The Iguazu Falls certainly deserve their reputation as a must-see tourist attraction. The Argentinian side of the falls offers extensive walkways through the forest and above the falls. There are numerous spectacular viewpoints, with the main attraction being the Devil’s Throat where an enormous amount of water pours through a small opening, with the spray rising metres in the air. Throughout the walks there are butterflies everywhere, some even venturing within inches of the waterfall spray.
The falls and forest are magnificent; the downside of the visit is the tourist pressure. While most people are patient and courteous and queue politely to take photos, the umbrellas wielded by some on the trail pose a serious hazard to eyes and heads if you don’t stay very alert, but the views of the Falls are worth the risk.
The Grand Crucero Hotel in Puerto Iguazu is not a bad option if you wish to stay on the Argentinean side of Iguazu. The place is reasonably clean and tidy, although there was quite a bit of black mold in the bathroom. King bed was ok, but the necessary air conditioning tended to be a little noisy. The included breakfast was quite generous and the in house restaurant and bar were adequate without being interesting. The best strategy when staying at the Crucero though is to avoid using hotel goods and services. Bottled water and other necessary items are a fraction of the hotel cost at the supermarket just 100 meters up the road. And tours and taxis are best organized independently. The hotel staff and in house travel agents are a ripoff. Walk out and get a taxi for a third the price or better still catch the Cateratas bus for as little as 50 pesos. The buses can be crowded, but young Argentinians and Argentinian men are extremely courteous when it comes to offering seats to women and older folks, and everyone makes room for one another.
From Puerto Iguazu we caught a taxi across the border to the Brazilian town of Foz de Iguazu and our hotel, Viale Tower. There are buses across the border, but you need to get off with your bags to go through immigration and then wait for the next bus onward. The taxi was very reasonably priced, and the driver took us straight to immigration, helped us with the documentation and we were through the whole process in a few minutes. Finding our hotel initially proved challenging as there is another, better known, Viale Hotel on the edge of town. Our driver used his initiative and checked with the local taxi depot, and we were there in no time.
The Viale Tower is pretty much in the middle of town, close to all amenities and also on the bus route out to the Cateratas. The room rate when we visited was a steal. The rooms are quite small, but adequate in facilities and comfort while beds were excellent. Breakfast was better than average. Great value for money.
Visiting the Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side provides a quite different perspective to the Argentinian side. The walkway is shorter and provides spectacular wide views of the Falls and surrounding forest. It is possible to get up close and almost under the Falls and feel their immense power. If time is short visiting the Brazilian side gives the best overview and the easiest access. It is also less crowded.
We have a couple of restaurants to check out in Foz, but just a few steps from our hotel we find the Capitao Bar. It is a very lively place, lots of screens, sport, music. Packed with young folk, menu looks good. We select a couple of fish options. Beer is cold and good. Capitao is easy. We enjoy.