10 Reasons You Should Visit Iguazu Falls With Kids

“Iguazu Falls are unlike any other waterfall on Earth. This isn’t your backyard sprinkler; it’s one of the most jaw-dropping sights you’ll ever witness. We stopped at Igazu Falls with kids for two days, and wanted to stay longer!

Nestled at the meeting point of three countries—Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay—Iguazu Falls is a marvel that defies borders. Think of it as nature’s version of an international party. The falls stretch over a whopping 2.7 km (that’s about 1.7 miles). To put that into perspective, you’d need to line 30 football fields back-to-back to match the width of these falls.

This natural wonder consists of 275 separate waterfalls or cataracts, with the exact number depending on the season.

Visiting Iguazu Falls in Argentina with kids

 

Iguazu Falls became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. In 2011, it was selected as one of the winners of the New Seven Wonders of Nature competition. It’s been included in various lists celebrating the planet’s most remarkable landscapes. As a backdrop for films and cultural events, Iguazu Falls captivates and inspires visitors from across the globe.

iguazu falls - panoramic view

Here’s why you should add Iguazu Falls to your bucket list!

1. Iguazu Falls are Massive

Iguazu Falls are nearly twice as tall as  Niagara Falls and are truly the most remarkable sight to see.

Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina with kids

If waterfalls had a popularity contest, you might think Niagara Falls would be a contender. But Iguazu is certainly warmer, and is a magnificent natural wonder. With around 275 individual drops, some of which soar to heights of 82 meters (that’s about 269 feet), Iguazu Falls is bigger than Niagra. Its power is incredible!

Visit Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina with kids - you WILL get wet

2. A Multi-Country Centerpiece

Iguazu Falls are located in Argentina and 20% are located in Brazil. The falls are a natural divider between Brazil and Argentina. The majority of the drops (about 80%) sit on the Argentine side. This geographic split has been the subject of much friendly rivalry but no serious disputes. Both countries have embraced this shared wonder and have created national parks to protect the area.

travel to Iguazu Falls in Argentina with kids

3. Incredible Water Power

Iguazu Falls is one of the mightiest and most powerful waterfalls in the world. In terms of sheer volume, Iguazu is neck and neck with Victoria Falls in Africa, depending on the season. When it comes to sheer power, Iguazu Falls holds its own among the world’s top waterfalls.

While it may not claim the title of the tallest or widest waterfall, its collective volume and intensity rival some of the most renowned cascades on the planet. At peak times, Iguazu falls pours over 1,700 cubic meters of water per second into the river below. This puts it in league with iconic waterfalls like Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls in terms of sheer volume and energy.

4. The Brazilian Side of Iguaçu

The Brazilian side offers the most complete panoramic views of the Falls.  Prepare yourself for the kind of sweeping vistas that make you feel like you’re starring in an epic adventure film. This is where you stand back and take in the majesty of the falls with breathtaking panoramic views.

Iguazu Falls - the Brazilian side

The walkways and platforms are designed to give you a postcard-perfect shot. The Devil’s Throat is the mightiest of the falls’ cascades and you can always hear that thundering away in the background. The Brazil side gives you a front-row seat, and the Brazilian side boasts the Bird Park where colourful birds flutter in aviaries that mimic their natural habitats.

Brazil side

5. The Argentinean Side of Iguazú

Cross the border into Argentina, and the experience becomes more intimate. The Argentine side invites you to see Iguazu Falls up close. A network of trails and footbridges takes you through lush forests and over rivers, leading to lookout points where the falls are super close.

Iguazu Falls - posing with kids on the argentinian sideYou can truly appreciate the sheer scale and power of the cascades, especially at the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), where you stand right at the edge of the most ferocious part of the falls. The Argentine side is less about viewing from afar and more about immersing yourself in the natural spectacle, making you a part of the falls’ never-ending dance with the river below.

kids love Iguazu Falls

The Argentinian side also offers walking trails that explore the park’s tropical rainforest and you can experience the full power of the rushing waters.

6. The Devil’s Throat

The most powerful stream from Iguazu Falls in Brazil is known as Devil’s Throat. The roar of the water is intense, and you get drenched from the mist. Also called the “Garganta del Diablo” this is the most dramatic and powerful part of Iguazu Falls. It’s where the river’s force is focused and concentrated.

The Devil's Throat

Here, water plunges into a deep chasm, sending clouds of mist soaring into the air, creating perpetual rainbows on sunny days. The thunderous roar of the water dominates the soundscape, a reminder of the raw power of water and gravity.

Viewing platforms on the Argentine side allow you to stand almost within arm’s reach of this natural wonder, feeling the spray on your face and the vibration under your feet.  The Devil’s Throat drops more than 80 meters into a frothy screen of roaring water creating a permanent cloud of mist.

8. Viewing the Falls By Boat

The Macuco Safari on the Brazilian side offers a boat ride that literally gets you soaked under the falls – it’s exhilarating. The boat tour lets you explore Iguazu Falls with kids from a totally different perspective.

View the devils throat from a boat

One of the most exciting ways to view the Falls is by taking a speedboat as close to the falls as possible.

Kids love getting wet. The falls is the place for them.

