Here are some tips from my trip to Iguazu Falls. You really don’t need to take an official tour, as the waterfalls are very easy to get to on your own. You can either walk or get a taxi or Uber to them, on both sides. It takes about half a day to visit the Brazil side and nearly a full day for the Argentine side(it’s a lot bigger and more developed). Try to visit the Brazil side first and then the Argentine side, both are very spectacular, but that is the best combination in my opinion.
The falls Brazil-side
The main town near the waterfalls on the Brazil side is Foz do Iguaçu. We stayed there for 4 nights. The first 2 nights at the “Iguassu Eco Hostel“, which is right near the airport and helicopter tour field + is walking distance to the waterfalls and the Bird Park(aka Parque das Aves which is well worth visiting too). We visited both the waterfalls and Bird Park in 1 day. The the only downside to the Eco Hostel is that it’s quite a long way from the main town and there’s not much going on there, it’s just a chilled out place to relax, but you can always get an Uber or bus into town for extra beers/food(it’s about 15mins away). Saying that, they do serve water, beer and decent buffet meals of beans, rice and meat for about £5, but there just aren’t any shops around.
The falls Argentina-side
To see the Argentine side waterfalls, just ask the hotel to hire you a taxi to take you there and pick you up at a desired time in the afternoon(say 5pm). The taxi driver will sort out passport checking at the border on way, it’s very easy. We booked this at the Eco Hostel place and it cost us about £25 each(it’s cheaper if you can find others to go with). Should say there’s an odd $2 tourist tax when you leave the Argentina side waterfalls and go back to Brazil(apparently it’s to do with the town and the National Park), so try to remember to carry some cash with you.
Our other 2 nights were in a “hotel/hostel” called Pousada El Shaddai which was a good place in the main town, with kitchens and a swimming pool, near the bus station and a 5min walk to a big supermarket and a load of restaurants(oddly, they were quite hard to find in this town). The morning before flying back to Rio, I visited the Itaipu Dam, the world’s 2nd largest hydroelectric dam from here by Uber and bus.
The town on the Argentine side is called Puerto Iguazu and by all accounts is just the same as Foz du Iguassu, just a bit smaller. You can do exactly the same thing there – visit their side, then hire a taxi or bus to the Brazil side. Alternatively you could stay on the Brazil side a night or 2 then taxi over the border and stay in Argentina for 2 nights(lots of people do this).
You can also visit Paraguay for a day-trip(or for longer) from Foz do Iguaçu, as it’s right on the border – you can get a bus or Uber from the main road or main bus station in Foz do Iguaçu to the Paraguay border bridge, it takes about 20mins. Warning: Do not go over the border in the bus or taxi though – get out, walk to the Brazil customs buildings and get an exit stamp from Brazil, then walk over the bridge and get an entry stamp into Paraguay at their customs building. On entry they may ask you some random questions, but do not worry, just be honest and say you’re visiting for the day or however long. Ciudad del Este is the name of the Paraguay border town and it has lots of cheap random stuff for sale there(electronics/ornaments/fake-trainers etc). They also have a huge posh Oxford Street type store called Monalisa Store and others. When leaving to go back to Brazil, do the same as when you entered – get an exit stamp from Paraguay customs, then walk over the bridge and get an entry stamp back into Brazil at their customs building. Then catch the bus or Uber back to Foz do Iguaçu centre. Note: Don’t trust any randoms at the border, one guy on the Paraguay side tried to stop us getting a Paraguay exit stamp, claiming he’d get it for us, BUT just ignore them and walk into the customs offices and get your stamps yourself, it’s much safer that way.
Other Tips When In Brazil
Should say my 2 tips for Brazil are – use Uber as it’s safe/cheap(our Brazil friends told us this + there’s even an Uber pick-up bay in Rio airport on the 2nd floor at Terminal 2) and get a THREE Sim card that has GoRoaming if you need free data or get a PAYG one with 5Gb on it for £15.
hope that helps, thanks,