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Tour necessary for a day visit to the falls?!

Stirling, United...
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Tour necessary for a day visit to the falls?!

My Mum and I are planning on staying in Cataras de Iguazu for 2 nights, arriving late on the Sunday evening and departing early the Tuesday morning, and want to spend a full day at the falls on the Monday. We want to visit both sides of the falls and have the full sight and sound experience, without paying a shameless amount of money for something we could do just as well ourselves. Is a tour recommended/necessary?

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Tour necessary for a day visit to the falls?!


We spent our honeymoon in Iguazu and we did take a tour to see both sides of the falls (and a few other excursions). We crossed the border a few times and felt doing if with the tour was a lot less hassle, as when we crossed the frontier alone, was a lot more difficult and only cause my partner is from Baries we got through - but I still had to pay a $20 bribe! However saying that, the tour does not give you a lot of information, was just transport.

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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2. Re: Tour necessary for a day visit to the falls?!

Both National Parks are set up for independent travel. Walkways are well marked and easy to navigate. The Brazilian park;including the optional bird sanctuary requires around 4 hours for a visit. The Argentine park can require a full day since there is more walking and areas to visit. Clearly, you can reduce some of this time by eliminating some activities.

Tours are available in the reception area of each park and available all day.

If you are a UK passport holder than a visa is not required for entry into Brazil. Taxi's are available at the entrance to both parks for transfer between the parks. Also, bus transport is available but requires more time for the transfer.

Have fun with your holiday planning.

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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3. Re: Tour necessary for a day visit to the falls?!

Hi UK!

You do not need a tour if your sole purpose in getting one is to have attractions pointed out to you. At Iguasu Falls, both sides, the attractions are self evident. Most signs are in English as well as the local language. (English for the benefit of the Germans, the Dutch, the Swissies, the Chinese, etc. (winks!))

I found the same issues as the Australian writer, but you enjoy an important difference from him and me. Aussies and we Canadians (and also United States passport holders) need special, expensive visas to enter Brazil, and we must pay special taxes to enter Argentina. You don't, if you travel on a British or a European Union passport.

Check your country's external affairs website. I think you'll find that as a Brit, you need only present your passport to cross the border. No funny taxes. No special visas for an ordinary tourist visit. You should not get hung on the red tape the way he and I did.

We found that we got the best view by visiting the Brazilian side of the falls in the morning, when the sun will be illuminating the Argentine side. All of Brazil's 1 1/2 mile trail follows the edge of the river. Because of the unique geography of the Iguasu Falls region, most of the Argentine side consists of waterfalls, so of course you cannot walk there, except where special bridges have been built. In Brazil, though, the river bank is dry land almost all the way to the grand falls, with a stellar view of the Argentine falls all the way along. Brazil also has the only observation point near the base of the grand falls.

Then explore the trails in Argentina in the afternoon. In travel lore, I've seen it written that Argentina has a lot more territory to explore than Brazil, but this is not what we found. Unless you've got some sort of special interest, an afternoon should be plenty of time for walking along the lip of some of the smaller falls, descending to the base of the river in Argentina, and walking the half-mile catwalk out over the Iguasu River to as close as the Argentines dare to the top of the grand falls.

Happy travels!



London, United...
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4. Re: Tour necessary for a day visit to the falls?!

We also stayed at Cataratas. We arrived late so just in time to see sunset from the viewpoint near the hotel. Next morning we got in a taxi to the Argentinian side fairly early and did all the walks then got a taxi back in the afternoon and did the Brazilian side. We still had time for a long swim in the hotel pool to cool off. The taxis were about £30 each way. I know there are also buses but we thought the taxi price was reasonable and saved us a lot of time and hassle. If you do this, do make sure they stamp your passport on the way through on both sides regardless of what the taxi driver says because otherwise coming back can be tricky (and I've heard they sometimes make you pay a large 'tip'). Our first taxi driver said we didn't need to but then going back through, the other taxi driver said that was wrong - luckily we had met him the day before when we arrived (what are the odds?) and he helped us get through without paying.

5. Re: Tour necessary for a day visit to the falls?!

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