Falling for Iguassu: can you believe the hype?

Every traveller, blog, tour company, and even your neighbour’s dog says Iguassu Falls (or Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls) is a must-see when travelling to Brazil or Argentina. Not one to believe the hype, I wondered if it’s really worth a visit or just an overrated tourist trap? Now that I've stood and marvelled at the rushing torrents for myself, I can honestly say that Iguassu Falls is 1000% worth the trip. Yes, the parks are touristy and the shops are expensive, but it’s a top destination because it is one of the most incredible things you’ll ever see! Why? For one, UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site for its exceptional natural beauty but if that’s not enough reason, then I’ve got a few others. Largest waterfall system in the world Iguassu is a conglomerate of around 281 individual falls! (At least that’s what the bus ride in tells you). Basically, think of all the waterfalls you’ve ever seen in your life and then imagine them side by side. Even that is only going to give you a small sampling of their true enormity. Rich biodiversity and wildlife habitat Since it’s a national park, there’s a huge variety of wild animals to see like plush-crested jays in the air, coatí and Argentine black and white tegu on the ground, black capuchin monkeys in the trees, and yacare caiman in the water. A lot of them are used to humans and don’t tend to run away, which makes for really cool photos and memories. Word of warning though, be sure to keep a respectful distance because they are still wild and will protect themselves from harm. Easy accessibility for all All of the walking paths at Iguassu Falls feature accessibility points. No matter your level of mobility, you can enjoy the unbelievable views just as well as anyone else along the route. The majority of paths are built out flat with planks or metal frames, so there's no hiking. Walk along the falls In my opinion, this is the most fun reason to visit Iguassu. You’ll likely get soaked from all the vapour produced by the huge volumes of water flowing over from the Iguassu River. And I mean HUGE volumes. Dare I say it? You’ll be absolutely MIST-ified. By this point maybe I’ve convinced you to go to Iguassu? If you’re a solo traveller like me, you might also be wondering if can you do it alone or you need a tour? Yes, you can do it alone but after reflecting on my own recent experience, I definitely recommend joining a tour instead. Why? Here are my main reasons: Your logistics are covered I viewed the falls on my own from both the Argentine and Brazilian sides and managed to get lost both times, missed my bus, and had limited Spanish to get help. You get more educational opportunities Joining a tour helps you learn about the area and what you’re seeing. Any questions I had were left unanswered when I went by myself because there were few informational boards to provide insights and they were only on the Argentine side. You'll enjoy built-in companionship I travel alone a lot, it’s my main way of seeing the world. Iguassu is one of those rare places where I wished I had a fellow traveller to share in its sheer awesomeness. This feeling was completely new to me as I’m very comfortable exploring on my own, which is why I mention it. Joining a tour automatically gives you another person to enjoy the moment with and exclaim about all of the wonderful things you’re witnessing. Basically, whether you’re a seasoned solo traveller or travelling in a group, visiting Iguassu is absolutely worthwhile. And I can safely say that you’ll get even more out of it by doing it as part of a small group tour. Getting There Eager to take Dina's well-earned advice and join us alongside the thunderous Iguassu Falls? Here's of a few of our top tour suggestions: Iguassu & BeyondBuenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro: Falls & FootyAndes, Iguassu, & Beyond

Falling for Iguassu: can you believe the hype?

Every traveller, blog, tour company, and even your neighbour’s dog says Iguassu Falls (or Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls) is a must-see when travelling to Brazil or Argentina. Not one to believe the hype, I wondered if it’s really worth a visit or just an overrated tourist trap? Now that I've stood and marvelled at the rushing torrents for myself, I can honestly say that Iguassu Falls is 1000% worth the trip.

iguassu pic

Yes, the parks are touristy and the shops are expensive, but it’s a top destination because it is one of the most incredible things you’ll ever see! Why? For one, UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site for its exceptional natural beauty but if that’s not enough reason, then I’ve got a few others.

Largest waterfall system in the world

Iguassu is a conglomerate of around 281 individual falls! (At least that’s what the bus ride in tells you). Basically, think of all the waterfalls you’ve ever seen in your life and then imagine them side by side. Even that is only going to give you a small sampling of their true enormity.

iguassu pic

Rich biodiversity and wildlife habitat

Since it’s a national park, there’s a huge variety of wild animals to see like plush-crested jays in the air, coatí and Argentine black and white tegu on the ground, black capuchin monkeys in the trees, and yacare caiman in the water. A lot of them are used to humans and don’t tend to run away, which makes for really cool photos and memories. Word of warning though, be sure to keep a respectful distance because they are still wild and will protect themselves from harm.

iguassu pic

Easy accessibility for all

All of the walking paths at Iguassu Falls feature accessibility points. No matter your level of mobility, you can enjoy the unbelievable views just as well as anyone else along the route. The majority of paths are built out flat with planks or metal frames, so there's no hiking.

iguassu pic
iguassu pic

Walk along the falls

In my opinion, this is the most fun reason to visit Iguassu. You’ll likely get soaked from all the vapour produced by the huge volumes of water flowing over from the Iguassu River. And I mean HUGE volumes. Dare I say it? You’ll be absolutely MIST-ified.

iguassu pic

By this point maybe I’ve convinced you to go to Iguassu? If you’re a solo traveller like me, you might also be wondering if can you do it alone or you need a tour? Yes, you can do it alone but after reflecting on my own recent experience, I definitely recommend joining a tour instead. Why? Here are my main reasons:

Your logistics are covered

I viewed the falls on my own from both the Argentine and Brazilian sides and managed to get lost both times, missed my bus, and had limited Spanish to get help.

iguassu pic

You get more educational opportunities

Joining a tour helps you learn about the area and what you’re seeing. Any questions I had were left unanswered when I went by myself because there were few informational boards to provide insights and they were only on the Argentine side.

iguassu pic

You'll enjoy built-in companionship

I travel alone a lot, it’s my main way of seeing the world. Iguassu is one of those rare places where I wished I had a fellow traveller to share in its sheer awesomeness. This feeling was completely new to me as I’m very comfortable exploring on my own, which is why I mention it. Joining a tour automatically gives you another person to enjoy the moment with and exclaim about all of the wonderful things you’re witnessing.

iguassu pic

Basically, whether you’re a seasoned solo traveller or travelling in a group, visiting Iguassu is absolutely worthwhile. And I can safely say that you’ll get even more out of it by doing it as part of a small group tour.