Any trip to Brazil would not be complete without embarking on an adventure into the jungle and chasing waterfalls. Iguazu Falls (or Foz do Iguaçu) is an absolute must-see, bucket-list destination listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and place of undeniable natural beauty, worthy to be one of the seven wonders of the world. However, there is more to the region than just this spectacular waterfall: there is a whole range of amazing things to do near Iguazu Falls (Brazil).
From National Park to cultural places of worship, Iguassu really is worth a visit. Immerse yourself in the Brazilian wildlife, being cautious as Brazil shares a similar list of dangerous animals found in Peru and other South American counties.
So after you find one of the best hotels in Iguazu Falls, make sure you get out there to explore the jungle surrounds and fall in love with Puerto Iguazu with all its natural wonders along the way.
We’ve done the research and hand-selected the best landmarks, places to go, and things to do in and around Puerto Iguazu and Foz do Iguacu. What will you check off first?
Iguazu Waterfalls (Foz do Iguacu)
With 250 different cascades and over 2.5km of natural beauty, it’s no wonder why the Iguazu Falls are high on travelers’ must-see lists. These waterfalls can be viewed from both Brazil and Argentina. The Brazilian side is truly spectacular for both visual and acoustic beauty and gives an excellent view of the Argentinian side.
Take in the panoramic views and explore the many walkways through this unbelievable location, giving varying vantage points to both the upper and lower waterfalls. Be sure to take the walkway to the section known as Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo) for a truly amazing experience.
From both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides you can take an immersive boat ride and guided tour up the Iguassu River to get up close and personal with the Foz do Iguaçu.
Don’t Miss The Devil’s Throat
The Devil’s Throat, or Garganta del Diablo, is the highest and deepest of the falls and is by far one of the top things to do in Iguazu Falls Brazil. You can hop on the ecological train for free that runs through the National Park and get a great view of this impressive waterfall, leaving every 30 minutes and takes approximately 1.5 hours in total.
Helicopter Ride Over Iguassu Falls
If you are after something truly special, then a helicopter ride over Iguassu Falls will be perfect for you. However, make note that the helicopter ride is not available from the Brazilian side of Iguassu Falls – you will have to venture over to the Argentinian side.
From the air, you will get an amazing panoramic view of Foz do Iguacu, and the collection of falls and water cascading into the earth. You will create memories to last a lifetime of this stunning jungle landscape.
As with most helicopter rides, the total time you are up in the air is only short (approximately 15 minutes). So why not make it a full day experience by combining the helicopter ride with a boat trip to get these two incredible views in one day.
Hike the Macuco Trail
Calling all adventurers and hikers! The Macuco Trail goes off the beaten track and offers a completely different side of the Puerto Iguazu region that is often missed by tourists. This trail offers a more intimate experience with the incredible wildlife and natural surroundings, moving further afield from the Falls themselves.
Along here you can discover a whole new world of flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled for loads of butterflies, White-Bearded Manakins, Toco Toucans, troupes of Brown Capuchin Monkeys, Coati Mundi Lizards, Iguanas, and finally the solitary Timamou Bird (Macuco), for which the trail is named.
Be careful along the trail as there is not a lot of protective fencing along the route. Wear sensible footwear and take enough water in your backpack for the trip. The trail is about 8km in total and is considered a fairly easy track suitable for most people.
Cycle through the Rainforest
Perhaps cycling is more your thing. Renting a bike or joining a bike riding tour through the National Park rainforest will be an experience of a lifetime. There are plenty of tours and companies offering everything from a gentle pedal through winding trails, to epic adventures with full car support. You can see both sides of Iguassu Falls in a day on a bike in the jungle.
Most tours will be guided, offering English speaking guides, and will include hotel pick up and drop off. This is a fantastic and fun thing to do in Foz do Iguacu, getting your adrenaline pumping in the great outdoors.
Discover this beautiful Buddhist Temple, located in a prominent high spot of Puerto Iguazu giving views across to Foz do Iguacu and over to Paraguay. There is a tranquil air residing over the temple, calming and relaxing anyone who chooses to visit. If you are searching for a moment of peace in your travels, you’ll be able to find it here.
The temple was built in 1996 by Taiwanese monks and it embodies the Mahayana tradition of Buddha Amitabha’s Pure Land School. Throughout the grounds, there are over 120 statues, each with its own symbolic religious meaning. A highlight is the 7 meter Buddha statue overlooking the temple site and creating a peaceful atmosphere.
There is free entry into the temple and you can join a guided tour to walk around. Keep in mind that the temple is a space for reflection and you should act respectfully at all times. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes for your trip here.
Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Mosque
Located in the residential side of Foz do Iguacu, the Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Mosque is a beautiful place of worship. Tourists are welcome to visit and enter the Mosque’s grounds to take in the natural beauty of the gardens and architecture. However, you must remember to dress respectfully as there are people in active prayer.
The exterior offers breathtaking views of the Islamic architecture nestled in the Brazilian jungle landscape. Hear the call to prayer (Adhan) five times a day from the two minaret towers outside. Take note of how close your hotel is to the mosque itself if you do not want to hear the call to prayer throughout your stay.
Iporã Show and Traditional BBQ
Looking for things to do at night in Iguassu Falls? Head over to Rafrain Churrascaria Restaurant for dinner and a show. Enjoy the incredible local flavors of the Brazilian barbeque while watching the Iporã Show displaying the arts and culture of the region on stage.
