Iguazu means “big water”. What an understatement. Iguazu Falls is one of the largest waterfalls on the planet, discharging 1.5 million litres of water over 275 individual cascades every second. So awestruck was Eleanor Roosevelt when she visited Iguazu, the late first lady reportedly exclaimed “Poor Niagara!”. On this five-day tour of Iguazu Falls – exploring both the Argentine and Brazilian sides – you too will be in awe. Venture to the top of the Devil’s Throat and stare into the mist-shrouded abyss, feel the thundering power of the falls on a boat ride to the base of the cascades, and enjoy VIP access from your exclusive accommodation inside the national park.
Ushuaia - Iguazu
Fly to Iguazu and check in to the iconic Belmond Hotel das Cataratas hotel. Situated on the Brazilian side of the falls, Belmond is the only hotel located inside the Iguaçu National Park and offers exclusive after-hours access to the World Heritage-listed site. Luxuriate in the hotel’s Portuguese-colonial surrounds, replete with birdsong and sub-tropical plants, ahead of an exciting couple of days.
It’s mighty restorative sleeping in the jungle, but there’s no time for a lie in. Pack a raincoat and a change of clothes (you’ll need them) because today we’re exploring the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls. The falls form a natural border between Argentina and Brazil, but the term waterfall is a misnomer – Iguazu is more like an ocean tumbling into a sinkhole; more than 275 cascades spanning 2.7km thunder into a giant basin from a height of up to 82 metres. At its peak, five Olympic swimming pools worth of water roar down the falls every second.
Explore the upper and lower sections of the falls, culminating in a mini-train journey to the granddaddy of them all, Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat). Step to the edge of the overwater platform and peer over the precipice as a raging torrent disappears into the abyss, spraying a plume of rainbow-tinted mist. Join a jeep safari through the rainforest and board a boat for a thrilling adventure cruise to the base of the falls. Hear the deafening roar as the boat nears the thundering cascades and feel the mist turn to spray as Iguazu unleashes a drenching. It’s all good fun! Return to the hotel to dry off.
Today we will explore Iguazu from the Brazilian side for a very different perspective of the falls. But for a truly sublime waterfall experience, rise early and wander along the Iguazu River in solitude – you’ll have the falls all to yourself. Our half-day tour follows the 1.6km main trail to a catwalk extending over the river at the base of the Devil’s Throat.
If the falls are in full flood, you will get wet! See the rainbow-wreathed Bozzetti, Two Sisters and Three Musketeers falls as well as San Martin Island, which looks in danger of being engulfed by water. In the afternoon, visit the Parque das Aves, one of the largest bird parks in Latin America, and see 120 species of endangered Atlantic Forest birds.
Iguazu - Buenos Aires
Transfer to the airport and fly to Buenos Aires. Stay overnight at the airport hotel.