Travel Update: Most destinations are open — check the official websites and read our crucial BEST TIME tips below to help you AVOID CROWDS (Travel with at least 15% off | booking.com)
Make your Iguazu visit unforgettable! The insights we compiled from our own visits and from speaking with locals, you’ll find nowhere else.
The best time to visit Iguazu regarding crowds and weather is March, April, except for Eastern, August, September, and November. October is the wettest month. June to September are the driest time with pleasant temps and clearer falls. After heavy rain, the falls appear red-brown from the washed-out soil.
After heavy rainfall, up to 39 million liters of water tumbling over every second in comparison to just 2 million liters during the driest time. However, rain occurs throughout the year. In June 2014, after torrential rainfall was the biggest ever recorded flow. Lots of platforms were closed for safety reasons. The boardwalk on the Brazilian site got destroyed by the high-water level.
Avoiding the Crowds (Worst Time to Visit)
With 1.5 million visitors each year, Iguazu is pretty busy most of the year. Usually, 5 – 6 thousand visitors come here each day. On average, 10 thousand people visit the park daily in the peak season. There are even more visitors during Carnival, Easter and on bank holidays, which are on the same days in Argentina and Brazil. The peak season lasts from late December until the end of February (school holidays in Argentina and Brazil). June and July, the winter break is crowded as well. If possible, go mid-week. Important Tip: The park gets closed with roughly 12 thousand visitors inside. This can happen during the peak season from midday onwards.
Where We Stayed (Our Best Hotel Tips)
Either you stay in Puerto Iguazu like Casa 24 where we spent several nights or the perfectly located Melia Hotel inside the park. This hotel gives you more flexibility to enjoy the beautiful falls. Just keep in mind, that you have to leave the park and falls at 6 pm like all other visitors. The big advantage you are one of the first visitors in the morning. Enjoy the tranquility of the park before thousands of tourists enter the gate.
- There is a Full Moon tour to Devils’s Throat – Garganta Del Diablo offered each month. This is the only chance to watch the Iguazu Falls after closure.
- Several times a day, speedboat tours take place. These tours are pretty popular. It’s highly recommended to book a tour in advance; if you don't want to risk not getting a spot.
Opening Hours / Tickets
The Argentinian side is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the entrance is already closed after 3 pm. The Brazilian side of the falls opens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tip: It's often mentioned that you should be at the ticket counter already before 8 a.m. to avoid queuing. We experienced the opposite. Lots of people come early and have to wait while we arrived after 9. It took us just a minute to get the tickets, although it was crowded inside the park.
To take marvelous shots with the perfect sunlight, consider the following order in terms of hiking to the falls:
- Hike to the Lower Falls in the morning
- To the Upper Falls around midday
- To the highlight Devil’s Throat at the end; in the afternoon.
The Iguazu Falls are spectacular with a high flow but more difficult to photograph with lots of spray. If it’s very dry, the falls are clear but less impressive. Your best months for a visit, depending on what you would like to experience. During the summer season, the level is higher, the falls are utterly impressive, but there is immense spray and the falls may be brown-red coloured. During the winter season, from June to September, the falls usually have a lower level and appear clearer. However, it's mother nature and, climate change has an impact as well.
It’s a subtropical and humid climate. The humidity is on average around 80%. There is a high amount of precipitation throughout the year. The annual rainfall is 1.800 mm. The colder “winter” months are usually a little drier than the hot summer months. Nevertheless, exceptions exist like in June 2014 when torrential rainfall occurred. More daylight during the summer; however, the daylight saving time doesn’t exist any longer in Iguazu.
Increasing temps, humidity, and rainfall from October onwards. In general, October is the wettest month of the year. In Oct and Nov night temps are slightly below 20°C/68°F and day temps below 30°C/86°F on average. December to March are the warmest months above 30°C/86°F but can climb up to almost 40°C/104°F. If there was too much rainfall before clouds of mist may spoil your view.
April and May are a little wetter than the months before. June, July and August are the driest time of the year. The day temps in the so-called winter are between 22°C/72°C – 26°C/79°F. Days are more pleasant, and nights are quite cold between 11°C/52°F and 16°C/61°F. Usually, it’s a fantastic time for Iguazu though the flow can be lower and the falls are less impressive, therefore, clearer. Already increasing precipitation in September.
The Colour After Rainfall
The Iguazu Falls are not any longer clear as they were more than 40 years ago. It is rare to experience them in their natural colour. If you like to see these spectacular falls in their originally colour; you should visit them in the drier season. Due to forest clearance, the unprotected soil gets washed-out into the river. The colour of the falls is brown-red very often nowadays, especially in the rainy season. Because of the harmful side effects, fish can’t reproduce; birds and mammals can’t spot their preferred prey. Deforestation has a massive impact on the entire environment.
The Iguazu Falls are one of the most visited sights in Argentina and truly an unforgettable experience. Iguazu comes from the Guarani language and means "Great Waters". It was declared a National Park in 1939 and World Heritage Site in 1986. Iguazu is also voted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders on earth. The trails and bridges are well maintained the reason that most of the waterfalls on the Argentinian side are accessible for wheelchairs.