Over the course of two hours, you will be shown the rich history, and the talented performers will take you on a journey through Latin American folklore, from Ecuador, Bolivia, and more. The costumes and dancers are incredibly mesmerizing, providing incredible entertainment for everyone. The music is intoxicating and will leave you wanting to hear more.
It is recommended that you try to get a table close to the stage so you can get the most out of the experience.
Three Frontiers Landmark
Iguassu Falls is shared by Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay – although Paraguay only has a claim to some of the rivers and not the falls themselves. Each nation has built a landmark monument to overlook the triple border (Tripitarte). The obelisk monuments are painted patriotically in the respective colors of each country.
The Three Frontiers Landmark was erected in Brazil in 1903 and offers some spectacular views of the jungle surrounds. From here you can see international bridges and the Paraná River carving through the land. It is situated on the outskirts of Foz do Iguacu, so allow approximately half a day to do a trip to see this landmark.
The Itaipu Dam is one of the most impressive engineering feats in the world and is definitely a thing worth seeing while you are in Iguazu Falls. It was once the largest Dam project in the world and is now second to the Three Gorge’s Dam in China. Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina all benefit from this hydroelectric dam.
From the Brazilian side, you can join a tour of the huge Itaipu Dam and learn how it works, harnessing energy from the Iguassu River. The tour offers an elevator ride down to the core of the dam where you can feel the raw energy of the river.
After viewing the Itaipu Dam, be sure to catch the sunset on Itaipu Lake. The colors painted across the sky are reflected on the water’s surface and always promise a good show.
Güira Oga Bird Park
The Güira Oga Bird Park is extremely popular for travelers and one of the top attractions in the area. It is a fantastic display and sanctuary for many exotic species found in the Iguassu Rainforest and across the globe. This center provides a safe place and rescues birds from wildlife smugglers trying to get the beautiful birds over the border.
While the birds are not reintroduced into the wild, they do have an expansive natural park to live out their lives in peace. Iguazu Falls is an environmentally conscious area with sustainability at the core, and this bird park is just one of many attractions that shows this.
Join one of the tours and enjoy a peaceful afternoon while you explore the various aviaries spotting parrots, macaws, toucans, and parakeets flying overhead. There are over 200 species to spot and see in the Güira Oga Bird Park.
What activities can the tourists do in Iguazu Falls?
Iguazu Falls have a whole range of activities for tourists, from adventures on the water to peaceful walks in temples. Discover the local wildlife in the Bird Park or out in the rainforest on the Macuco Trail. Tourists can immerse themselves in the folklore and culture of South America, watching the history performed on stage in the Iporã Show.
No matter what activity you choose as a tourist, you should always maintain your personal travel safety across Brazil and Puerto Iguazu. Make sure your travel insurance covers you for any adventurous activities you may want to do, like rafting, joining a boat ride, or taking to the air in a helicopter.
How many days do you need in Iguazu Falls Brazil?
We recommend you allow at least 2 days in Iguazu Falls Brazil to make the most of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are over 2.5km and 250 different falls to discover, not the mention the surrounding jungle and trails also filled with wonder. You can easily spend a full day taking in the Brazilian side sights and still have more to see.
What should I bring to Iguazu Falls?
You should bring sensible footwear and clothing to Iguazu Falls. After all, this is the rainforest you are going into, so long sleeves and pants are recommended to avoid mosquito bites and the risk of malaria. Make sure to bring your swimsuit and swim shorts to dive into the water if you follow the Macuco Trail to one of the best swimming spots.
If you plan on joining a boat ride, then maybe wear a waterproof jacket to avoid any wind chill while you are on the water. Make sure you pack your camera and sun lotion in a day bag for a full day adventure out of your hotel.
What is the best way to see Iguazu Falls?
There are several ways to see Iguazu Falls, and one of the best is along the many boardwalks through different levels that offer various viewpoints. To get up close and personal you should hop on a boat and be ready to get soaked by the cascading water. You can get an aerial view from a helicopter ride, however this is only available from the Argentine side of Iguassu.
Brazil and Argentina offer different experiences to Foz do Iguacu. The Brazilian side is slightly smaller but it offers complete panoramic views of the falls.
How long should I spend at Iguazu Falls?
You can spend anything from a couple of hours to a full day exploring Iguassu Falls. It’s recommended that you allow at least half a day to soak up the scenery and get the full impact of this great, natural wonder. These falls are some of the best in the world and should not be rushed with a quick visit.
Can you swim at Iguazu Falls?
You cannot jump in and swim anywhere along Iguassu Falls. Due to the raw power and force of the water, most of the area is considered unsafe for swimming. You will struggle to even find a safe access point or beach as the jungle controls the landscape.
However, the Macuco Trail leads to a smaller waterfall with a safe swimming hole that is perfect for a cool-down swim. Only ever swim in locations that you know are suitable – if in doubt, ask a local guide for help.
What is the best time to go to Iguazu Falls?
You can visit Iguazu Falls all year round thanks to the wonderful tropical climate in Brazil. If you want to avoid the hottest (and busiest) months, then it is recommended you visit in April to May or September to October. Also visiting in the week will be quieter as there will be fewer locals spending their weekends here.
Try to avoid visiting over Easter as this is a very busy holiday for Brazil and Iguazu Falls will be full of domestic tourists. May and June are quiet, however, expect more rainfall in the wet season of South America!