Iguacu National Park is located on the border of Argentina and Brazil and serves as the protected area for Iguassu Falls on the Brazil side of the falls. The national park encompasses an area of 660 square miles (1,700 sq km).
The trail along the canyon and falls, lookouts, and immediate rainforest along Iguassu Falls account for less than 1% of the Iguacu National Park protected area. This is the only area explored by visitors to Iguassu Falls.
Iguassu Falls is protected on the Argentina side by Iguazu National Park and collectively serves as the world’s largest waterfall system. There are 275 separate drops throughout the 1.7 miles (2.7 km) of falls.
The tallest point of the falls occurs at Devil’s Throat which stands at 269 feet (82 m) and is also the head of the shared border canyon. The falls range from the height at Devil’s Throat down to the shortest falls at 197 feet (60 m).
Iguacu National Park and the Iguassu Falls area are home to the giant otter and the giant anteater which are both endangered. Some of the other hoped-for wildlife sightings include jaguar, jaguarundi, ocelot, tapir, and toucans. Most visitors are fortunate to see the coati and an abundance of butterflies.
Iguassu Falls is without question the highlight of Iguacu National Park. The national park offers a variety of exciting ways of seeing and experiencing the falls with some activities increasing the sense of adventure.
From the Brazilian side only, visitors can leverage a helicopter tour for one of the most stunning views of the falls from an aerial point of view. Additionally, there is a rappelling rope that drops straight down from an extended medal platform. This allows you to hang in the air and have a face to face view across the canyon toward the Argentina side of the falls.
The simplest way to experience the falls is to take the pathed trail along the canyon wall on the Brazilian side providing comprehensive views of the falls which occur on the Argentine side. There are lookouts along the way as well as a metal walkway out across the river that delivers up close and wet views of the falls.
Trails in Iguacu National Park
Iguassu Falls Trail: The trailhead starts across the street from the Hotel das Cataratas. It is an easy paved trail with various changes in elevation that are accomplished by stairs or slight slopes. The trail is taken leisurely along the canyon of Iguassu Falls.
The majority of views are of the Argentine side of the falls. The Brazilian side only accounts for about 20% of the entire Iguassu Falls system.
- Iguassu Falls
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- UNESCO, Iguacu National Park, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/355/, retrieved September 2019.
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- Visit Iguacu, Iguacu National Park, https://iguassu.com.br/portfolio-item/iguacu-national-park/?lang=en, retrieved September 2019.