Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls: Two Countries, One Natural Wonder
When visiting Buenos Aires, you may be considering a trip to the world-famous Iguazu Falls. But since Argentina is massive, is it doable? How do you get from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls, and what do you do once you get there? Since Iguazu Falls is part of national parks in both Argentina and Brazil, planning a trip can be confusing. You want to see as much as possible, but can you cross the border and back and still see anything?
We’ve got everything you need to know to get from Buenos Aires to Iguazu, and see both sides of the Iguazu Falls (and more!), from tours that make it simple, to planning it all yourself.
We visited Iguazu Falls are part of our Family Year Out when our kids were 4 and 7. We spent a month in Buenos Aires, then took a few days to fly out to Iguazu to experience both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides of the falls before heading deeper into Brazil.
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At the bottom of this post, download a free guide: BUT IS IT SAFE? An Essential Guide for Family Travel.
What is Iguazu Falls?
Iguazu Falls are waterfalls on the Iguazu River – bordering the Parana state of Brazil and the Misiones province in Argentina. Even though the river’s course mostly goes through Brazil, most of the waterfalls fall on the Argentian side.
The name Iguazu Falls comes from a Guaraní word meaning “great water”. These waterfalls have a staircase character formed by multiple layers of basalt that divide the Iguazu River into upper and lower Iguazu.
They are one of the largest waterfall systems in the world and are protected by national parks from both Argentina and Brazil. With a total height of 82 meters and a width of 2,700 meters with 275 drops, The sheer size of Iguazu Falls will astound you.
Want to Keep it Simple?
Book a 2-Day Private Tour of Both Sides of Iguazu Falls
This 2-day private tour allows you to skip the lines, and get a guided tour of the falls- with one day in Argentina and one day in Brazil.
Where is Iguazu Falls?
Iguazu Falls are located on the Iguazu River which forms a natural border between three countries – Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The falls are in a remote area in the northeast of Argentina that is squeezed in between Paraguay and Brazil. You’ll need to fly into the local airport of either Puerto Iguazu (Argentina-IGR ) or Foz de Igauçu (Brazil- IGU) to reach the falls.
The waterfall system is located between Argentina’s northeastern province of Misiones and Brazil’s southern state of Parana. The falls occur when the Iguazu River tumbles over the Parana Plateau before continuing to flow through a canyon.
Why is Iguazu Falls so Famous?
Iguazu Falls is the largest waterfall system in the world. It is also one of the most dramatic waterfalls in the world, producing enormous sprays of water. Iguazu Falls has 275 drops in its system and the highest drop is 82 meters high!
Another reason why Iguazu Falls are popular is that the falls are shared by two countries – Brazil and Argentina. The rainforest that surrounds these falls is home to 2,000 plant species and stunning wildlife too.
I can also anecdotally add that we saw more rainbows during our visit to Iguazu Falls than I have in most of my life. There are rainbows everywhere! The beauty of this place is just astounding. Many other travelers report that it’s the highlight of their visit to Argentina, and even all of South America.
Iguazu Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on both sides of the border, both for its natural beauty and for the rare and endangered species that live in the surrounding rainforest. It was also one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World- definitely a family bucket list destination!
How to Get to Iguazu Falls
Since Iguazu Falls is located on the border between Brazil and Argentina, it is possible to visit this iconic site from either country. Both Brazil and Argentina have made provisions for Iguazu Falls to be easily accessible to visitors.
Getting from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls
The nearest city to Parque Nacional Iguazú in Argentina is Puerto Iguazu, located more than 1000 kilometers from Buenos Aires and 16 miles from the waterfall itself.
You will fly into Cataratas del Iguazu International Airport (IGR). There are three airlines – Aerolíneas Argentinas, Flybondi, and JetSmart Argentina, that fly the route between Buenos Aires and Puerto Iguazu airport nonstop every day.
The flying time is a little less than two hours for this route and the flights usually cost $30 to $100 depending on the carrier and the season.
Flying is the fastest and most cost-effective way to get from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls. There are also overnight buses going to Puerto Iguazu from Buenos Aires and other major cities. Buses depart from the Reitro terminal in Buenos Aires and the journey takes between 17 to 20 hours. However, the cost of the ticket can be similar (and sometimes even more expensive) than a flight.
