If you are like me, you are trying to figure out whether you should stay on the Brazilian side or the Argentinian side of the falls. You also don’t know how many days to spend in Iguazu? After a lot of research, I decided to stay on the Brazilian side at Foz do Iguacu. I also choose to spend 4 days there in order to see both sides of the falls, visit the Itaipu Dam and hop over to Paraguay via the Friendship Bridge (hello passport stamp!).
Staying in Foz do Iguacu
There are lots more hotels and accommodation options in Foz do Iguazu than Puerto Iguazu (Argentina side). The city is a little bigger, making all budgets accessible. I recommend staying in Central (centro) Foz do Iguaçu. The closer you are to the TTU (Terminal de Transporte) or along Avenida Juscelino Kubitscheck (Av. JK) the easier it will be to catch the 120 bus to the falls and/or airport.
I was looking for budget accommodations with a private room and found CLH Suites Foz do Iguacu. It was one part hostel, one part hotel, offering a travel agency, 24/7 front desk, a kitchen for guest use, full breakfast and private rooms. For $20 a night, I was able to find a budget room with TV, mini fridge, AC and private bathroom. It wasn’t the Ritz, but it was good value for the money and walking distance to a great supermarket, some restaurants and the TTU bus station.
Public Transportation in Foz do Iguazu
Public transportation by the Iguazu Falls is quite plentiful and well located. In Foz do Iguazu there are two main bus terminals. If you are taking a long-distance route, you will likely use the Rodoviaria Terminal (Rodoviária Internacional de Foz do Iguaçu). This bus terminal serves overnight buses to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janiero, etc.
If you want to take local buses around the city, out to the Itaipu Dam or to Ciudad de Este (Paraguay) then you will likely use the other bus terminal which is closer to city center – TTU or Terminal de Transporte Urbano Pedro Antonio de Nadai. This terminal has a tourist office with help stationed usually in the morning. This is also the bus terminal you can use to the airport and to the Brazilian side of the falls.
Getting to the Brazilian Side of Iguazu Falls
I was so surprised at the easy of getting to the Brazilian side of the Falls - Parque Nacional do Iguaçu. The 120 bus is your best friend. Take the 120 bus from the TTU bus station or at various stops along the Avenida Juscelino Kubitscheck (Av. JK). The first stop is the TTU (Terminal de Transporte Urbano) and it goes through town, before stopping at the Bird Park, the Foz do Iguazu Airport and finally ending at the National Park for the Iguazu Falls (Brazil). The ride costs 5 BRL each way; cash only. Buses run about every 20-30 minutes starting around 7 am and go (regularly) until about 7 pm, but I would double check the current schedule if you planned to ride it any time after 5 pm. Depending on traffic, the full route takes between 40 mins and 1 hour.
For reference: I took the 8:05 am bus from TTU and arrived at the Iguazu Park at 8:55 am, just in time for my 9:20 am entry for the National Park.
Is there Uber in Iguazu Falls?
Uber is plentiful is cheap (relative to American Uber ride costs). If you have data, you can easily book at Uber from just about anywhere in Foz do Iguazu or Puerto Iguazu. If you decide to take a day trip over the Friendship Bridge to Paraguay, you can also grab an Uber on the Paraguay side as well. Just remember Uber’s are unable to cross international borders, so you shouldn’t plan to take one from Foz do Iguazu to Puerto Iguazu. If you want to transfer from Foz do Iguacu to Puerto Iguazu and the Argentinian side of the Falls (like I did on my last day), then you should check out this post about public transportation and private transfer options.
What to Do in Iguazu Falls?
If you have more than a day or two, I would suggest spending a little time in Foz do Iguazu. There is plenty to see to spend 4 days at Iguazu Falls, staying in Foz do Iguazu (Brazl).
On my first afternoon in the city, I took an Uber (though there are also buses from the TTU station) to Itaipu Dam. It is the world leader in clean and renewable energy and the third largest hydroelectric dam in the world. You can take a guided tour with hotel pick up, but honestly the bus tour with your entrance ticket is pretty all-inclusive and the guides can speak English, Portuguese and Spanish. The tour takes about an hour, but budget 90 minutes to 2 hours so you have enough time to stop at a few of the viewpoints.
On your second day, I would recommend visiting the Brazilian side of Iguacu Falls. You should purchase your tickets in advance here. In order to minimize the tour groups in front of you, I would recommend a 9:20 entrance time. I took the 8:05 am 120 bus from TTU and arrived just before 9 am and was able to immediately enter and load onto one of the internal park buses.
Pro tip for the Falls: Take the national park bus all the way to the last stop, which is the restaurants and gift shop. You can easily walk 5-mintues back to the upper viewpoints and the end of the trailhead. This puts you at the top of the elevator with excellent views for that candid shot. If you want to skip the crowds, go ahead and descend to the Devil’s Pool. I had plenty of time to enjoy this spot, but by 10:30 the Devil’s Pool was covered up with tourists.
