The monumental power of the falls has to be seen to be believed. We spent a day exploring the Brazilian side and another day on the Argentinian side. It’s worth having a day or two spare to allow you to pick a day with good weather.
Park Entrance Prices
Entry in Brazil costs 63.60 Reals (£14.25) per person for a day but you can purchase a second day (at the same time) for half price. Parking is 22 Reals (less than £5) for the day and is really close to the entry. You can find plenty of other car parks on the way down that road but you don’t save a huge amount (15 Reals) and you’ve got to walk a little further to the visitors centre. Payment is really simple and they have self-service machines accepting cards and the shops inside the park accept card too. Entry in Argentina is $500 pesos (approx £21) and you can revalidate your ticket as you exit to allow yourself a 50% discount if you want to return the next day. Parking is $100 pesos. The ticket office accepts card (visa only) and the shops in the park accept cash.
The facilities are great so you only need to worry about getting yourself around the site to see everything. The Brazilian side has a 7km hop on hop off bus ride through the jungle and you can see loads of wildlife from the bus. In Argentina the walking trails are much longer and you set off on foot from the main entrance. It was pretty foul weather on our day on the Brazilian side but we saw so much. The walkways take you out over the water to get a look over the edge of some of the big drops – hold on to your hat/stomach! One of the platforms takes you very close to the bottom of a big curtain of water so you can hear and feel the power of the water up close. It was one of my favourite places to stand at the falls, I loved to watch the brown water turn to a raging white torrent as it fell. There is more to see on the Argentinian side but it is still definitely worth seeing both sides. If you can, visit the Brazilian side first to be blown away by seeing the big waterfalls from the bottom and then head over to Argentina to see the upper parts of the falls and walk through the jungle. It works best in that order because you appreciate the big drops more when you have seen and felt the water smashing into the pools at the base of the falls. We spent Christmas day at the Argentinian side of that falls; the weather was great and it wasn’t busy at all. Most of the Argentinian side is above the falls and there are three main trails to follow – the upper and lower circuits and the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) Trail. They are all an absolute must. Each one is between 1.1km and 1.5km and mostly fairly easy to walk, though the Lower Circuit does have quite a few steps. On the Upper Circuit and the Devil’s Throat trails there are long walkways over the water and you can see plenty of wildlife along the banks and in the water. We saw some giant terrapins and enormous catfish in the lazy river fairly close to a 40m waterfall! The most iconic spot has to be the viewing platform at the Devil’s Throat. We spent ages there in the scorching sun looking out over a mind-boggling number of cascades and admiring a beautiful rainbow below us. To reach the Devil’s Throat Trails you can take a narrow gauge train or walk alongside the tracks (it’s about 3.5km) and see lizards basking in the sun and keep your eyes peeled for jaguars and pumas. There are three stations, you can get on at Central, then the first stop, only a few minutes away is Cataratas, here you have to get off and join the back of the next queue(!) to catch the train to Garganta Station. The queue is pretty nasty so in peak times it would be better to walk. There are plenty of food courts and they aren’t too badly priced so you can seek refreshment when you arrive!