Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Thu October 27 2022
Iguazu Falls South America.  (photo via RicardoKuhl/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Iguazu Falls

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Tourists at Iguazu Falls, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil.  (photo via rmnunes/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Tourists at Iguazu Falls, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. (photo via rmnunes/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

One of the most spectacular natural attractions on Earth, Iguazu (“great waters”) Falls consists of more than 270 waterfalls crashing over cliffs in a half-moon shape. Located on the Iguazu River on the border of Brazil and Argentina, the falls are shared by national parks, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in both countries. They can be reached from two towns: Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, and Puerto Iguazú, Argentina.

From Brazil, a long walkway along the canyon provides an extension to the Devil's Throat, the largest waterfall, which drops into a 262-foot-deep canyon. From Argentina, visitors can take the Rainforest Ecological Train to several walkways, including the Paseo Garganta del Diablo, which ends directly over the Devil’s Throat, and others that lead to a ferry to San Martin Island.

In addition, visitors can experience the area around Iguazu Falls — a jungle with nearly 500 species of wild fowl, 80 species of mammals and a range of reptiles, fish, insects and butterflies. The Macuco Trail, which spans less than two miles, winds through the jungle to Salto Arrechea, a miniscule waterfall compared with Iguazu Falls, but located in a secluded area where visitors can take a swim. Visitors also can board a rowboat in the upper Iguazú River to see wildlife on the delta. And for a real adventure, a local operator offers 4x4 vehicle tours through the jungle to a put-in point on the Iguazu River, where motorized rafts take visitors into the falls’ mist.

Since Iguazu Falls is shared by two countries, cuisine found in the region varies. On the Argentina side, grilled red meat and empanadas are staples; but with many ethnic populations, Argentina also offers cuisines influenced by Spanish, Italian, French and other European cultures. On the Brazil side, root vegetables, tropical fruits, beans and pine nuts are among the staples. Typical dishes include caruru (sun-dried meat, beans, goat, and corn meal) and moqueca capixaba (made of fish and tomatoes).

Foz do Iguaçu International Airport, located between Foz do Iguaçu and Iguazu Falls, is served by four South American airlines, which provide connecting service from larger airports. From there, taxis and a bus can take passengers to the park entrance. (There is an entrance fee.) Frequent buses go to points within the park for free. In addition, bus service is available from other cities, including Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paolo and Florianopolis, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Mar Del Plata, Cordoba and Tucuman, Argentina.

While Iguazu Falls is spectacular anytime of year, more water splashes down during the rainy season, January through March. This is also summer in the Southern Hemisphere, with average daytime temperatures in the high 80s. The climate at Iguazu falls and in the surrounding rainforest has little variation, with average daytime temperatures during winter (June through August) dropping to only 70 to 75 degrees, although nighttime temperatures are cooler.