Once in Puerto Iguazu, there are buses that run to the entry gate of the Iguazu National Park in about 20 minutes. These buses leave for the national park every 20 minutes and the ride costs about $6 per person.
However, if you are not taking a guided tour, we recommend that you set up your transfers with IguazuFallsTravel. They will pick you up at the airport, drive you to your hotel, take you to either side of the falls, and then back as needed. They are not a guide service but they provide transportation to make visiting both sides of the park simple and efficient.
They are experts at crossing the border quickly- they will drop you off so that you walk through the border crossing, and a second car will be waiting for you on the other side. You will notice many cars lining up to cross the border- walking through is much faster. They also are experts at knowing when there is traffic and what time you will need to leave the park to successfully re-cross the border and still make your scheduled flight.
Getting from Brazil to Iguazu Falls
The nearest town to Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian side is Foz do Iguaçu which is served by the Foz do Iguaçu International Airport (IGU). You can get to IGU from any of the major cities in Brazil including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Curitiba. Azul Brazilian Airlines, Gol Transportes Aéreos, and LATAM Brasil have non-stop daily flights to Foz do Iguaçu.
Foz do Iguacu is about 12 miles from Parque Nacional do Iguaçu or the Iguazu National Park on the Brazilian side. From the town, you can take the 120 bus from Terminal Transporte Urbano with the sign “Parque Nacional/Aeroporto” to get to the falls. It is a 40 minutes ride and these buses depart every 30 minutes or so and only cost $1.
The typical itinerary for visiting Iguazu Falls is usually a one-night itinerary which includes first doing a full-day trip to the Parque Nacional Iguazú on the Argentinian side and then doing a half-day trip to the Parque Nacional do Iguaçu on the Brazilian side.
How Much Time to Spend at Iguazu Falls
If you have more time, consider at least a two-night/ three days itinerary since there is so much to experience within the national parks.
Apart from the walking or hiking trails, you can take boat rides up to the waterfall, take a toy train ride amidst the subtropical rainforest and also take a helicopter ride to view the falls from a bird’s eye view!
Worried about travel to South America? We put together our best tips for traveling with kids in South America, from special lines for families to safety tips.
Two Days at Iguazu Falls
We recommend two full days to visit Iguazu Falls- one day in Argentina and one day in Brazil. If you can get an early morning flight, you can be transferred directly from the airport to the falls to start your visit. It does not matter which side you stay on, you can visit both sides of the waterfall from either country.
Important: Since you will be crossing international borders to go on to the other side, make sure that you have your passport on you and that you do not leave it in your hotel room!
We visited the Iguazu Falls first from the Argentinian side. We were only able to get an evening flight, so we flew into Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport (IGR) in Puerto Iguaza, Argentina, arriving at 7 pm.
We then flew out at 7 pm two days later, giving us 48 hours on site. We recommend this itinerary so you have enough time to pace yourself and enjoy both sides of the falls to the fullest.
However, to save time and money on spending an extra night in a hotel, you could easily switch this around to arrive in the morning by taking the 8 am flight from Buenos Aires and landing in Iguaza by 10 am. Since the domestic terminal at IGR is quite small, it should not take you more than 10 to 15 minutes to be out of the airport.
Do I Need A Visa for Argentina or Brazil?
A number of countries are exempt from a visa for visiting Brazil and Argentina for tourism purposes including USA, Canada, and UK. However, be sure to check for the visa requirements for your country before planning your visit.
The Best Tours of Iguazu Falls
Visiting Iguazu can be complicated- here are the best Iguazu Falls tours to simplify the experience for you.
1. One-Day Deluxe Tour from Buenos Aires- with Airfare
If you only have one day, and want the deluxe package, this one-day tour includes airfare from Buenos Aires and a fully guided tour of the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls. You’ll start early in the morning, have your airfare and tour completely planned, and be back in Buenos Aires by evening.
