Monday, February 28, 2011
A weekend of flight offers was the reason we booked a trip to Foz do Iguaçu. We didn’t have much time, but it was definitely worth it.
Our hostel was downtown, but it was pretty easy to go to the waterfalls. The same bus that goes to the airport goes to the national park.
People had told me before it’s better to visit the Brazilian side first and now I can only agree.
There was a big line and some people offering raincoats. It’s better to buy the raincoats at the park’s official store. The price is the same, but the quality is better. The entrance fee varies. As a Brazilian, I paid R$ 22,70. People from countries of Mercosul pay R$ 31,70 and the fee for foreigners from other countries is R$ 37,70.
The double deck buses take a road with a few stops, where tours are offered. We didn’t have much time, so we didn’t do those tours, but I want to go back for the bike tour at Trilha do Poço Preto and the Macuco Safari.
We stopped at Trilha das Cataratas. It’s just a 1,2 km walk with great views that just get better and better. A fact: you WILL get wet! So it’s important to have something to protect cameras and other things that can’t handle water. ;)
In front of Parque Nacional do Iguaçu there is the Parque das Aves (Birds Park). From the road one can already see the ostriches.
In the afternoon, we went to Paraguay. We took a bus in front of the bus station and crossed the Ponte da Amizade (Friendship Bridge). Unless you want to buy electronics and make-up I don’t recommend going there. There isn’t much to see in Ciudad del Este and it’s quite irritating how they want you to buy something.
On Sunday, we went to the Argentinean side. The bus from Foz do Iguaçu goes to the bus station from where the busses to the national park leave. They don’t accept reais, only pesos! Luckily, close to the bus station there are some ATMs.
They also have different prices for Argentineans, Mercosul tourists and other foreigners. I paid 70 pesos (about 30 reais). There are many tours, but not on the day I was there. The water level was so high, they cancelled most of the tours. And they were more expensive than the ones on the Brazilian side.
We took the train to Cataratas Station and started our walk to the upper circuit. The view is incredible! The lower circuit is closer to the waterfalls. We wrapped our bags in our raincoats and got soaked. Some people walked around in bathing suits. The feeling is just great!
On our way back it started raining quite heavily. Although we were wet already it didn’t feel really nice. We decided to eat something and once again it’s important to have pesos. They accept reais, dollars and even euros at some places, but the exchange currencies are just horrible. They charged 0.50 real = 1 peso when the actual currency is about 1 real = 2.4 pesos.
Going on, we took the last train to the Devil’s Throat. It’s a nice walk above the river and the Devil’s Throat is simply breathtaking! And it’s even a little bit scaring how close the path gets to the falls. The water goes down with such strength and the drops come up again like a drizzle.
On our way back, we found out the buses from Puerto Iguazu to Foz do Iguaçu run until 7 pm. So, we took a remisse to go to the border line and then a cab to our hostel.
Another thing on my to-do-list for the next time I’m in Foz is visiting Itaipu. It’s the biggest power plant in Brazil and I’ve heard the tour is also very interesting.
I'd say that three to four days is the best. Brazilian side and Birds Park on the first day, Argentinean side on the second and Itaipu on the last one. Add the fourth day if you want to relax a bit or go shopping in Paraguay. ;)