Known as Iguazu Falls, Iguassu or Iguaçu Falls, the immense waterfall on the Iguazu River is the symbol of Brazil. The fabulous spectacle that water makes by creating a water curtain formed by exactly 275 drops of individual drops has awed locals and tourists for centuries.
The name of the waterfall comes from Tupi or Guarani language and it means ‘big water’. While indigenous tribes knew of its spectacular beauty, Iguazu Falls was officially discovered and marked on the map in 1541, when the Spanish Conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca came across it.
Expanding over 1.7 miles (2.7 km) of land and located at the border between Brazil (the state of Paraná) and Argentina, Iguazu Falls are now owned by two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely the Iguazu National Park in Argentina and the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil.
Brazil boasts three waterfalls that are part of the great Iguazu, Benjamin Constant, Deodoro and Floriano. The height of the falls varies between 60 metres (200 feet) and 82 metres (269 feet), making Iguazu Falls taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide.
A massive amount of water runs down the Devil’s Throat, an 82-metre high chasm, which measures 150 metres in width and 700 metres in length. The distinguishing feature of the chasm is its U-shape. Several islands are sprinkled across the river and the falls, adding to the wondrous beauty of the place.
Of a fairy-tale beauty, Iguazu Falls have served as setting for numerous movies over time, including Happy Together (1997), Mr. Magoo (1997), Miami Vice (2006), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).
Special walkways have been built around the falls to facilitate tourist access in the proximity of this natural wonder. You will need to confirm VISA requirements upon entering the site from either Brazil or Argentina. Tourists can reach the falls either from Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, Puerto Iguazú in the Argentina, or from Ciudad del Este in Paraguay.
To maximise the visitors’ experience and offer them a truly unforgettable experience, the Brazilian site management organises helicopter flips over the water.
It is advisable to visit the falls in spring or autumn, as summer is extremely hot and humid, while the water level drops significantly in winter.