On the Brazilian side, helicopter flights are allowed but not in Argentina due to the impact on flora and fauna.
How to Get to Iguazu (Plane, Taxi, and Bus)
The Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls
There is an airport on either side of the falls. In Brazil, it’s the Foz de Iguazu (IGV) less than 20 km from the town center. Daily direct flights from Rio de Janeiro are being offered. In Argentina, the airport is called Cataratas del Iguazu (IGR) a bit more than 20 km from the town Puerto de Iguazu. Soon the airport will be enlarged to increase the number of flights and tourists. More direct flights from different cities, not only Buenos Aires, are planned.
After the arrival at the airport, you can either take a taxi, a bus or you’d arrange a pickup. If you stay in the town or nearby, it’s pretty easy and cheap to get to the Iguazu Falls. You can either take a bus for 75 ARS p.p. roughly $ 3,70, or you share a taxi with four for the same amount. Don't forget to ask for the fee first. We once paid three times more than usual in Iguazu due to a taximeter that was running too fast.
How Many Days at Iguazu - Is One Day Enough?
First of all, if you stay one day only you have to focus on the Argentinian or Brazilian Side. Many people arrive by plane in the morning and already leave Iguazu with the last plane the same day. We recommend staying at least two better three nights. That way, you can experience all different outlooks from the platforms and trails on the Argentinian side and visit the Brazilian side as well. For the falls on the Brazilian side, you may need a few hours only, but for the Argentinian side, the minimum is an entire day. The falls are much bigger and more impressive than the Niagara or Victoria Falls. I have seen them all already and in my opinion, the Iguazu Falls are a Must. It's worth the effort to come here and fell the untamed power of mother nature. You can either get by bus or taxi to the Brasilian side. The trail there is quite short and takes 2 hours max. However, the view from there is spectacular and worth the effort, too! Citizens from the US have to pay $ 160 for a VISA if visiting the Brazilian side!
Hiking Trails (Argentinian Side)
There is an ecological train inside Iguazu National Park with two stops. The first stop is just a short ride to the Lower and Upper Falls trailhead and picnic area. Instead, you can walk to the first station just 10 minutes on the Green Trail through a verdant rainforest. The second stop is close to Devil’s Throat - Garganta Del Diablo. Here it’s advisable to take the train for saving time. The hiking trail is just next to the rails, therefore quite boring.
- The Lower Falls trail is 3.4 k/2.1 miles long
- The Upper Falls trail is 3.5 km/2.2 miles long
- The hike to Devil’s throat 2.2 km/1.4 miles frequently along metal boardwalks. You can already hear the rumble of the cascading water in the distance. Mostly you get utterly wet at the end where the falls tumble down. Even in the rain, the sheer power of the falls is spectacular. Devil's Throat are 14 waterfalls tumbling down more than 80 m/262 feet deep.
- The Macuco Trail, where once the falls were located, now there is just a single waterfall. Trail length 7 km/4.3 miles.
- The trail on San Martin Island doesn’t exist for two years now. Usually, you got there by boat. The island is perfectly located in front of the falls.
Entrance Fee Summer 2020
Argentina: Foreigners ARS 800 / $ 13 Residents/Mercosur countries ARS 640 / $ 10,50
Tip: If you'd like to visit the Argentinian side twice; let the entrance ticket be stamped to get a discount of 50 % the next day.
What to Bring | Pack List
- Comfortable trainer; you will walk the entire day
- Plenty of water; it's warm and beverages are at some points available only
- Picnic and snacks, there is only fast food offered
- Sun protection and sunscreen, there isn't much shelter
- Insect repellent or you may get eaten up after rainfall
- Either rain poncho or clothes to change - You'll definitely get soaked! If you plan to do a boat trip wear already your swimsuit for the boat tour and carry a towel
Iguazu Falls National Park Facts
Butterfly salt lick
- The falls are in total 2.7 km/1.7 mi long; 800 m/0.5 mi on the Brazilian side and 1.9 km/1.2 mi on the Argentinian side and mark the border.
- Depending on the water level, the flow, there are up to 270 waterfalls.
- The falls have a height of 60-82 meters/197-269 feet.
- The Iguazu River originates in Brazil in the state of Parana and is 1.320 km long.
- The Iguazu River flows into the Parana River after the falls at the Paraguayan border.
- 100 species of fish are native to the Iguazu River.
- 2000 different kinds of butterflies exist in the National Park.
- 1000 species of birds call the Iguazu National Park their home.
- The biggest population of great dusky swifts is nesting and resting behind the falls to be protected from predators. In the late afternoon, you can often spot them flying into the falls. That's utterly exceptional.
- Rare and threatened wildlife like the jaguar, tapir, ocelot occurs here.
Please, don’t feed the agoutis and monkeys. Many of them got already used to human food. The result they often become aggressive in the picnic areas and can harm people.