7 Things To Do In Foz do Iguacu with Your Family

Get ready to take your family on a tropical holiday like no other. With golden sandy beaches, tropical rainforests and cultural experiences that even youngsters and teenagers will love. Located on the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, this city is steeped in history and culture. It’s also one of South Americas true gems and it’s not hard to see why.

From it’s picturesque UNESCO world heritage site of Iguacu falls to it’s stunning national parks and jungle safari rides to the world’s second largest dam. There is an attraction for the whole family. Foz do Iguacu is home to some incredible animals (giant anteaters, howler monkeys, ocelots, and endangered jaguars) within its national park so be sure to check out their animal sanctuaries while you are there.

Enjoy the falls, the zoo, a boat trip or even a helicopter ride if you’re feeling adventurous. Foz do Iguacu is definitely a place to visit. If you’re looking to find out what the 7 best things to do in Foz do Iguacu are, then keep reading. All these activities are family friendly.

Iguazu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu)

Iguacu Falls
Photo by twenty20photos from Evato Elements.

In the top spot are the Iguacu Falls, also known as Iguazu Falls or Iguassu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu). Famed for its breathtaking waterfalls and stunning panoramic views, it’s one you’d be sorry to miss. Located on the border between Brazil and Argentina, it’s the world’s second largest waterfall; with the Angel Falls being the largest. Surrounded by the Iguacu National Park you will find an incredible 2,000 different species of plants and several animals to keep your eyes open for.

There are a whopping 275 waterfalls which make up the Iguacu Falls. With the Iguacu, on the Brazilian side, by far the most majestic. Stretching over almost 3km there is plenty of it to see. It was declared a world heritage site in 1984 by UNESCO. One of the most spectacular and scenic sites is the curved cataract of ‘Devil’s Throat’ which combines 14 individual waterfalls which have a drop of 350 feet.

There’s public transport in the form of a free bus to take you round the falls should you not wish to walk but there are a few other ways to view the falls. Guided tours are also available and will take you to all the best spots for photos and panoramic views. However, if you are looking for a bit more of a thrill and a once in a lifetime experience you may want to consider a birds-eye view tour by helicopter of these magnificent falls and the city. Boat trips are also available for an up close look at these falls, so expect to get wet.

Price: $12.00 to $53.00 per person (depending on age of children and tour you choose)
Opening Times: Every day from 9am to 6pm

Itaipu Dam Complex

Itaipu's Dam
Photo by Cristian Lourenço @ istockphoto.com

The Itaipu Dam is the worlds largest hydroelectric power plant and the second largest dam in the world; with China’s Three Gorges Dam being first. This gigantic structure is a whopping 656 feet high (equivalent to a 68 story building) and an impressive 896 feet deep. The lake contains a massive 100 billion gallons of water and stretches over 1350km2 , making this an epic site to see. It was built on the Brazilian side of the Parana River between Brazil and Paraguay. It is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. This plant took 18 years to build and supplies 75 percent of its power to Paraguay and around 15 to 17 percent of its power to Brazil. And as of 2016 it broke the world record for the most amount of energy produced.

There is an array of different tours you can take around this structure; one being at night with a light show, another being a panoramic one, or even a fully immersive experience with an engineering tour (age restrictions apply*). Why not combine the experience with the Iguacu Falls for the ultimate day trip. Check out this website to book a tour and find other things to do in Foz do Iguacu.

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Price: Between $24.99 & $56 per person (dependent on tour booked)
Opening Times: Every day 8.30am to 5pm

*Children must be aged 15 or over to participate in the engineering tour.

Parque das Aves (The Bird Park)

Parque das Aves - Toucan by Diogo Hungria. Photo from Unsplash.com
Photo by Diogo Hungria from Unsplash.com

The Parque das Aves is one of the most rewarding things to do in Foz do Iguacu, due to it’s conservation efforts. Founded by the Croukamp family in 1994, with only a handful of birds it has now grown into the magnificent complex you see today. With a number of species from the Atlantic Rainforest, these birds have been saved from extinction and rescued from trafficking and ill-treatment. Where there may have been no hope for them to have thrived or survived in the wild, this sanctuary has become their home. There are now 130 different bird species here which total approximately 1,300 birds. That in itself is spectacular.

There are 5 immersion aviaries which allows you to be at one with nature and see these wonderful birds up close in their natural habitat. You can meet the Black-fronted Piping-Guan, the Alagoas Curassow, the Toco Toucan, and a flock of nearly 100 macaws as they fly overhead. Other birds include flamingos and red and blue Araras, plus many more. Some reviews say that you can even feed the birds and there are also some behind the scenes experiences to enjoy.

There is a private car park at a charge of about $3.00 for the day or you can go by bus. Funds from ticket sales help to support the 5 conservation projects they have going on. You will also find 2 cafes/restaurants on site where you can stop for lunch or an afternoon snack. You can purchase tickets both online or directly onsite when you arrive, although pre-booking is always recommended. It’s a fun experience for the whole family.

Price: Free for children up to 8 years old, roughly $12.00 – $15.00 for adults (price is per person)
Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm every day

Acquamania Foz (Water Park)

water park
Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash

There is no place better on a hot, sunny day in Foz do Iguaçu than splashing around in the water. Acquamania Foz is fun for all. There are water slides aimed at all ages, toboggans and a lazy river too. This would be perfect for a more chilled out day whilst still providing great fun for the kids. There is also a mix of different attractions: Adrenaline Sensation, Aquarampa, Mad Frog, and Energizing Waterfall to name a few.

