In this article, I am going to break down exactly how much it is to see Iguazu falls (from the Brazilian side) and exactly how to get there from any major city. Make sure you check out the exchange rate - many costs here are described in Brazilian Reals. I have indicated in each cost if I am talking about Reals or Dollars.
Getting to Brazil
The largest international airports in Brazil are São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (Code: CGH) and Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport (Code: GIG). Both airports have many international flights from around the world.
In general, The cheapest airfares you'll find are from February (after Carnival) to May and then less so (but still cheapish) from August to November. If you are traveling from a major hub, like New York or Miami for instance, you'll sometimes find tickets for as low as US$699 including taxes.
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. It is relatively cheap at only $45. 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.
Cost: $45 paid online before you leave.
Thank you to one of my readers for reaching out about the new Brazilian visa system.
As of yesterday, June 17, 2019, a visa is no longer required to visit from the US.
You can read more here.
Big city in Brazil to Foz do Iguaçu
From your major city in Brazil (I suggest Rio de Janeiro - so much to do there and such a fun city) you'll most likely want to fly into Foz do Iguaçu. The airport on the Brazilian side is Foz do Iguaçu International Airport (IGU). Foz is the closest city to the falls and your starting point for any tour. Gol Airlines, Avianca, and LATAM all fly nonstop to IGU from Rio or Sao Paulo.
Cost: If you book far enough in advance you can get tickets on GOL Airlines (from Rio to Iguazu) for as little as $120 round trip!
Foz Airport to City Center
First off, do not book a shuttle service ahead of time. The prices online are triple or quadruple what you will pay once you arrive. The airport to the city center is a little less than 9 miles. Once you land, it is very easy to hail a cab at the airport and not get ripped off. Many taxis will accept US dollars. The taxis are located just outside the exit doors.
Cost: A cab from the airport to the gate of the national park will cost R$20. If the driver asks for more simply say you will pay $20 - they should accept immediately. A cab from the airport to the city center will be about R$30.
Accommodation Cost in Foz do Iguaçu
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. I will say that I rarely pay for hotels this expensive but did for Iguazu. We stayed at the Belmond and loved every second of it. Definitely worth the cost! Check out my full review of Belmond Iguazu Falls here.
Cost: Dependent on what type of hotel you stay in.
Hotel to Iguazu National Park Gates
You've got some options here. A public tourist bus (very safe) or a cab ride (pretty cheap). Just like the cab from the airport, you won't run into too many problems getting from your hotel to the gates of the national park. Your hotel can call you a cab or you can grab one on the street.
If you wish to take the bus, they run every 22 minutes from the urban bus terminal (Terminal de Transporte Urbano) to the visitor's center at the park entrance. You'll want the bus No. 120 to 'Parque Nacional'. If you can't find it the tourist information office at the terminal will point you in the right direction. From the main terminal to the visitor center takes about 40 minutes. You will pay your fare when you enter the terminal. The bus passes many of the main hotels in the city along the way as well as the airport. The R$3.20 flat fare makes the bus a very cheap way to visit the Falls and it's also easy to use.
Cost: R$3.20 for a bus ticket. R$30 for a cab.
Entrance Cost at Iguazu Falls
Admission to the national park also comes with transportation. Your ticket will come with a boarding group/time to get on the bus. There is an option to pay for more activities but let me talk about a standard ticket first. Exit the bus at "Trilha das Cataratas" (a large pink hotel will be on your left). Most people will be getting off here as well - I doubt you will miss it. Follow the trail that runs alongside the falls. It is pretty self-explanatory and you only have one way in and out.
Usually, along the way will be someone selling official Iguaçu Falls rain ponchos for R$15. I suggest packing one from Amazon before you leave - much cheaper. Either way, definitely don't forget to bring water protection if you want to explore the walkway under the falls for more than a minute. Do be aware that even if you have a poncho, the lower half of your body may still get very wet depending on the wind that day. At the end of the "hike" is a Panoramic elevator. If the line is long you can skip it - the walk back up to the street is only about 5-minutes long.
Cost: R$57.30 per person. Reduced rates can be found for Brazilian residents.
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a travel guide for Brazil along with you. Here are some of the best travel guides I recommend...
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).