Iguaçu Falls Brazil Visit – Getting There
After our Iguazú Falls Argentina Visit, we were ready to cross the river to Brazil for our Iguaçu Falls Brazil Visit. I approached a cab outside the Hotel St George and it helped to speak Spanish. The cab driver agreed to take us to our hotel in Brazil. A short side trip gave us a quick glimpse of Paraguay on the route. The border crossing was very unusual. We already had the required visa to enter Brazil. When we reached the border, our cab driver stopped and then took our visas and passports. He left us in the cab and disappeared. After a short while, he returned with processed documents and we went on our way. We never left the cab.
I booked the San Martin Resort & Spa, because it was right beside the park entrance to the falls. So, we were able to walk to and from the park. There is better accommodation available in Foz do Iguacu, but you will need a local bus or cab to reach the park.
Iguaçu Falls Brazil Visit – Riverfront Pathway
In the morning there were wild parrots flying around the grounds of the hotel. We walked to the entrance to the Brazilian park, known as Iguaçu or Iguassu. The admission fee was about $20 US and it could be paid by credit card. Admission included a fee for the bus service that then takes you 7 miles to the beginning of the pathway along the river. The bus stopped along the way to let people off for the Brazilian side river cruise. We didn’t take the river cruise, because we had taken the same cruise from the Argentina side the day before.
The pathway along the falls starts beside the Hotel das Cataratas, which is the only hotel located in the park. The views are extensive, because the pathway looks directly at the Argentina side where most of the waterfalls are located. The long line of waterfalls cascades down in two tiers. The atmosphere on the Brazilian side is much more relaxed, since there isn’t the same time pressure to cover the site. The pathway has a great view down to the river cruises as they force their way as close as possible to the base of the falls.
Iguaçu Falls Brazil Visit – Viewing Platform
After a casual stroll along the nicely shaded pathway, we reached the highlight of the Iguaçu Falls Brazil Visit. The highlight is the viewing platform they’ve built out over the falls on the flat surface between the two tiers of waterfalls. Here you can get very close to the largest waterfall on the Brazilian side. The closer you get, the wetter you will be. The platform also overhangs the main part of the river below, so you can scare yourself by leaning over the rail. The spray drives against you like sheets of rain, but suddenly stops and the view across to Argentina reappears. When you look upstream toward the Devil’s Throat, all you can ever see is mist. It was hard to leave this area of the site, but eventually our clothes were soaked through. At the beginning of the platform scaffolding, there’s an elevator tower that took us up to the top of the Brazilian falls.
Iguaçu Falls Brazil Visit – Porto Canoas Restaurant
At the top of the elevator, the mood turns back to a more relaxed atmosphere again. The river here looks more like a lake, as the water prepares to go over the falls. Porto Canoas Restaurant has excellent views of these calm waters. You can see the tourists in Argentina at the Devil’s Throat and you can see the spray, but you can’t get a view of the Devil’s Throat from the Brazilian side. After lunch, we caught the park bus back to the entrance. Then we headed to our next destination at Iguacu Bird Park (Parque de Aves).
Iguassu Bird Park
Just outside the park entrance, the Iguassu Bird Park (Parque das Aves) was an enjoyable add on. While it was disappointing to see some of the birds in small enclosures, they also had several large aviaries. The panatal and forest aviaries, give you the chance to feed and interact with the birds. Feeling the breeze from the wings of a macaw passing by a few inches away was special. Touching and feeding a toucan was great too. They have an immense collection of birds, plus some butterflies and hummingbirds. The two giant eagles were eerie. The fee was cash only, but the cash machine at the National Park entrance is a short walk away. Cash accepted included Brazilian reals, Argentine pesos and US$.