Book Now: One-Day Deluxe Tour from Buenos Aires
2. Private 2 Day Tour: 1 Day on Each Side of Iguazu Falls
This is the tour we most recommend- you’ll have a guided tour for both sides of the falls, with a full day on each side. You won’t have to worry about logistics, on the Brazilian side they will even drive you into the park, so you don’t have to wait for the shuttle bus.
This tour gets solid 5 star reviews:
Book Now: 2 Day Tour of Iguazu Falls, 2 Sides of the Park
3. 1 Day Tour of Iguazu Falls in Argentina with Boat Ride
This 1-day tour includes a full day at the Argentinian side of the park as well as the boat ride up to the falls. The minimum age for the boat ride is 12 years old. This tour also includes hotel pick up and drop off.
Because the Argentinan side of the falls is a bit more complicated, with more walking routes than Brazil, a guide helps you navigate the park and avoid crowds, as well as teaches you about the flora and fauna of the park.
What other travelers have to say:
If you’re on the fence about whether to take a guided tour, we recommend taking this tour, then visiting the Brazilian side on your own with a transfer service. You’ll get the best of both worlds!
Book Now: 1 Day Tour of Iguazu Falls in Argentina with Boat Ride
4. Helicopter Ride over Iguazu Falls
As an alternative (or in addition!) to the boat ride, consider a helicopter over the falls. You’ll stay comfy and dry, and get a new perspective on just how large Iguazu Falls really are. This can only be done on the Brazilian side of the falls.
Many travelers report that they wish they had done this tour first, to get a sense of the overall layout of the falls, before walking the paths down below and seeing the falls up close.
The helicopter tour is quite short (about 12 minutes), and if you get assigned the inside seat you may have trouble taking photos out the window. However, since drones are not allowed at the falls, this is your only chance to see the falls from above and get some stunning pictures!
Book Now: Helicopter Tour over Iguazu Falls
Visiting Iguazu Falls in Argentina
There is a lot to do on the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls, so you’ll want to get an early start to your day.
Entering the Park
When you enter the park, you’ll need to request a timed ticket on the train to take to Garganta del Diabalo, or Devil’s Throat. The electric train is a scenic way to reach the far points in the park. It’s included in your ticket. Trains leave every 15 minutes.
Head to Devil’s Throat
Take the train to the end of the line- Estacion Garganta. You’ll then take a metal walkway out over the river on your way to the Devil’s Throat. The viewpoints for the Devil’s Throat are at the very top of the falls, you’ll be looking over and down the most turbulent part of the falls. This is where the power of the falls is most evident, and the sheer volume of water pouring over is clear.
This area is narrow and can get quite crowded so plan to head here as early as possible before the major tour groups arrive. From here, take the train back down to Estacio Cataratas, where you can access the lower and upper trails.
Beware the Coatis
Of all the wildlife around Iguazu Falls, the most social creature you’ll encounter is the coati. A member of the raccoon family, these coatimundis can be found running atop the handrails and scurrying back and forth across the park.
Keep your distance from these creatures, and protect your food. They are masters of grabbing food off your plate and absconding with it. Food service workers in the park will try to scare them off with loud yells and broomsticks, but they are pretty persistent.
Lower Trail Circuit
The lower circuit trail runs along the edge of the river and takes you to five different drops including the twin drops of Dos Hermanas Falls. The corner of the trail also gets quite close to the falls- you’ll feel the spray and get blown by the wind coming off the rushing water!
Upper Trail Circuit
The Upper trail circuit winds around the top of the cliff edge with panoramic views over and down to the falls. San Martin Falls is the second largest in the park and has the widest viewpoint at the end. From here you feel like you are really on top of the falls.
Full Moon Walk
If you are visiting Iguazu during a full moon, you can participate in a special, two-hour full moon walk! Walks leave at 7:45 pm, 8:30 pm, and 09:15 pm. Check the calendar for the next walk. Adults are 18,500 ARS (about 85 USD), children 6-12 are 9,250 ARS (about 43 USD), and children under 6 are free.
Food in Iguazu Park, Argentina
In the central area of the park, there are two places to eat- Restaurant El Fortin, and Fast Food Boyeros.
We chose some things from the fast food option, but they were pretty limited. They were out of many things, so we scrambled to figure out food for all of us (and it was pretty mediocre). If you can, you’re better off bringing in some food with you.
