Iguazu (or Iguacu in Portuguese) is often mentioned in the same breath as Niagara and Victoria when the world’s greatest waterfalls are discussed. I’ve been to all three, and Iguazu is the most beautiful. Niagara is too developed and the Batoka Gorge that the Zambezi River carves out at Victoria is so deep and narrow that when the water is flowing near peak rates there is so much mist that the only way to get a good view of the falls is via helicopter. Iguazu is comprised of some 275 or so (the number fluctuates by season) waterfalls set in a dramatic, lush jungle setting. You may have seen it in the Roger Moore Bond Film Moonraker or a certain, awful Indiana Jones film we will pretend was never made.
TRAVEL TIP #1: BRAZILIAN VISAS CAN BE OBTAINED QUICKLY IN IGUAZU
Iguazu is a great place to obtain a visa for Brazil, if needed. I’ve heard of turnaround times of as fast as the same day if you go early in the morning and leave your passport. I discuss Brazilian visas here in my post about Carnival. But typical turnaround times for visa approval are as follows: Tokyo Brazilian Consulate : 2~3 weeks, New York Brazilian Consulate: 1~2 weeks, Buenos Aires Brazilian Consulate: 2 days, Iguazu: 1 day. So if you have left home without one, are required to have a visa, and want to go to Brazil, don’t despair.
TRAVEL TIP #2: FLY FROM BUENOS AIRES DOMESTIC AIRPORT IN UNDER TWO HOURS (AND OFTEN UNDER TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS)
Ezeiza, Buenos Aires’ international airport is a big pain to get to, especially with traffic. Fortunately, there is a domestic airport right on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, code BUE (not EZE). Make sure you are looking up flights from there if you are going via Argentina and save yourself a lot of hassle, money and time. A quick glance of flights this month shows daily, nonstop options starting at $150 US. You can definitely tack this trip onto a 3-day weekend in Buenos Aires, or explore several short trip options from the capital city here and here.
Without further ado…