Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls? Exploring both sides of the waterfall

Iguazú Falls (Spanish) or Iguaçu Falls (Portuguese) are the waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of Argentina and Brazil. Together, they make up the largest waterfall system in the world. The name “Iguazú” comes from the Guarani (indigenous language) and means “water” and “big”.

The Devils Throat in the background from Brazil

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The Argentina–Brazil border runs through the Devil’s Throat. On the right bank is the Brazilian territory, which is home to more than 95% of the Iguazu River basin but has just over 20% of the jumps of these falls, and the left side jumps are Argentine, which makes up almost 80% of the falls. We decided to visit both sides, first the Brazilian side and then the Argentinian side the day after.

The Devil’s Throat from Argentina

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The Brazilian side of Iguaçu Falls

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There is pretty much only on trail on the Brazilian side, and everybody is almost walking the same way. This also means that it can get really crowdy, and we visited the falls on a day with few tourist. With very limited viewpoints you are likely to stand in a line to take your picture. Just don’t be in a rush, and while moving forward in the line you can enjoy the waterfall.

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A few photos from the first couple of viewpoints. It does matter when you visit the falls. We visited in late June, during the dry season, this means that there is less water in the river, but at the same time, this also creates a lot of smaller waterfalls. I would defiantly visit the waterfalls again, late in the rainy season or in the beginning of the dry season, when there is more water. We visited from 10 am to 2 pm, and was pretty happy with the angle of the sun.

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Half a day is plenty of time to see the waterfall on the Brazilian side, if you haven’t planned any tour… like this one

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This is what it is all about… you pretty much get to stand in the middle of the waterfall on a walkway!

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We visited on a sunny day with almost no wind. If you visit on a windy day, you will be soaked on the walkway and it will be really hard to take pictures. We did the walkway without a rain jacket, and had an amazing time. The sunny weather and the amount of water in the air just created rainbows everywhere. This is called the lower base of the Devil’s Throat.

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Close up photos from the platform wlEmoticon-camera_3 Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls? Exploring both sides of the waterfall

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More rainbows and birds wlEmoticon-camera_3 Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls? Exploring both sides of the waterfall

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The Argentinian side of Iguazú Falls

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The Argentinian side is very different from the Brazilian. There is several walkways and trails in the National Park, we arrived at 9 am and didn’t leave before the park was closing at 6 pm. We also walked more than 30,000 steps.

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A train will take you to the upper part of the Devil’s Throat

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As you walk on the many walkway it is easy to enjoy the many waterfalls on the way, and we didn’t have to stand in line to take pictures. There is much more space, and all the tourist get spread out. One of the walkways takes you along the ridge of the waterfalls.

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Here is the same waterfall from below (left picture) and from above (right picture)

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Also on the Argentinian side there was rainbow, but not as many as on the Brazilian side

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We had a late lunch from 2-3 pm, and enjoyed our own food in one of the picnic areas. After finishing our lunch the park was almost empty. Our guess is that the tour busses arrive early in the morning, and they leave around 2 pm, so we almost had the park to ourselves.

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We boarded the train after lunch to see the Devil’s Throat at sunset. After getting of the train it was a 1 kilometer walk on a walkway to the upper base of the Devil’s Throat. We found it amazing to walk on the walkways, because you get so much closer to the waterfall.

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A Panorama of the upper base level of the Devil’s Throat

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Sunset seen from the Devil’s Throat

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We really enjoyed the golden hour before sunset at the Devil’s throat, until a ranger came and started guiding us to out of the park – it was closing time. Everybody has to be out of the park at 6 pm.

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The Caotis – they look cute, but don’t fool yourself…

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The coatis are thieves with strong claws and sharp teeth. They want to steal your food and can be very aggressive. On the Brazilian side we were not able to eat our lunch, because the coatis got so aggressive.

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A few other local animals wlEmoticon-camera_3 Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls? Exploring both sides of the waterfall

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Butterflies wlEmoticon-camera_3 Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls? Exploring both sides of the waterfall

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We really loved both sides of the waterfall, and would recommend that you visit both of them. If you don’t have two days, it is a tough choice. On www.ioverlander.com you can find updated prices and opening hours for the two National Parks. Coming up is how we crossed 3 borders in just 2 days ending up in Paraguay, where we will be a part of the Danish Colony.

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