Nothing can ruin a vacation like getting to your epic destination and realizing you forgot an essential item.
To help combat this (and reduce your stress) below is a list of items you should pack with you for a trip to Iguazu Falls. Of course, you don't have to take every item on this list - use your best judgement to determine what you will need. I always recommend trying to pack light. It will definitely help you along the way.
By the way, click on any of the pictures or links to shop exactly what I use when I travel. Most items are bought through Amazon (because two day shipping is really the best).
I always try and travel with only a carry on - yes, even if my trip is more than three days. Not only does a small bag make it is easier when you are traveling solo but it also saves you time and money not having to wait in lines to check my bag. You'll be surprised just how much stuff can fit in a carry on!
I travel with an Away carry on and LOVE IT. These are a little pricey (the small carry on will set you back $200) but I still recommend them. I’ve traveled with this bag for over two years and it still looks brand new. You can see my Away Luggage review here.
If you want to save some money I have linked similar Amazon brand bags below.
A quick note on packing light: To help pack as light as possible I try and bring clothes that serve multiple purposes. A maxi skirt that can be work over a bathing suit as a cover-up and also be worn with my heels for a nicer dinner. I also pack the same general colors throughout my bag so that everything matches easily.
Clothing to pack for Iguazu Falls
Obviously, you will want to look at the weather before heading out to Brazil. Iguazu Falls are in a tropical region - it rains...a lot. It is also insanely unpredictable. It can rain hard for a few hours or a whole day. You’ll want to pack items that take the rain and fluctuating temperature into account.
Casual Shorts and T-shirts
If traveling there in the summer, you'll want a great pair of shorts and lots of breathable shirts. Especially for walking and hiking around. Don't underestimate how hot it gets - make sure you have breathable cottons or something that wicks away moisture.
The spray from the falls can be intense on either side. I suggest wearing a bathing suit and/or light clothing that you won’t mind getting wet. Most hotels on either side have a great pool to relax in as well. I personally love one piece suits - great peace of mind so I can indulge on great food and drinks on vacation.
RainCoat or Waterproof Jacket
At Iguazu Falls, it can rain at any moment. You’ll want to have a raincoat or waterproof jacket. Alternatively, you can use a poncho. Inside the park (and in both cities) are many places to buy a poncho, but those are extremely overpriced. I suggest grabbing one off Amazon before you leave and packing it. There are even really cute polka dotted ponchos on Amazon that would look so great in pictures!
Warmer Clothing Items
Depending on the weather and the season, it is a good idea wear long sleeve thermal shirts and warm thermal long pants. This will also provide additional protection against sunburn and mosquito bites. Personally, I love the Obermeyer base layers and fleeces (my favorite top, my favorite bottom) or Uniqlo’s heattech collection for extremely lightweight items.
Other Clothing Essentials for Iguazu Falls
Underwear, bras, and socks
Belts, jewelry and other accessories
Scarf!! Especially if you are visiting in the colder months. The wind is crazy near the falls.
I always opt for a cross-body bag. It makes it harder to steal (or forget places)
Best Shoes For Traveling to Iguazu Falls
Traveling with a versatile shoe is essential. No matter which side of the falls you visit there are several trails. Pack comfortable walking shoes - if possible closed-toe athletic, or some type of hiking shoes.
When it comes to sneakers, I stick to black - they hide dirt the best. Also, black sneakers match leggings and a sweatshirt, my normal plane attire. They have to be lightweight though! Look for sneakers that are mesh on top, this will help squeeze them in your bag.
If you are staying at a nicer hotel make sure to pack some shoes for fancy dinners. I always carry nude low rise heels. I have linked my absolute favorite ones below. A low heel helps me walk in them and (more importantly) fit into my bag easily.
Below are the exact shoes I carry with me on all my trips. All are bought through amazon.
If you want to do intense hiking while you’re there I recommend packing a real hiking boot. Colombia has always been my favorite brand - they are extremely well made and last a long time. Don’t forget to pack socks as well.
Toiletries, Medication, Personal Items
Don't forget that if you're only bringing a carry on only all of these will have to miniature sized. Also, when it comes to toiletries - the less you pack the better. Anything you don't bring can easily be bought abroad. Often times for cheaper than in the states!
For example, when I recently went to Tulum Mexico my travel sized toothpaste ran out. I went to a store and a full sized Colgate bottle was less than a dollar! (In the states, that same bottle is $3-something.)
Why is this first you ask? Because it is the most important thing that should be in your toiletry bag. I can't even tell you how many times I have been SO THANKFUL I had earplugs on me.
Some of you are going to think I'm crazy but I literally travel with the tiny brush I've linked to the right. I've found normal brushes take up SO much room and having a tiny one is totally fine. Especially for short trips
If I know I'm staying at a nice hotel I only pack conditioner to save room. I’m lucky, shampoo and body wash provided by most hotels work perfectly fine for me. I know this isn’t the case for everyone.
PLEASE stop buying those mini bottles of brand name shampoo. They are so expensive. Buy reusable bottles and fill them up before you go.
The sun is extremely harsh here - even if it is overcast. Make sure you have sunscreen on everyday.
You should be wearing sunscreen everyday on your face! This is my favorite for daily use.
Contact lenses and contact solution
Tampons or sanitary napkins
You are visiting a subtropical jungle area, and there are mosquitoes and insects in the area. Prevent biting with a repellent.
First Aid Stuff
The spray near the falls can be intense. Be sure to protect your items.
Things I don't ever pack and simply buy (or ask the front desk) if I need them:
Shampoo/Body Wash (I wrote about why above!)
Aloe Vera (I try and apply sunscreen so I don't need it but if you do get a bad burn you can simply buy it while you're there)
Electronics and Camera Equipment to Pack for Iguazu Falls
Good news for Americas, you won't need a converter for most hotels in Brazil! But make sure you don't forget all your chargers.
Pack a long one just in case the plug isn't close to the bed!
I bought this 3-pack of chargers a while ago and I love it because it comes with different lengths. The small one I keep in my bag with my portable charger. The long ones I use next to the bed.
Underwater Camera Equipment
Although you will most likely not be swimming in the falls a popular tour is a boat tour that takes you very close to the falls. You will need a waterproof camera for this activity. For the best photos use a Go Pro. You can also put your phone in a waterproof case.
Money and Documents for Iguazu Falls
Credit and/or debit cards
Airline tickets, hotel reservation and car rental info
I use an app called Tripit to store all my travel itinerary information.
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).