Iguassu Falls | Brazil
Iguassu Falls may be one of the largest and most imposing waterfalls in the world. There are 275 falls that make up the Iguassu Falls and they drop 300 feet to the Iguassu River. The Falls are approximately 60 feet higher than Niagara Falls in the United States. The name is from a South American Indian name that means “great water.”
Iguassu Falls is located on the Border of Brazil and Argentina. About seventy percent of the falls are actually located in Argentina, but the 450,000 acres of Iguassu Falls National Park on the Brazilian side provides the most views, best access, and the biggest variety of activities for visitors.
The beauty of the falls is enhanced by the dense growth of tropical plants and trees that make up the surrounding rainforests. You can enjoy the full splendor of the area by following a walking trail. The trail wanders along the Iguassu River with views of the many smaller falls. It ultimately takes you to the base of the largest waterfall. A catwalk stretches across the largest series of falls that are known as Devil’s Throat. After you walk the catwalk you can go to the tower and ride and elevator to the top of the falls to view a panorama of the falls.
Trails, Eco Tours, and Adventure Tours
The Iguassu Falls area offers many exciting adventures besides the walking trail and catwalk to the falls. A trail through the rain forest called the Banana Tree Trail includes a boat ride in the area of the river that surrounds the small islands. You can also rent kayaks and go down the river around these islands.
White water rafting is available on the Iguassu River, along with jet boat excursions that take you through the rapids of the river. You can also get a whole different kind of view of the falls on a helicopter ride.
Guided jungle safaris are available if you want something more educational. For the more adventurous, try rappelling down a cliff on the Brazilian side of the falls or enjoy rock climbing.
The City of Iguassu Falls
The city of Iguassu Falls is about 17 miles from the falls themselves. The tourism generated by the visitors to the falls has made the city one of the most visited cities in Brazil. It provides plenty of hotels and restaurants and a lively nightlife to accommodate the daily influx of guests.
There are many beautiful places to stay in the area. The Tropical dos Cataratas Hotel, located in Iguassu Falls National Park, is an ideal place to stay when visiting the falls. The facility includes volleyball and tennis courts, a pool and a beautiful forest and garden areas.
The Iguassu Golf Club and Resort is 5 miles from the city of Iguassu Falls. Among its many amenities are tennis courts, pools, and an 18-hole golf course.
The Mabu Thermas Resort sits on the biggest underground water reservoir in the world. The hotel has plenty of pools and spas in which to enjoy the therapeutic temperatures of these hot springs.
The Falls from Argentina
If you are visiting Iguassu Falls from the Argentina side, you’ll find a trail called the Upper Circuit that begins at the visitor’s center. This allows you to see the top of the falls and provides a view of St. Martin Island and a portion of the Brazilian side of the falls. The Lower Circuit offers views of the smaller falls. This side also provides a catwalk that takes you to within a few feet of Devil’s Throat at a point where the falls are 266 feet high.
Ferry boats run from the end of the Lower Circuit trail to St. Martin Island. A loop trail circles the island.
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