As the bus drove across the Friendship Bridge that connected Paraguay to Brazil, I felt the anticipation of a new country. I was entering Brazil, a country that had been on my bucket list for so long. One which marked the last port of call of my 3 month South American trip.
As they stamped my passport, I rubbed my blurry eyes, the lack of sleep from the night bus suddenly hitting me. Tired from travelling, I climbed back on the bus, my body longing to rest but my mind filled with the excitement of a new destination. Brazil! Land of Samba, carnivals and most importantly – Iguazu Falls.
I had seen a few waterfalls in my time, Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, and the stunning Milford Sounds in New Zealand, but Iguazu Falls were meant to be in a league of their own. As the largest waterfall system in the world they sit on the border of Brazil (in the Parana state) and Argentina within the Missions province.
With just over 260,000 residents, the city of Foz do Iguaçu is the first border city from Paraguay. Located in the South of Brazil, it is the hub for the falls with the same name. I had chosen to stay at Concept Design Hostel & Suites which was a short taxi ride from where main bus terminal.
The beauty of arriving on a night bus is that you have the whole day to explore. Taking advantage of the gorgeous early morning, I joined forces with the Germany girls I had met on the night bus whom, as chance would have it, were also staying at the same hostel. And we caught our first Brazilian bus to one of the country’s biggest attractions.
Although it was still early, the queue for the falls was growing by the minute. The entry fee was US $64.30 and included the $10 bus which took you to various lookouts within the park.
Devil’s Throat is the main vantage point. Following the crowds, we ventured onto the short hike that would take us to the falls. Taller than Niagara, the falls are as high as 82 metres and stretch for more than one and half miles.
It’s only when you see these waterfalls up close that you realise the magnitude of them. Endless waterfalls gush like shimmering curtains lining the rock. As I continued to walk along the path, another perfect kodak moment opened up, each one as amazing as the next.
Now this was a waterfall. Although some say that the best view is from the Argentinian side, this awe-inspiring view was more than enough for me.
I continued to walk slowly, mesmerised by each view. Expertly avoiding the selfie sticks and people queuing for their perfect shot.
A boardwalk had been precariously placed for a better view. Those who braved it came back drenched. But that wasn’t the only option to get a better view. Inflatable boats drifted as far as they could to the cascades of water, carrying numerous poncho-wearing tourists.
For me, just watching the falls from the land was enough. Especially as I had company, in the form of a furry little rodent, a South American coati, which although may look incredibly cute and like furry little burglars, they have a vicious streak and are like ninjas, appearing wherever a trail of food appears.
No matter where you go here, the falls will seriously blow you away. Even the gift shop has an amazing view.
So are Iguazu Falls the best falls in the world? In my opinion, yes. Even if I didn’t see them from the Argentinian side.
Accommodation in Iguazu
I stayed at Concept Design Hostel & Suites for 2 nights. It cost $21 for both nights in a 6 bedroom female-only dorm including breakfast. The hostel was near the bus stop for the falls which was only a 20 minute journey away. There was also a good Chinese restaurant within walking distance. It was ideal for my 2 nights in this area.
Paraguay to Iguazu Falls
I travelled from Asuncion across the country to Foz do Iguazu (otherwise known as Iguazu Falls). My bus ticket cost £115 through a company called NSA. The bus left the station at 23.15 and arrived in Iguazu at 07.30am.
I was told to be careful of any kids at the bus station so as my usual precaution I kept hold of my bags just as a group of kids came in and split up through the station obviously looking for bags to steal. There were still people here at night so apart from the kids it felt safe. The bus stopped at the border before going to Foz do Iguaçu.
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