There are places to eat and drink too, so why not make the most of it and stick around for the day. Have a splash around with the children and recharge your batteries before exploring all the other sites in Foz do Iguacu.

Price: Around $22.00 per person (children under 1.2m go free)
Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday – 10am to 6pm, Closed Mondays.

Museu de Cera Dreamland Complex

wax museum
Image by Denys Vitali from Pixabay

The ultimate tourist destination and an exciting thing to do in Foz do Iguacu for all ages is The Dreamland Complex. It houses 5 different exhibits; the wax museum, the valley of the dinosaur, ice bar, wonders of the world, and the motor show. The wax museum is the largest of it’s kind in South America and hosts many iconic faces from Michael Jackson to Elvis to The Queen of England, there will be plenty of wax figures you and your children will recognize.

Not only are there wax people but you can also find a few life size dinosaurs hiding in Dinosaur Valley. From a Diplodocus to a mighty T-Rex, there is a dinosaur everywhere you turn. This would be perfect for a young child and even better for a child who loves dinosaurs as you can hear them roar. There is also the motor show for any car enthusiast. No matter which attraction you come for, be sure to grab a ticket for the whole complex and check them all out. A few reviews have also said that children and adults can get their arm or hand made into wax. What an awesome and unique souvenir that would be!

Price: Around $7.00 to $40.00 depending on ticket
Opening Times: Everyday from 9am until 11pm

Zoo Bosque Guarani

monkey in zoo
Image by Susanne from Pixabay

If you’re looking for budget friendly things to do in Foz do Iguacu then this is definitely it. For young children, teenagers and adults alike the zoo is a place everyone will enjoy going to. Allowing you to get up close to the animals with 20 different exhibition areas (some cages, enclosed spaces and a few lakes) this is an ideal place to take your children. They will get to see a host of different animals from Toucans to Jaguars to Monkeys. There will be an animal everyone will love. It’s the largest zoo in Parana State and is part of the Parque das Aves so be sure to visit them both.

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Price: Free
Opening Times: Monday 12pm to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 5.30pm

Marco das Tres Fronteiras (The Frontier of 3 Nations)

Marco das Tres Fronteiras
Photo by Michael Lusk @ Flickr.com

A place where three nations meet, the tri-point is set in the middle of the Iguazú and the Paraná river, which gushes twice as much water as Niagara Falls. The two rivers converge and create a beautiful backdrop to enjoy some live music, dancing and a light show in the evening, with clear views of Paraguay and Argentina. Take a look at the Brazilian side obelisk painted in the patriotic colors of their flag, it’s just one of three. The others are positioned in both Argentina and Paraguay, they too are painted in their patriotic colors.

It is advised by many to go in the evening for a fuller experience with sunset views and spectacular light shows as well as entertainment. However, with children you may find that it’s easier and better to go during the day as it’s less crowded. But that’s totally up to you. There are restaurants open all day so it may be worth checking out the obelisk and grabbing a bite to eat while you’re there and sampling some true Brazilian food.

Price: Around $7 to $13 per ticket
Opening Times: Tue – Sun 15:00 – 21:00
Buddhist Temple. Photo from Pixabay
Buddhist Temple. Photo from Pixabay

What are the top attractions to visit in Foz do Iguacu with family?

One of the top attractions in Foz do Iguacu are the world famous Iguacu falls. Travel there by bus or car and enjoy some of the spectacular panoramic views of 275 waterfalls. Or travel by boat and get a real immersive experience and feel the full force of the water. Another one of the top attractions in Foz do Iguaçu worth a visit, is the Buddhist Temple. Here you can be at peace with views of Brazil and Paraguay. You can also give your children a cultural learning experience and enjoy the numerous Buddhist statues around the grounds.

What are the best outdoor activities in Foz do Iguacu with your family?

Parque Nacional do Iguazu is a great outdoor activity to enjoy in Foz do Iguacu for families. Surrounding the Iguacu falls and the Itaipu Dam you will find many woodland walks and you can travel on a jungle safari to see all sorts of native animals and birds. Another top attraction and most rewarding thing to do in Foz do Iguacu is to visit the ecological refuge. The reason being because it focuses on preservation of animals and the protection of plants. This ecological refuge offers lots of opportunities for research and environmental education. You can also travel on foot along some of the wonderful jungle trails.

What are the most popular things to do in Foz do Iguaçu with kids?

By far the most popular thing to do in Foz do Iguaçu is visit the Iguazu falls. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984 and of ‘Exceptional Universal Value in 2013’. These aren’t just any waterfalls, these are 275 of the most breathtaking waterfalls you’ll ever see. It’s a top bucket list destination and your children will love seeing them. Check out some more info here.

The second most popular place to visit in Foz do Iguaçu is the Parque das Aves. Set within 16 hectares of forest, the whole family can get lost in this huge park and educate the children with a vast array of Atlantic rainforest birds and the story of their conservation. The proceeds from your tickets (approximately £12 for adults and under 8’s go free) help to fund their many conservation projects.

James Ardimento has spent the last 12 years journeying around the globe ! With its precious experiences and tips he gained around Asia, South America, Europe and the US he is a precious asset for this blog and for its readers