travel diary and all our articles about Argentina
The Iguaçu / Iguazú Falls (Brazil & Argentina): a wonder of nature