When thinking of visiting Brazil, the first place that comes to mind is Rio de Janeiro or the Amazon forest. But I would like to take you on an adventure to the south-west of Brazil, to a place that I think deserves more recognition. That place is Foz do Iguaçu.
It is full of wonderful sites that are often overlooked by travelers to Brazil, and here are some of those must see places while in Foz do Iguaçu.
1) The Iguaçu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu)
The waterfalls of the Iguaçu River are located between Brazil and Argentina; on the border of the Argentinian province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. They are the largest waterfalls system in the world, with more than 200 individual waterfalls. The biggest and most impressive is “the Devil’s Throat” (garganta do diabo), a U-shaped waterfall of 82 meters.
80% of the waterfalls are on the Argentinian side, allowing you to do a full hiking day to just take in the view. On the Brazilian side, you will get the chance to experience the falls from below and be on the edge of several of the waterfalls. You can even go on a boat ride around the waterfalls.
Visitors have the chance to be at the edge of several waterfalls while being surrounded by beautiful nature as the falls are part of a protected national park. You will also be able to see animals such as coatis and monkeys, but be careful they don’t steal from you.
2) The ‘Parque das Aves’
The ‘Parque das Aves’ (Portuguese for “Bird Park”) is located just in front of the entrance to the Iguaçu falls on the Brazilian side. The park offers a unique opportunity to be in direct contact with more than 1320 birds from 143 different species while walking in the natural lush Atlantic Rainforest. The park is managed by a non-profit organization that is very active in taking care of birds that are unable to continue living in nature without supervision or those that have been rescued from trafficking. So make sure to buy a souvenir and support the good cause.
3) The Itaipu Dam
This is a hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay. As the Dam is located on the border, Paraguay and Brazil are both owners of it. In 2016, the Dam set a new world record for producing the most energy and surpassed the Three Gorges Dam in China. Today it can produce an amount of power that would be enough to supply the whole world with energy for 40 days.
Visitors can experience two different kinds of visits: the panoramic tour and the Special tour.
The first one is a bus tour making stops on the most important places at the top of the dam, giving you a panoramic view of both sides, while the other one will take you to the interior of the largest power generator in the world. It should be mentioned that the second tour is restricted to all children under the age of 14 years old, and it is mandatory to wear clothing under knee-length. Whichever one you choose, you are guaranteed to feel small, faced with this impressive structure.
4) The Triple Frontier
Aqui es el lugar exacto donde Argentina, Paraguay y Brasil se unen y se dividen, impresionante. pic.twitter.com/tW0yyfN7a2
— Paisajes Geo (@PaisajesGeo) April 28, 2013
As you might have guessed from reading this article, Foz do Iguaçu is at the intersection of three countries: Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The Triple Frontier is the exact place where the tri-border area is, at the junction where the Iguaçu and Paraná Rivers converge. Every country has a marking that can be seen from all sides regardless of which country you are in.
Overall, Foz do Iguaçu is a magical place that deserves to be seen by more people around the world. Trust me; you won’t regret it!