Restaurant El Fortin has air conditioning, which may be a welcome change on a hot day. They have a lunch buffet, featuring Argentinian asado (BBQ). Reviews are mixed, and it’s more expensive than the equivalent on the Brazilian side, but if you don’t bring food in, it’s a better choice than fast food.
Boat Ride out to the Falls
The Gran Adventura Boat Tour takes about two hours. It is only available for ages 12 and older. After a jeep ride through the jungle, you’ll head out into the canyon by Devil’s Throat, and feel the spray of the falls! The water can be quite choppy- boats can also be canceled if the water level is too high or too low. This boat ride is usually included in a full-day tour of the park.
Book Now: 1 Day Tour of Iguazu Falls in Argentina with Boat Ride
Iguazu National Park, Argentina Information
Hours: 8 am to 5 pm
Tickets: Argentina has rapid inflation, but current prices are $4700 ARS (approx $20) per adult, and $1700 ARS (about $8 USD) for children ages 6-16( current as of 2023). Children below 6 enter free. Book your tickets online ahead of time.
Essential items to carry: Your passport, water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and bathing suit/change of clothes if you plan to take the boat safari. There are extensive trails, which may be slippery at times, so wear sturdy, comfortable shoes.
Visiting Iguazu Falls in Brazil
The falls are often misty and foggy in the mornings on the Brazilian side, so there is no need to rush in the morning. Take your time, and stop by the magnificent Parque de Avas, then head to Iguazu Falls.
Crossing From Argentina to Brazil
If you start your visit to Iguazu from the Argentine side, you’ll have two options- a local bus or a private transfer to cross the border to view Iguazu in Brazil.
If you opt for a private transfer, a car will pick you up at your hotel, and drop you at the border. You will walk through customs, and be greeted by a second driver on the other side to take you to the park. If you’ll be returning that evening to Argentina, the transfer service will do the same in reverse. Just make sure to leave extra time for border delays.
You can also head to the local bus terminal in the town of Puerto Iguazu and hop on to one of the many buses heading over to the Brazilian side. There are buses running specifically to the Brazilian Iguazu National Park so you do not even have to go to the town of Foz de Iguaçu.
Parque de Avas
This bird park is amazing. I was skeptical, as I’m generally not a fan of zoos or similar animal experiences, but this park blew me away. They work to conserve over 120 species of birds, many in danger of extinction. You’ll see birds like flamingos, scarlet ibis, parakeets, and more. Some are in large enclosures, others are wandering freely throughout the park.
As you walk through the park, you’ll be up close to many birds, including inside the parrot cage, which is such a fun experience! There are over 100 macaws in this cage with you- the birds fly over and around you. When we visited the jungle in Peru there were several types of birds we struggle to view through binoculars- here they were right in front of us!
There is no need to pre-book tickets for the Parque de Avas, you can buy them when you arrive. Plan to spend 1-2 hours here. Tickets are 80 Real, (approx $15 USD).
Iguaçu National Park, Brazil
When you enter the park, you can buy your entrance tickets at a machine that accepts credit cards. You will choose your entry time (the time you arrive), and proceed towards the shuttle bus.
If you plan to take the boat ride later in your visit, you should buy your tickets here, or you will have to return to the entrance to get them. You’ll need to choose a time for the boat when you buy tickets.
The Shuttle Bus
After entering the park, wait for the next free shuttle bus that will take you to three points within the national park. These buses run every 20 to 30 minutes, there is a large covered pavilion to wait in.
The first stop is the entrance to the Boat Safari (details below) you’ll come back here later.
The second bus stop is the entrance to the main walking trail in the park. This is where you’ll want to get off and walk slowly toward the main viewing points.
The Walking Trail
The trail is about 1500 meters- it is smooth and not too steep- though there are many sets of stairs, so don’t attempt to take a stroller! We helped one family that was struggling with all the ups and downs of this otherwise simple trail.
This trail ends where you can take an elevator up to the viewing deck to get a stunning, up-close view of the Devil’s Throat, the largest drop in the entire waterfall system!
