Brazil VS Argentina Iguazu Falls View: Which Is Better?

Both sides offer a once in a lifetime experience yet are completely different. I'm going to explain the differences between the sides and let you make the choice...

Is it possible to visit both sides in one trip?

Yes, it definitely is possible to see Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian and Argentinian side in one trip. If your travels allow it, schedule at least three to four days for the falls and see both sides very different perspectives. Your best bet would be to set aside one full day to cross the border and see the falls from the other side. Of course, you have to go through border control. It may be a VERY long day.

Let's talk first about the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls....

Flying in

Because the falls lie exactly on the border each side of the falls has its own airport. Because these airports are small domestic flights into both airports are much cheaper than international flights. What does this mean? If you are touring Brazil and traveling in from, let's say, Rio de Janeiro you will pay FAR less to fly into the Brazilian side. The same holds true for Argentina.

 Foz from above

Foz from above

The airports on the Brazilian side is Foz do Iguaçu International Airport (IGU). Once you land, the airport is less than 2 mines from the city of Foz do Iguaçu.

The Closest City

The city on the Brazilian side of Iguazu falls is called Foz do Iguaçu. It is big and reasonably safe by Brazilian standards. Compared to the closest city on the Argentinian side (Puerto Iguazu) Foz do Iguacu is a larger town with more choices for accommodation.

The Accommodations

 A higher price point - but worth the price. Check out Belmond at Iguazu Falls

A higher price point - but worth the price. Check out Belmond at Iguazu Falls

The town of Foz has many accommodations at different price points. If you want to stick with a hostel you'll pay around $15 or more a night. Decent hotels are around $50 a night and up. You can find a good amount of Airbnb's as well.

If you want to stay in the park with views of the falls there is only one hotel: Belmond Hotel das Cataratas. Just like the Argentine side, this high-end hotel costs around $400 a night depending on the time of year.

The View

The Brazilian side of the falls includes complete panoramic views of the falls. You'll see the falls from all their glory in front and river level. The Brazilian side is a quicker trip and can be seen in a few short hours. I personally prefer the Brazilian side view.

Photos of Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian Side

 Iguazu Falls Views from Brazil

The Visa Rules

If you are American (holding a US Passport) you will have to pay a bit of money to enter Brazil. Brazil requires a visa in your passport that you must obtain before you leave. I have a full article that explains the process in detail here.

Be sure to double check what visa requirements are needed for your nationality before trying to cross borders. New rules are created all the time. Also, make sure your passport is stamped when you enter AND exit the bordering countries or you’ll have problems leaving from any airport.

Now the Argentina Side of Iguazu Falls...

Flying in

Because the falls lie exactly on the border each side of the falls has its own airport. Because these airports are small domestic flights into both airports are much cheaper than international flights. What does this mean? If you are touring Argentina and traveling in from, let's say, Buenos Aires you will pay FAR less to fly into the Argentine airport. The same holds true for Brazil.

The airports on Argentine side is Cataratas del Iguazu International Airport (IGR). Once you land, the airport is 25 km (16 miles) from the city of Iguazu center.

 Puerto Iguazu is the closest city to Iguazu Falls on the Argentine side

The Closest City

The town on the Argentine side is called Puerto Iguazu and is pretty small. The town is small and unspectacular but the accommodation was a fraction of the cost than staying inside of the National Park ($300+ a night).

The Accommodations

 One of the nicer hotels in Puerto Iguazu

One of the nicer hotels in Puerto Iguazu

Considering that Puerto Iguazu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Argentina, the town leaves much to be desired. Especially compared to other big cities in Argentina, Puerto Iguazu feels like a developing country. There are pretty much only restaurants and souvenir shops lining the streets. A typical hotel will feel rundown and in need of renovations by US standards. In the streets are child beggars walking barefoot.

You can find a good amount of Airbnb's in Puerto Iguazu. If you want to stick with a hostel you'll pay around $20-$30 a night. Hotels are around $60 and up.

If you want to stay in the park with views of the falls there is only one hotel: Melia Iguazú Hotel. Just like the Brazilian side, this high-end hotel costs around $400 a night depending on the time of year.

The Views

80% of the falls fall on the Argentinian side, but the Argentina side of the falls are seen from above. The national park has many walking trails that travel through the park’s rainforest and right above the falls. It is a completely different way to experience the full power of the rushing waters. There is more to see and do on this side of the falls and it could easily take you 6+ hours to properly view the falls on the Argentinean side.

Photos of Iguazu Falls from Argentina

I was not able to visit the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls during my visit. For photos of the falls from this side check out this article from a fellow photographer and blogger.

The Visa Rules

Unlike Brazil there is no visa fee for entering Argentina.

Be sure to double check what visa requirements are needed for your nationality before trying to cross borders. New rules are created all the time. Also, make sure your passport is stamped when you enter AND exit the bordering countries or you’ll have problems leaving from any airport.

Final Thoughts

One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a travel guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...

Also, a super common question I get is: What camera do I use for my travels. The body is a Nikon D3300 and I use the kit lens and a Sigma wide-angle lens which I am genuinely obsessed with.

My full list of travel gear, that I take on every trip can be found here.

And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email - tessajuliette at gmail dot com

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