With incredible bird’s eye views of Iguazu falls, Argentina steals the show when it comes to panoramic views of the waterfalls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is regarded as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Visiting Iguazu Falls is a bucket list item for many, and can complement a once-in-a-lifetime luxury adventure to Argentina. Beyond the falls themselves, the region of Iguazu has plenty for travelers to explore and enjoy, including luxury hotels, indigenous communities, rainforests, and more. Read on for everything you need to know about luxury travel to Iguazu falls and get in touch with us at Kuoda today to plan your personalized tour to Argentina!
– Best Time to Visit:
The Iguazu Falls change throughout the year, depending on the season. If you’d like to see the waterfalls at their full, impressive force, the best time to visit is between December and February. The rains are longer and heavier during these months, and the falls peak in volume, however, the rain may also cause walking trails and San Martin Island to close.
– How To Get There:
There are direct flights to IGR, the Argentine airport for Iguazu from Buenos Aires, offering the perfect opportunity to explore the metropolitan city before heading off on your adventures at the falls.
• The National Park:
The Argentine side has two basic viewing circuits – an upper path and a lower path. The upper path offers exhilarating panoramic vistas and dizzying views from a footbridge/catwalk vantage point – truly an unforgettable experience! There may be some occasional mist.
An aerial view lets you experience the sheer power and enormity of the falls. On the lower path leading to the base of the falls, the spray happily moistens you. This circuit also offers a boat trip to Isla San Martín. The Argentine side is ideal for seeing radiant poly-chromatic single or double rainbows.
– Things to Do:
There is enough to keep a traveler entertained for two full days at Iguazu Falls, so plan your visit accordingly. You won’t want to leave before shopping for handicrafts in Puerto Iguazu markets, walking the jungle trails around the falls, and exploring the surrounding attractions.
• Sightsee by boat
Iguazu Falls are packed with adventurous activities from zip lining to a “Green Train” that goes through the jungle, but perhaps the most exciting is riding in a boat at the base of the falls. Jet boats departing from the Circuito Inferior and Puerto Macuco go right into San Martin in the heart of the falls—prepare to get drenched but experience incredible views of the falls, some of the best there is without an aerial view.
• Get an aerial view from a helicopter
One of the best ways to enjoy luxury travel to Iguazu is with an aerial view of the falls by helicopter. A helicopter ride over the falls will give you a spectacular bird’s eye view that can’t be had by any other means. Many people covet the front seat of the helicopter, which allows unobstructed views, yet the back seat can be ideal for those who love to take photographs. Rides generally last between 10 minutes to 35 minutes depending on the preference of the riders and offer immaculate views of the falls and an unforgettable lifetime experience of one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders.
• Visit San Martin Island
Head to San Martin Island for the best views of the magnificent San Martin waterfall. You can reach the island by taking a ferry from the Lower Circuit across to the island. The ferries are included in your entrance ticket and run every 15 minutes depending on the water levels. You’ll reach a sandy beach where you’ll find the entrance to a trail that leads towards a circuit of viewpoints. The trail begins with a climb of around 170 stairs, but you’ll be rewarded with tremendous views of the San Martin waterfall, as well as a ring of other waterfalls including the famed Devil’s Throat and the Brazilian falls.
Be prepared to get soaked in the misty spray, as you stand face-to-face with this powerful force of nature. You may even see rainbows illuminated in the mist, and keep an eye out for unique bird species, lizards, and hardy tree species.
• Take the Full Moon Tour of Iguazú
During five nights every month, Iguazú National Park opens up for visitors to tour the falls by the moonlight and watch the hundreds of cascades on the Argentine side. There are three tours a night, and you will get to ride the train to Garganta del Diablo for a magical experience, listening to the sounds of nocturnal life along the way. You’ll see the falls under the eerily beautiful lighting in a more intimate setting, and if you’re lucky enough, you may even catch a “midnight rainbow” made by the moonlight passing through the mists.
• See the wildlife at Guira Oga
To catch a glimpse of even more wildlife than you saw in the national park, head to this animal refuge where you’ll find tons of birds, from toucans and parrots to eagles and owls. You’ll see a few Capuchin monkeys, anteaters, capybaras, and other native mammals inside. It’s a rescue center rather than a zoo, so most of the birds here were brought to be rehabilitated after being wounded in the park. Some will be released in the future, while some can no longer survive in the wild and live at the reserve. It is just three miles from the town and guides will take you on a tour to see the animals and tell you about the work they do here.
• Visit the Indigenous Guaraní Community and Reserve
A nice idea for traveling families could be to join a guided tour of the rainforest and indigenous settlement at Comunidad Mbya Guaraní Yryapú, which is a community-based tourism project easily accessible from the city center of Puerto Iguazú. Here, you can learn about the customs of the Guaraní people and their way of living, while visiting the area where they grow vegetables and fruits. You’ll learn about the community’s history, religion, medicine, language, and methods of hunting and survival. Funds raised by the tours go towards social and medical assistance, and you can purchase handicrafts including woven baskets, seed necklaces and bracelets, and wooden animals carved by local community members.
• Bike through the Iguazú Rainforest
Starting from Puerto Iguazú, you can take a four-hour bike tour, which crosses one of the most bio-diverse and challenging environments in Argentina, the highly endangered Paranaense Rainforest. The route takes you along 25 miles of red soil tracks with spectacular downhills giving you views of the surrounding flora and fauna, which may include native jaguars and toucans. Shorter bike tours are also available.
– Where to stay:
• Gran Meliá Iguazú
Gran Meliá Iguazú is the only hotel located right inside Iguazú National Park and boasts views of the falls themselves. This is also a benefit as, when the park opens, it is possible to wander out to the falls before the main crowds arrive given the privileged access. The hotel itself offers luxury, backed by the high standard of the Meliá Hotels name. Beyond the unbeatable location, many of the rooms in this hotel also have views of the falls, with terraces that let you have a private, intimate Iguazú Falls experience without even leaving your hotel room. The hotel also has fantastic amenities like a luxury infinity pool, a spa and wellness center with customized treatments, and a full-service restaurant with mouthwatering international cuisine and breathtaking views. The perfect location to experience luxury travel to Iguazu Falls.
• Awasi Iguazú – Relais & Châteaux
Awasi Iguazú, owned and operated by the Awasi chain, which also stands behind the luxurious properties under the same name in Chile, the Awasi Atacama, and the Awasi Patagonia, is a member of the world-renowned Relais & Châteaux properties. The Awasi Iguazú villas feature an expansive and airy feel with a full sitting area as well as an indoor jacuzzi bath looking out to the privacy of the jungle and a private plunge pool in each. Each of the 14 luxury villas has been built as a stand-alone structure, set on stilts and looking out onto its own expanse of jungle.
– What To Bring:
- Comfortable walking shoes – sturdy, waterproof sandals are best, as your feet will likely get wet.
- Hat and sunglasses.
- Sunscreen, insect repellent, and lip balm.
- Plastic ponchos or waterproof jacket to protect you from the spray.
- Small backpack or waterproof bag.
- Change of clothes and a small, quick-drying towel.
- Refillable water bottle.
- Camera with plenty of memory.