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Iguassu Falls Travel Guide

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The work Iguaçú means "big water" in the tupi-guarani etymology. The Iguaçú river, which forms the Falls eighteen km before the river meets the Paraná river, overcomes a ground unevenness and plunges 65m with a width of 2,780m. Its geological formation dates back to approximately 150 million years.

The Iguaçú River is 1,200 wide upstream from the Falls and downstream it narrows down to a 65m channel. The total width of the Fall in the Brazilian territory is around 800m and 1,900m on the Argentinean side. Depending on the river flow, the number of waterfalls ranges from 150 to 300 and the height of said waterfalls ranges from 40 to 82m, accounting for a 2,700m semicircular shape. The average water flow of the river is around 1,500m3, ranging from 500m3/s during the draught season to 6,500m3/s during the flood season.

The individual waterfalls may range from 20 to 300 depending on the water volume. The large waterfalls are 19, three of them on the Brazilian side (Floriano, Deodoro and Benjamin Constant) while the remaining ones are on the Argentinean side. The position of the waterfalls, most of them on the Argentinean side and facing Brazil, provide a better view to those admiring the scenery from the Brazilian side.

After taking a wide turn and the rapids, the bulk of the falls plunges laterally into the deep erosion gorge, the Devil's Gorge. This 85m high waterfall is the one most appreciated by tourists; its shape resembles a horseshoe.

Garganta del Diablo

The Devil's Throat is the site of the biggest waterfall and the greatest sight Iguazu Falls has to offer. You can see a great amount of water gushing over 230 feet from above the waterfall or from many different angles in the surrounding area. There are even helicopter tours that let you see the amazing spectacle from above for a fairly reasonable rate.

Touring Circuits

Igauzu Falls Map

Iguassu Falls Map
The Circuito Superior (Upper Circuit) is a half-mile loop along a protected catwalk that is surrounded by spectacular views of the "Devil's Throat" and the magnificent waterfalls of Iguazu. Visitors approach the falls at a close (but not too close) distance, for an unparalleled experience of a natural wonder.

The Circuito Inferior (Lower Circuit) provides a longer trail (3,000 feet) to view the Dos Hermanos, Bossetti, Ramirez, Chico and finally San Martin waterfalls, as they all plummet into the Rio Iguazu (Iguazu River) below. Gaze upon an endless stretch of falling water and its white foam as it explodes into the river.

Other Information Although Iguazu is best known for their waterfalls, the surrounding jungle is well worth including in your explorations. A plethora of animals and birds make their home in the lush vegetation around the Iguazu National Park. There are also a number of other highlights in this region such as The San Ignacio Jesuit Mission Ruins, The Itaipu Dam, and the Yacutinga Lodge Wild Preservatory.

The map of the Iguassu Water Falls region, exposes the big geographical references and location.

Iguassu Falls Region Map

  • The Iguassu Falls are in the river Iguassu (1)
  • There is at the region another big river: Parana River (2)
  • Iguassu River and Parana define the borders of three neighbouring countries: Brazil (3), Argentine (4), Paraguai (5)
  • There are three cities in the region, each for each country: (6) Foz do Iguacu (Brazil), (7) Puerto Iguazu (Argentine), (8) Ciudade del Est (Paraguay)
  • There are two big local Parks, bordering the Iguassu river: the Brazilian (9) and the Argentinean (10)
  • There are two international airports: the (11) Iguacu Intl Airport (Brazil) and the (12) Iguazu Intl Airport (Argentine)
  • Hotels are mainly located in the cities or near the road that links the (13) Falls and the Foz do Iguacu (Brazil) or the road that links the (14) Falls and Puerto Iguazu.
  • The Devil’s Throat (15) is at the heart at the Falls.
  • The access to Argentine (or to Brazil, if you are in the Argentinean side) is made by crossing the bridge Tancredo Neves (16).
  • The access (from Brazil) to Ciudad del Est, in Paraguay, is made northward Foz do Iguassu city (17)

When is the best time to visit the Brazil / Argentina Iguassu Falls?

March to November is frequently considered the best time to visit the Iguassu Falls. But, in reality, there isn’t a best time. It depends on what you value most.

The high season is in January and February, when most Brazilians and Argentineans are in holidays. For those who want to experience the splendour and the impressiveness, that’s a good period to visit the Iguassu Falls. But… there are some downsides. The sky is bluer (it’s the peak of the summer) and the volume of the waters is high, but the humidity and the heat are also at their highest levels (as are the hotels prices and their occupation). And this is also a crowded period, you might wish to avoid.

If you want to avoid crowded periods, avoid the Easter time also. There is a strong Brazilian and Argentinean tradition to visit the Iguassu Falls in Easter. Vast throngs of tourists invade the place in Easter, crushing the quietness of most of the year. If you want to bet on low hotel prices, this is not a good season, either.

May and July are rainy months and the volume of the waters is at its maximum. The rain is rarely a problem, except for those who are looking for a quick day visit. In that case, the rain may strike the unfortunates.

If you want to enjoy an agreeable temperature, lower prices, less people and a very low probability of a troubling rainy day, September and October are great months. But it all depends of your style and preferences – and possibilities...

Iguassu Falls travel guide and tourism information such as festivals, maps, activities and attractions in Brazil - Brazil Travel Guide

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