Iguazú Falls, spelled Iguassu or Iguaçu in Portuguese, can also be visited from Foz do Iguaçu, located in the state of Paraná in the south of Brazil.
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Iguazu: Getting a Brazilian Visa
If you don’t have a Brazilian visa to enter the country (and you don’t figure out how to sneak over for a bit, as travelers have occasionally been known to do) you will need to get one. Those from the United States, Australia, Canada and most African and Asian nations (excluding South Africa, Malaysia and Singapore) all need visas. Most EU citizens don’t need a visa, but check online before showing up at the border.
The price is high and getting the tourist visa can be a bit of a pain, but many consider the fee worth it for the chance to stroll through Brazil’s national park. Those who didn’t plan well can apply for a visa in Foz de Iguazu before 12 p.m. at the consulate in Puerto Iguazu, but you’ll need 24 hours to process it. Worth noting is that those with an expired Argentina visa will be rejected.
Although there are not as many trails and close encounters with the falls on the Brazil side, the panoramic views are superior. On the Brazilian side of Iguazu there is also the opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of the falls by a helicopter tour, although it is hoped visitors resist the excursion due to the environmental impact.
Just north of the cataracts, on the border of Brazil and Paraguay, is the Itaipu Dam, the largest hydroelectric power plant on the planet. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the US Association of Civil Engineers and is an interesting excursion for those who enjoy educational travel. Check availability for a Itaipu Tour online. Although they aren’t high in the list for many tourists, there are some gem mines in the area to visit as well.
Many tourists opt to stay in Puerto Iguazu on the Argentine side of Iguazú, rather than on the more urban and crime-laden Foz do Iguaçu on the Brazilian side. Nevertheless, because of the over-saturation of accommodations in Foz do Iguaçu there are some good deals to be had.
The most desirable lodging option is the Hotel das Cataratas, a classic colonial-style four-star hotel, unique for being located inside the national park. It is far more tasteful, although a bit more expensive than the old Sheraton Hotel (now, Melia Iguazu) which is the only hotel located inside the Argentina side of the park.
Updated in 2018