If you want to skip the walking circuit, you continue on the bus to the third and final stop which is at the elevator to go up to the viewing deck. However, we recommend the walk as it gives you plenty of panoramic viewing opportunities of the falls before you get really up close to view the Devil’s Throat drop.
The Main Viewpoint
Once you arrive at the main viewing station, you’ll see boardwalks crossing over the water so that you can get great pictures of the falls. Be prepared to get sprayed! The mist from the falls hits these walkways, so you’ll get a little wet, but hopefully will also get some rainbows for your trouble. This section of the falls is called the Devil’s Throat, or Garganta del Diablo.
In this area of the park, you’ll also find the food stands, and an elevated viewing platform with a glass elevator so you can see the falls from higher up.
Food options in Iguaçu Falls, Brazil
In this area, you’ll find most of the food options in the park. There are several fast-food options and one sit-down restaurant. We didn’t have a lot of time before we needed to get to our boat safari, so we chose one of the faster options.
You’ll find some traditional Brazilian dishes like Coxinha, a breaded, fried croquette filled with minced chicken. You’ll recognize it by its pear shape.
Be aware, most of the workers here only speak Portuguese. You’ll need to line up at the cash register, tell them what you want, pay for it, get a receipt, and then take that receipt to the food case to have your food gathered. We found this a little tricky as we had to point at what we wanted, and it was tough to tell what was inside many of the options. Thankfully a few other guests who spoke Portuguese helped us out!
The sit-down restaurant is Porto Canoas Restaurant and has outdoor and indoor options. They have a lunch buffet, and beautiful views looking over the falls. If you have the time to relax, this is the place to go. We also hear they have pretty good cappuccinos!
Once you’ve taken in the main viewing station, you’ve seen the highlight of the park. Unlike the Argentinian side which has multiple pathways and smaller falls, the Brazilian side is all about the one fantastic view. Head back down the road (or grab the bus from station 3 to get off at station 2) to take the Boat Safari.
The tickets for the Macuco Safari are not included in the national park fees and cost extra. These can be bought at the park entrance itself or through their website. Most people do the standard boat safari, though they also offer rappelling and other rafting activities.
The boat safari cost $R386 (approx. 56 USD). If you haven’t purchased tickets before entering the park, be sure to buy them before getting on the shuttle bus, or you’ll have to backtrack. You’ll need to select a time to take the safari.
What is this Boat Safari?
First, you’ll take an electric train ride through the jungle. This 1.5 miles is called the “Jungle Ride”. Then you’ll walk along a metal path through the woods while a guide points out the various trees and plants that are unique to the area. If you have limited mobility, you can skip this part, and stay on the train.
Once you arrive at the river, there are areas to change your clothes and lockers you can rent. Once you are changed, head down to the dock (there is a lift, no stairs), where you will leave your shoes, and be given a life jacket. Then wait for your boat!
The Wet or Dry Boat Option
Most people opt for the standard “wet” option for their boat ride. The boat will intentionally go as close to the falls as possible, and you will get soaked. No raincoats or wet bagks for your camera are provided. Don’t bring it if you don’t want it to get wet! But, you do have the option of asking for a “dry boat”.
We visited in May (autumn), the weather was cool, and our youngest was recovering from a case of the sniffles, so we opted for the dry boat. The tour operators did not seem very happy about this, and we had to wait more than 20 minutes for a boat, while wet boats were filled and sent out.
In retrospect, this was the best decision we made. The dry boat still jumped over waves, we got to see the falls from up close in the water, and we were actually a little chilly from the wind when the boat was moving fast. If we had gotten really wet we would have been freezing. We watched several boats returning with people shivering and running to get up to their lockers and towels. If you visit in summer, I’m sure getting wet is a lot of fun, but in the shoulder seasons, know that you have options!
Visiting Itaipu Dam
Depending on your schedule at Iguaçu you may be able to make it to the last public tour of the Itaipu Dam at 3 pm. Or, consider adding a day to your itinerary to allow you a few more activities.
Itiapu Dam is the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world and is a shared project between Paraguay and Brazil. This dam rivals the Three Gorges Dam in China and is a sight to behold. The tour takes 2 hours and includes a view of the spillway. This dam creates 95% of the energy used in Paraguay.
