While I was planning my trip through Brazil I was never certain how long to stay in Foz do Iguacu. There are plenty of sites and recommendations – of which many look like they have not been there when I look back at them now. Therefore I will provide you with my personal experiences in Foz do Iguacu. I really enjoyed my time there, as it is one of the most impressive places around the world, especially for photographers. However, I did some mistakes and would not copy my plan to recommend it to other people. So I will try to answer the question: “How long to stay in Foz do Iguacu?” for you.
Things to do in Foz do Iguacu
First of all, I want to show you what you can expect in Foz do Iguacu – what I enjoyed the most and what else you could do. Afterward, I will tell you own recommendation on how long to stay in Foz do Iguacu. Most people will go to this incredible place and just visit the falls. Sure, they are the best part there. You would definitely miss out some great attractions though. Many travelers describe the waterfalls in Iguazu as the most impressive on our earth – which, in my opinion, is absolutely true. They are not comparable to waterfalls you can find in Asia, like the Huangguoshu Waterfall, in Europe, such as the Rhine Falls in Switzerland, or some of the beautiful waterfalls in Croatia.
Let’s start with the best of it. In my eyes, the Argentinian side of Foz do Iguacu is the most impressive piece of nature that I have ever witnessed. You can’t describe the feeling when you stand in front of the “Garganta do Diabo” (Devil’s Throat). There were many tourists trying to make a selfie, a picture or a video. I personally just enjoyed this moment. You can’t do a great picture there anyway, there are too many people. But you will know what I am talking about when you make it there. It is one of the moments in your life where you feel so small and start to think. So this place is nothing for photographers? No! It is a photographer’s dream. But not devil’s throat. Actually, there are three big routes – two of them will lead you through the jungle and you will see some of the most amazing waterfalls. Additionally, there are some smaller routes that most tourists don’t even consider to try. In my opinion, you should. Directly next to the entry you will find the “Sendero Macuco”, which will bring you to the “Salto Arrechea”. It closes earlier than every other place in the park (because it is a 3,5-kilometer walk) and the only possibility to go into the water. Not only can you explore the whole park by walking, also can you use different activities with boats or even make a big tour through the jungle (by car). Unfortunately, they are not included – I tried the “Aventura Nautica” for myself and can highly recommend it! You will be in a speedboat which carries you close to a waterfall. Action guaranteed.
Whereas the Argentinian side was absolutely huge and I spent there a whole day, the Brazilian side was kind of disappointing in that way. But what am I talking: It was absolutely amazing as well! The Brazilian national park doesn’t consist out of different paths and angles. Basically, you have one main way that takes you in front of the Devil’s throat again. From the side, you have an absolutely incredible viewpoint where you can take pictures with rainbows in it. For all my pictures in high quality, you can see them on my 500px page. What else can you do there? Like on the Argentinian side it is possible to buy additional packages like a boat tour, a hike through the jungle or even a kayak tour. The highlight is definitely the possibility to see the falls from above – with a helicopter. In the end, I decided to not take this chance, as I read many bad reviews about the company that executes this tours. They are the only company to do it there and seem to not care about their customers. If you want to try it anyways you can find the Helicopter offer here. What makes the Brazilian side special? Once you are finished with the park (just three hours for me) there is a park called “Parque das Aves” close-by. It is a private zoo that mainly shows birds in their natural environments. What makes this park special to me was that they try to bring abused or injured birds and animals back to nature. They don’t guide it to make money – and you can see the passion of all the staff workers there as well.
Hydroelectric power station – Itaipu
Wow, that sounds so exciting! I will definitely try this out! Probably not many people will think this. But my visit to Itaipu – the world’s second-largest hydroelectric power station was really impressive. I did a big tour where you could see the inside of the building, including turbines and generators. I could not imagine there is something as big as this. In total it produces 75% percent of Paraguay’s electricity and almost one-fourth of Brazil’s. It’s hard to describe this place in words – but I definitely recommend to go there, even if you’re not interested in the technical aspects. For example, it is also possible to make a sunset ship tour on the lake or just enjoy the dam light show at night. For me, this is definitely another thing to do in Foz do Iguacu.
Other activities in Foz do Iguacu
To really tell you how long to stay in Foz do Iguacu I will also tell you about less-known activities or things I did not do for myself. First of all Foz do Iguacu is located in a border triangle with Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. So why didn’t I hop over to Paraguay? I just did not have the time! I heard from locals that you can find really cheap markets and outlets there. Around Iguacu you can also visit a Chinese temple and of course do the typical Brazilian things like enjoying a barbecue in the evening or visit one of the many cultural shows.
How long to stay in Foz do Iguacu?
Finally, we are getting there! And you will get your answer now. After all, Iguazu was deservedly listed in my fellow Blogger Sabrina’s list of top 10 places in South America. I mentioned the Argentinian side at the beginning, which definitely takes one day itself to explore everything. While strolling through the park I explored a hotel called “Belmond Cataratas”. It is expensive, however, I recommend you to stay there for one night because you have 24-hour access to the park which means you can explore it almost alone and even enjoy a sunrise or a sunset. I still regret I did not know about this. After the Argentinian side, it’s getting complicated, as you can do many different activities combined. The minimum to stay is definitely 2days. But you will be in a rush. If you want to see both sides, the bird park, and Itaipu I would plan with 3 days, like I did it. To be honest, that is enough, but to see everything you will still be in a hurry and can’t enjoy every moment. So I will recommend you to stay there for 4 to 5 days – eventually exploring the Argentinian side in two days and take your time for pictures (definitely take a rain protection into your photography gear) or just witness the power of our nature. As I said I decided to stay there for three days, and sometimes I had to pass on a chance because I just did not have enough time. I hope that post was helpful for you and for more locations in the north of Argentina you can also check out these recommendations of a local.