If you want to get on the water at Iguazu Falls, you have two options: Macuco Safari on the Brazil side and Gran Aventura on the Argentina side. The Brazilian side is more expensive (in Dec. 2023 it was $78 vs. $56 for the Argentina side), but based on other’s reviews, I chose the Brazilian side. I’m not sure they are much different, so if price is important, you can do it on Argentina side. The Gran Aventura ride does have stairs down to the water, so bear in mind. Otherwise, I would argue the Brazilian side has less trails and ways to fill a full day, so taking the water safari on the Brazilian side ensures you have plenty of time for the walking trails in Argentina. I would encourage you to book your water experience in advance. Macuco Safari tickets are booked just for the day and leave every 20 minutes, so you can alight the park bus at the stop and get in line for the next one. You will get soaked, so I’d suggest leaving it until the end of your day at the park so you can go back to your hotel afterward and clean up.
On your third day, take a break from Iguazu National Park and head across the Friendship Bridge to Paraguay and ANOTHER waterfall! The World Travel Guy did a great post about taking a day trip to the Monday Falls (Saltos del Monday) so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, but I will give you some additional tips.
You do not need a private driver. I took an Uber to the edge of the Friendship Bridge on the Brazilian side, went through immigration (which is only on one side of the 6 lanes of traffic going onto the bridge), walked across the Friendship Bridge and then took another Uber from the shopping district to Saltos del Monday. It’s important to note that local pedestrians do NOT stop at immigration, so you will need to be on the lookout for the “Brasil Imigração” signs or ask a police officer to point you to the building. You will need an exit stamp for Brazil AND entry stamp for Paraguay (and again in the reverse when you return). When I visited in December 2023, both countries allowed for U.S. citizens to enter without a visa, but starting January 10, 2024, Brazil will require a visa for Australians, Canadians and Americans. Make sure your visa is multiple entry before taking this day trip.
Like the World Travel Guy, I took an Uber to Saltos del Monday, but when I arrived, they had a sign notifying that the credit card machine was down and only cash was accepted for ticket purchase. The sign also said that foreign entrance was US$12 (yes, it was listed in USD, not Paraguay guaranis). I had a $20 note with me, so I asked if I would receive change in USD. They confirmed (all in Spanish), but when I went to pay, she said the price was now $16. I didn’t understand and another foreigner tried to explain it was for the viewpoint (I believe it was for the elevator, but who knows for certain). One of my biggest travel pet peeves is changing prices. If you need the elevator to see the falls, then the entry fee should read US$16, not $12. She didn’t have $4 change and I wasn’t happy about the price change, so I decided to head to the alternative viewpoint at Parque Aventura Monday (about 5 minutes' walk up the road). I arrived and was instantly greeted. They accepted Visa and with the exchange rate my entrance fee was <$10. The member of staff used Google translate to make sure I understood the map and provided some extra information with areas of interest. And I loved it! I had the place to myself. It’s certainly in need of a little spruce up and maybe some new guardrails, but it provided wonderful views of the Monday Falls. It offers multiple viewpoints (make sure you go all the way north to walk down to the water’s edge for the perfect shot) and you can see a full-frontal view of the entire waterfall. They also have a chicken coop and tortoise park. You can pay additional for ziplining, archery and paintball. Afterward, you can grab an Uber back to the Bridge area and do any shopping you want before crossing the border.
Pro tip for visiting Paraguay: I would bring extra water and snacks across the border, especially if you aren’t planning to get Paraguayan guarani.
On your last day, I would head to the Argentinian side of the Falls. You can follow this post for transferring across the border and then can grab a separate bus from Puerto Iguazu to the National Park on the Argentina side. Again, I would suggest purchasing your tickets in advance. The Rio Uruguay bus tickets can be purchased at the Puerto Iguazu bus terminal for 4,000 pesos round trip (as of Dec. 2023). Cash only. You can exchange cash at the bus terminal. The bus ride takes between 30-40 minutes.
The Iguazu Falls from Argentina starts at the tourist center. From there you can purchase Gran Aventura boat rides, grab a bite to eat or do some souvenir shopping. Once inside the park, you will need to get a train ticket. They are free but are required with a time stamp to schedule your first ride. The train will take you further into the park to start the upper and lower trails. In December 2023, the Devil’s Pool (on this side) and subsequent train stops were closed for renovation. There are a few food courts on the property, but limited options. Credit cards are accepted in the park.
With the Devil’s Pool, the Island and some additional trails closed, I didn’t spend more than a half day at the park. You can head back into Puerto Iguazu for drinks at Patagonia Brewery or take the bus back to Brazil. I stayed the night in Puerto Iguazu and then took a flight out the next morning to Buenos Aires (domestic flights are much cheaper).
Hope this itinerary gives you plenty of ideas for 4 days at Foz do Iguazu and Iguazu Falls! I think there are many ways to fill several days. Public transportation is easy and being at this 3-country frontier makes exploration of all three so easy! Enjoy Iguazu Falls!
Have you been to Victoria Falls or Niagara Falls?
Some content may contain affiliate or referral links. When you click on and/or make a purchase through an affiliate link placed on Lifetime Tidbits, I may receive a small commission or other form of compensation at no additional cost to you. Please see my Disclaimers Page for more information. Thank you for reading!