Visit Tres Fronteiras Landmark
At the end of the day, head to Tres Fronteiras Landmark for a spectacular sunset, cultural show, and even dinner. The Tres Fronteiras or Three Frontiers Landmark is located where the three borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet – and hence the name.
This area is best visited in the evening for sunset, when the monuments light up, and there is a short presentation with traditional dances from all three countries. There is also a large Ferris wheel, and lots of souvenir and snack stands.
Iguaçu National Park, Brazil Information
Hours: 9 am to 6 pm (but you can enter the park latest by 4 pm)
Tickets: Prices fluctuate, but currently R$ 86 (approx $17) per person (2023). Children below 7 enter free.
Essential items to carry: Your passport, water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and bathing suit/change of clothes if you plan to take the wet boat safari. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes.
Where to Stay in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
For our visit to Iguazu Falls, we choose a hotel in Puerto Iguazu that was a little too far on the “budget” side and regretted it. If fact, it set the standard for every hotel since- my kids love to say “At least it’s not Igauzu” when our hotels are not as nice as we had hoped.
You’ll want to stay within an easy walk of the town of Puerto Iguazu so you have access to the restaurants and cafes in the area. This posada is where we’d stay next time- it has a great location and gets high reviews from past travelers.
Check Availability: Posada Los Tajibos
If you’re looking for a more luxurious stay, you have the option of staying inside Iguazu National Park- there is only one hotel in the park, the lovely Gran Melia Iguazú.
This five-star hotel has an infinity pool and a spa with a sauna and hammam. There are also 3 restaurants and 4 bars onsite. Some rooms even have balconies overlooking the waterfalls.
Book Now: Gran Melia Igauzu
Where to Stay in Foz Igauçu, Brazil
On the Brazilian side, the town of Foz de Iguazu is closer to the national park than you’ll find on the Argentine side. This mid-tier hotel is close to the center, with great facilities.
This hotel has an outdoor pool and includes a breakfast buffet. A great way to fuel up before a day in the park!
Check Availability: Hotel Rafain Centro
You also have one option to stay inside the park on the Brazilian side- the five-star Hotel das Cataratas. This hotel has two restaurants, two pools, a spa, and tennis courts. You’ll find traditional Portuguese-style rooms, and live music in the evenings.
Because you are inside the park, you’ll have access to the trails before and after most tourists. Enjoy the park at your own pace!
Book Now: Hotel Das Cataratas
When is the Best Time to Visit Iguazu Falls?
The spring months of March to May, and the Fall months of September to November are the best times to visit Iguazu Falls. And since these months are also the shoulder season, you are likely to encounter far lesser crowds this time of the year.
Iguazu Falls are located in a subtropical rainforest, so you’ll want to avoid especially humid or rainy times. The rainy season is from December to March. Also, try to visit on a weekday (Tuesday to Thursday are the best) for lower crowds.
The winter in Argentina is from June to August- there are lots of fun things to do in Argentina in winter– visiting Iguazu Falls is one of them!
Which is Better- the Argentinian or Brazilian Side of Iguazu Falls?
This totally depends on who you ask. Before we visited, we had several friends in Argentina tell us that the Brazilian side had the most dramatic views and was therefore best. However, after visiting, we preferred the Argentinan side- there were more trails to explore, and more interesting, smaller waterfalls. Devil’s Throat in Brazil is fantastic, but it’s only one viewpoint. On the other hand, if you have younger kids, the boat ride in Brazil is lots of fun, and not available to kids in Argentina.
We highly recommend visiting both sides of Iguazu Falls. To reach the falls you need to dedicate a few days and an airline flight exclusively to viewing this wonder of nature, so why come and not see all sides of it?
Tips for Visiting Iguazu Falls from Buenos Aires
Here are our top tips for visiting Iguazu Falls with kids and making the most of your time at this natural wonder.
1. Pre-book Transfers
If you attempt to visit without a pre-booked tour, make sure to pre-book transfers. We used IguazuFalls.Travel who can help you coordinate your visit starting in either Brazil, Argentina, or Paraguay. You’ll want to spend your time in Iguazu enjoying the scenery, not worrying about your next transfer, or waiting in a long line at the border.
