The three greatest waterfalls in the world are Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River straddling the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia in Africa, Niagara Falls straddling the border between Canada and the USA and Iguaçu Falls here in Brazil on the border with Argentina.
The Victoria Falls are 108 metres high and stretch over a distance of 1.7 kilometres, while Niagara Falls have a drop of 51 metres with 3 falls- the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls. All three of these waterfalls are incredible to see and experience. You can also read more about Niagara Falls on the Canada section of this website.
Iguaçu Falls are called Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil and the Cataratas del Iguazύ in Argentina and can be seen from both the Brazilian side and the Argentinian side. The popular ‘Devil’s throat’ cascade (Garganta do Diablo) can be seen and experienced from the bottom looking up at the falls on the Brazilian side and looking down on them from the Argentinian side where there is a 2 kilometre long elevated walkway that will take you right into the spray of the falls.
You get different viewpoints from each side and you should try and see both sides if you can. If you’re feeling rich you can also take a helicopter ride over the top and really get a bird’s eye view and see all of the falls and take in both its grandeur and spectacle.
It is also possible to take a boat trip on the river below the falls from both the Brazilian and Argentinian side too.
The falls themselves, surrounded by rainforest are spectacular consisting of some 275 falls next to each other in a massive surge of white water and spray, cascading down over a drop that varies from about 60 metres to 80 metres in height all falling from a horseshoe shaped rim about 3 kilometres wide.
To see the mass of water, feel the spray in the air and hear the roar of the water is a truly memorable experience.
To get to the Falls you could fly from São Paulo or Rio to Foz do Iguaçu airport and small town on the Brazilian side or to Cataratas del Iguazύ on the Argentinian side coming from Buenos Aires or other city in Argentina.
The falls are roughly 1000 kilometres south west from São Paulo and about 1300 kilometres north, slightly west from Buenos Aires, so most people coming here to see the falls will fly in, though you could catch a long distance bus or drive too, depending on where you are coming from.
It is also possible to get to Iguaçu Falls from Asuncion in Paraguay and there are day tours that make this trip too.
Before heading to the waterfalls also check to see that you meet Visa requirements for crossing the border between the two countries, as there is a border crossing involved. Also check currency rates too, as you will find the costs buying souvenirs, food and drinks will vary greatly depending on which country you are buying in and the exchange rate.
Certainly, the Iguaçu Falls are one of the most memorable sights to see in Brazil and well worth the time to come and see them when you are planning your trip to Brazil.