Disclaimer: be prepared to get very very wet as these boats take you right under the falls.

The boat and the mist from the waterfalls. People look tiny.

9. The speed boat starts and finishes at the bottom of the Lower Circuit trail and it’s an easy hike to reach the boat.

Glorious Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina with kids

To reach the boat you walk down about 500 feet of steep stairs, towards the river.

Jungle walk in Brazil with kids

The Iguazu boat tour offer opportunities to observe the surrounding wildlife and lush vegetation from a unique perspective. Safety equipment is clearly visible and life jackets are mandatory to wear.  We appreciated the thunder and spray from the falls, but never felt unsafe.

mighty waterfalls - view from the boat below

10. Natural Wildlife Surrounds Iguazu

Iguazu Falls are located within one of the few remaining inland rainforests in South America. The region is hotspot for wildlife, showcasing an array of native animals that thrive in this lush environment. Within the dense foliage of the surrounding rainforest, various species find their haven.

Capuchin monkeys navigate the canopy, their presence often felt more than seen. Though spotting a jaguar is a rare occurrence, the possibility adds an exciting edge to every rustle in the underbrush. Toucans stand out against the greenery with their bright beaks, we saw a flash of these birds occasionally, but they didn’t stick around long.

 

Lizards are just one of the wild animals you'll spot at Iguazu
The Gila Monster is one of two known venomous lizard species

Coatis are a common sight, often found near pathways, undeterred by the human activity. This ecosystem is a vibrant showcase of South America’s diverse wildlife, offering visitors a glimpse into the natural world beyond the majestic falls. You can hike around the falls in jungle terrain and take an open-top jeep to learn about the eco-system and exotic animals.

Iguazu Falls: Hidden Gems and Insider Secrets

How Do You Spell It? Iguazú vs  Iguaçu

Iguazu Falls comes with a collection of alternative spellings that could confuse even the savviest of travellers.  “Iguazu” is thee commonly used term and is recognized internationally. It’s a derivative of the Spanish used in Argentina where it’s spelled “Iguazú” — that’s with an ‘z’ and an accent. Cross over to Brazil, and the falls morph into “Iguaçu” with a ‘ç’, giving it a Portuguese twist that rolls off the tongue quite differently. Then there’s “Foz do Iguaçu,” which should not to be mistaken for the falls themselves, but the Brazilian city that serves as a gateway to this natural wonder. This name literally translates to “Mouth of the Iguaçu,” pointing to its position at the river’s edge.

Can you explore the rainforest around Iguazu Falls?

For kids who want to explore, the area around Iguazu Falls is filled with lesser-known paths and secret spots.  On the Argentine side, a full moon walk to the falls promises a mystical experience, with the lunar rainbow being a sight to behold. We saw so many butterflies of all colors and sizes!

What’s the best way to get to Iguazu Falls?

Reaching the majestic Iguazu Falls with kids can be an adventure in itself. There are various routes and transportation options depending on your starting point. If you’re coming from Brazil, particularly from major cities like São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, flying to Foz do Iguaçu International Airport (IGU) is often the most convenient and time-efficient. From the airport, you can easily access the falls via taxi or shuttle services, with a journey of approximately 15-20 minutes to the entrance of the Brazilian side of the falls.

If you’re coming from Argentina the closest airport is Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport (IGR) in the town of Puerto Iguazú. From there, taxis and shuttle services are readily available for the short 20-25 minute drive to the entrance of the Argentine side of the falls. Alternatively, you can choose to fly into the nearby city of Posadas and travel to Puerto Iguazú by bus or private transfer which takes 3-4 hours.

If you’re arriving from Paraguay, the city of Ciudad del Este serves as the main gateway. From there, you can cross the border into Brazil or Argentina by road. While driving offers flexibility and the opportunity to explore at your own pace, it’s worth noting that the distance between major cities and Iguazu Falls can be considerable, with road conditions varying.

How long should we plan to visit Iguazu Falls?

This is definitely a 2-day adventure. You can’t really see both sides of the falls on the same day, as you need to cross the border between countries and that could take a while. So plan to stay for 2 days to see both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides, and add a day if you want to explore the rainforest on foot or by 4×4.

Where is the best place to stay around Iguazu Falls?

On the Brazilian side, there are a range of accommodations in Foz do Iguaçu from budget hostels to luxury resorts.  We were advised to stay away from this town, however, as it supposedly has a high crime rate and isn’t safe at night for families.

On the Argentine side, the town of Puerto Iguazú serves as the main base. There are many hotels, guesthouses, and eco-lodges catering to different budgets and tastes. Puerto Iguazú has a laid-back atmosphere with plenty of dining options.

If you want a more immersive experience, you can stay within the national parks themselves. Both the Brazilian and Argentine sides offer lodges and eco-friendly accommodations located within or near the park boundaries, allowing you to be closer to nature and enjoy early access to the falls before the crowds arrive. The Gran Meliá Iguazú was visible from the Falls, located on a hill overlooking the valley. A prime spot if you can afford it!

Loud Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina with kids

Have you visited Iguazu Falls with kids?

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About The Author

Samantha

I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

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