The travel companies help tourists cross over the border (in either direction) and back in one day, all the time, so they have the process down and know how much time to allow. There are special lanes dedicated to travel agencies that speed you through the border crossing faster than if you try to cross yourself.
2. Pre-Buy Tickets for the Argentinean Side of the Falls
Tickets to the Argentinean side of the falls are only available online. You must pre-book tickets, and choose a time to enter the park.
For the Brazilian side, you can buy your ticket via a machine when you arrive, and won’t need to pre-plan your arrival time. If you do opt to buy your tickets online in advance, you’ll have to choose an entrance time.
3. Be Prepared for Multiple Currencies
You will need to pay in multiple currencies, so plan to have Argentinean Pesos and Brazilian Real. In Brazil, you will need cash for many things- credit cards may not be accepted for food, boat trips, etc. in the park. Also, it’s great be prepared to pay for taxis or other transportation in Brazil.
4. Bring Water and Food
Water and snacks inside the park are expensive, plan to bring some with you to make snacking more convenient and less costly.
5. Restrictions for Kids Under 12
Kids under 12 are not allowed to take the boat ride on the Argentinean side, but they can on the Brazilian side. Bring a change of clothes and be prepared to get wet!
FAQ: Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls
Yes, you can do a long day trip from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls. If you want to really make it easy, take this day trip tour that includes airfare. However, we highly recommend you spend at least two days exploring the falls.
Flights from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls are just under 2 hours long (1:50 minutes).
Three airlines fly direct from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls: Aerolíneas Argentinas, Flybondi, JetSmart Argentina. Flights leave several times a day, though you should book well in advance for a good rate.
There are also flights into major cities in Brazil including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Iguazu Falls is one of the stops on our recommended itinerary for three weeks in Brazil.
No, there is no train from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls, you’ll need to fly or take a bus to reach the falls.
The bus ride from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls is approximately 18 hours. There are six different carriers that drive the route, with costs ranging from $150-200 USD.
Iguazu Falls is the widest waterfall in the world, but not the tallest. Iguazu is special because it has 275 different waterfalls within it, the waterfall system stretches across several kilometers.
Iguazu Falls is in both Argentina and Brazil. Both countries have National Parks that preserve access to the waterfalls from their sides.
Iguazu Falls is bigger than Niagara Falls. It is approximately twice as tall and three times as wide as Niagara Falls. There are 275 different waterfall drops that make up Iguazu Falls.
Victoria Falls has a larger single sheet of falling water, while Iguazu Falls is wider and has more waterfalls in its system. Both are pretty amazing!
We saw no signs indicating that swimming was available at Iguazu Falls. Some people have indicated that if you hike the 4 km of Sendero Macuco out to Salto Arrecha there is a place to swim (bottom left of the main park map in Argentina). I was not able to verify this anywhere, so proceed with caution.
There is Uber in Foz de Iguaçu, Brazil, though visitors report that cars may be hard to find. There is no Uber or other ridesharing app that works in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. For taxis you may need to request that hotels or restaurants call a car for you.
The closest city to Iguazu Falls in Argentina is Puerto Iguazu. The closest city to Iguaçu Falls in Brazil is Foz de Iguaçu.
You do not need a tour to visit Iguazu Falls, you can arrange it all yourself, though you will need help with transfers to allow you to cross the border efficiently and move about town. A tour greatly simplifies the process of navigating two different park systems, two currencies, and two countries.
Our top pick is this 2-Day Private Tour of Both Sides of Iguazu Falls.
There You Have It: Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls
Traveling from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls is easy via flight, though figuring out the connections between two parks and two countries can be overwhelming. With a little planning, or the help of a good tour, you can enjoy this stunning World Heritage Site from both the Brazilian and Argentina side of the falls.
We’ve covered the best parts of both parks and how to explore them both over 2 days. From boat trips, to what to bring with you, we have all the tips to make sure you have a fabulous visit to this Natural Wonder of the World.
Book a 2-Day Private Tour of Both Sides of Iguazu Falls
This 2-day private tour allows you to skip the lines, and get a guided tour of the falls- with one day in Argentina and one day in Brazil.