Some 275 waterfalls within a 1.7-mile [2.7 km] stretch. A flow of 396,000 gallons [1.5 million l] of water per second. The numbers are impressive, but they translate only a fraction of the grandiosity of the Iguaçu Falls. Just by looking into the sheet of falling water, feeling your face washed by the force of nature, you'll get why this region shared by Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year. Join us on a three-day itinerary filled with excitement and greenery.
Day 1 – Foz do Iguaçu – Brazil
8:30 a.m. • Parque das Aves
Red-and-green macaws and blue-and-yellow macaws. The day starts out multicolored at Parque das Aves, which neighbors the falls and is dedicated to the protection of over 1,300 birds. They have around 140 species there – some, like the black-fronted piping guan, are endangered. Get there early, before the birds' first meal, and you'll have a better shot at seeing them more open to interaction.
11 a.m. • Iguaçu National Park
The best way to circulate throughout Iguaçu National Park's 185,000 hectares is via the panoramic bus which stops at the attractions. At the Trilha das Cataratas station, you can see Salto Floriano and the most famous of the falls, Devil's Throat. The excursion covers 0.75 miles [1.2 km] and lasts 90 minutes. Aside from the views, the animals, like coatis, and frequent rainbows you come across along the way will guarantee some good photos. Later, head for Porto Canoas station, home to a restaurant of the same name, with quintessentially Brazilian dishes, like pumpkin with dried beef. And keep your camera out: the view of the Paraná River and Devil's Throat will yield great pics.
3 p.m. • Macuco Safari
Those who go out in the rain want to get wet. The same is true at the falls: Macuco Safari takes adventurers to the edge of the falls on motorboats that set sail from the Iguaçu River. At the boarding area, where you'll find water, food, and restrooms, you can store your electronic devices in lockers, because from that point on, the excursion is very wet!
5 p.m. • Dreamland
Neil Patrick Harris and Katy Perry are some of the celebrities who've visited the falls. But the best place to see famous people is located outside the park, at Dreamland. Inside the complex is a wax museum with statues of celebs like Michael Jackson and Barack Obama. It also has a museum of miniatures, a valley of dinosaurs, and other attractions for kids and adults alike.
8 p.m. • Marco das Três Fronteiras
Night falls on Brazil, with a view of Paraguay and Argentina: this is the Marco das Três Fronteiras, a cultural center at the point where the three nations meet. There, the union of the Iguaçu and Paraná rivers is part of the spectacle. They also have light shows, as well as a park with a Ferris wheel. You can dine there at the restaurant Cabeza de Vaca. The regional cooking is celebrated in such dishes as panelinha de mignon [filet mignon stew] and wedge french fries.
Day 2 – Puerto Iguazú – Argentina
8:30 a.m. • Iguazú National Park
Located 40 minutes from the center of Foz and 30 from Puerto Iguazú, Iguazú National Park in Argentina offers two trails above the currents, near such falls as Hermanas and Bosetti. The star of the show is Devil's Throat, the same one that's visible from the Brazilian side, with the tallest drop, around 260 feet [80 m]. Accessed by a separate trail, the overlook is located in the middle of a thick, humid mist.
2 p.m. • El Fortín
After more than five hours exploring the Argentine park, you can recharge your energy at the restaurant El Fortín, located inside the reserve. Try some of the Argentine specialties, such as the chorizo steak and the empanadas.
3 p.m. • Gran Aventura
It takes 3.1 miles [5 km] on the Yacaratiá Trail to get to Puerto Macuco, the starting point for the Gran Aventura. It’s a 3.7-mile [6 km] stretch through the canyon of the Iguaçu River that leads to Salto San Martín, the second largest of the falls in terms of dimension. Again, you can be sure your clothes will get soaked and you'll experience a sense of renovation. iguazujungle.com
8 p.m. • Rafain Churrascaria
Back in Brazilian territory, dinner takes on cultural contours at Rafain Churrascaria. The locale's stage features dancers performing everything from Paraguayan polkas to scenes from Andean folklore. The buffet is comprised of over 200 dishes.
Day 3 – Excursion across the border – Paraguay
9 a.m. • Ciudad del Este
Untamed nature gives way to stores, shopping, and bustling crowds in Ciudad del Este. To get there, you have to cross the border via the Friendship Bridge, which connects Brazil to the second biggest city in Paraguay. Set aside a morning to explore the shopping malls and outlets that offer a little of everything. Diva and A&D specialize in decorative items. Mega offers gadgets and portable electronics. If you're looking for luxury, S.A.X features such brands as Fendi and Salvatore Ferragamo. You can have lunch there too, inside such shopping centers as Paris and Del Este, which have good options.
3 p.m. • Itaipu Dam
One of the largest structures in modern engineering, the Itaipu Dam, shared by Brazil and Paraguay, is nearly 5 miles [8 km] long and its highest point stands 643 feet [196 m] tall. On the Panoramic Visit, a bus takes you to two overlooks from where you have a view of the spillway, from which the dam's excess water is drained, and the Central Overlook, which will give you an idea of the locale's dimensions.
7 p.m. • Puerto Iguazú
To wrap up your itinerary, how about a nighttime adventure? Cross over into Argentina and return to Puerto Iguazú to visit an enormous Duty-Free Shop (and not inside an airport). From there, continue on to the city's central market where you can try varieties of cheeses, olives, and empanadas made fresh at the famous stand run by Miriam, among many others. End your night at subzero temperatures inside Ice Bar Iguazú, where good drinks are served in a 14 °F [-10 °C] atmosphere.
LATAM has flights to Foz do Iguaçu from São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima, and two other destinations.