Iguazu falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentina province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu. The Iguazu River rises near the city of Curitiba. The river flows through Brazil for most of its course, although most of the falls are on the Argentine side. Below its confluence with the San Antonio River, the Iguazu River forms the boundary between Argentina and Brazil.

Parque Nacional do Iguaçu

Top choice in Paraná

Brazil's second-oldest national park, created in 1939, protects one of South America's most magical and majestic sights, Iguaçu Falls, part of the largest waterfall system in the world. The 1200m-long Trilha das Cataratas ('Waterfall Trail') is one of Brazil's best moments – a series of islands cut the river into numerous waterfalls along the path, each sparking one 'wow' moment after another until it all culminates in a magnificent display of Mother Nature's raw power at Garganta do Diabo ('Devil's Throat').

You can’t miss the shiny entrance to the Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, which houses bathrooms, ATMs, lockers, souvenir shops, left-luggage facilities and a vast parking lot (R$22). You can purchase your ticket in advance on the website and pick it up in the preferential line at the ticket windows, or buy from on-site machines (if you have a chip-in-pin card). Once ticketed, you will be directed to board a free double-decker bus, which departs every 10 minutes.

In addition to the main event, the park and its environs offers trails, boat trips, whitewater rafting and other nature-focused adventures – as well as coati galore (devious but adorable food-begging mammals related to raccoons – don't feed them!). Remember, it’s always wet at the falls, and water attracts sunlight. Pack rain gear and sunblock. Bug repellent is a must on the walking trails. Also note that lighting for photography is best in the morning on the Brazilian side.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Paraná attractions

1. Parque das Aves

0.23 MILES

This 5-hectare bird park, located 300m from the entrance to Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, is home to 800-plus species of birds, including red ibis, bare…

2. Güirá Oga

4.42 MILES

On the way to the falls, this is an animal hospital and center for rehabilitation of injured wildlife. It also carries out valuable research into the…

3. Casa Ecológica de Botellas

4.75 MILES

About 300m off the falls road, this fascinating place is well worth a visit. The owners have taken used packaging materials – plastic bottles, juice…

4. Parque Nacional Iguazú

5.01 MILES

On the Argentine side of the marvelous falls, this park has loads to offer, and involves a fair amount of walking. The spread-out entrance complex ends at…

5. Circuito Inferior

5.38 MILES

This circuit (1400m) descends to the river, passing delightfully close to falls on the way. At the end of the path prepare for a drenching at the hands of…

6. Cataratas do Iguaçu

5.44 MILES

Once you're in the park and ready to visit the falls, take the Parque Nacional do Iguaçu bus to the third stop at Belmond Hotel das Cataratas. Here you…

7. Isla San Martín


From the end of the Paseo Inferior, a free launch takes you across to this island with a trail of its own that gives the closest look at several falls,…

8. Circuito Superior

5.53 MILES

The Paseo Superior (1750m) is entirely level and gives good views of the tops of several cascades and across to more. A recently constructed final section…