Y guazu. Big water. And it’s huge! Arriving at the edge of the abyss, the river plunges with vigor and noise into a precipitous drop. Unique emotion, fully involved, a particular sensation of going back to primitive times. From the footbridges to see from above, or by boat, arriving by rapids at the foot of the falls, the spectacle is breathtaking. Foz do Iguaçu, a wonder that nature has granted as a gift to us all.
With approximately 270 connected waterfalls falling over a precipice up to 75 meters high, the waterfalls of the Iguaçu River are the life of Foz do Iguaçu, the second most visited Brazilian city by tourists from around the world.
Foz integrates a very populated urban area, of which Ciudad del Este, in Paraguay, and Puerto Iguazú, in Argentina are part of, and countries with which the State of Paraná has its borders. On the Paraguayan side, Ciudad del Este offers good opportunities for buying imported products. From Argentina, a beautiful forest reserve gives easier access to the falls and allows the observation of birds and other animals.
In Foz do Iguaçu the Usina de Itaipú, a bi-national hydroelectric dam is located in the Paraná River, in the Brazilian border with Paraguay. Built by the two countries between 1975 and 1982, Itaipú is the largest power plant in the world. A lake of 1,350 square kilometers feeds the twenty generating units and an impressive architectural concave concrete structure directs the course of the waters.
Parque Nacional Iguazú, on the Argentinean side of the falls, is a forest reserve bigger than the Brazilian one, with good trails to walk to the waterfalls.
You get to the trails by the Trem Ecológico da Selva – or Tren Ecologico de la Selva –, a mini train imported from England and powered by natural gas. Starting from Estação Central, the mini train takes you to Estação Cataratas and to Estação Garganta do Diabo. From Estação Cataratas, you leave the trails to Circuito Inferior, to Circuito Superior, and Trilha Verde and to Trilha do Macuco. From the third station on, you proceed to the ride to Garganta do Diabo, where the water tumbles with extraordinary energy.
The Circuito Superior provides a panoramic view of the jumps on the Argentinean side and of the delta of the Iguaçu river. In the Inferior, the walk passes under the falls and, at the end of the course, you can embark to Ilha de San Martin, where white sandy beaches, as well the gazebo over Salto San Martin, await the visitor.
The Trilha Verde, a 600-meter-long forest trail, is easy and offers a good view of the native vegetation. But the Trilha do Macuco, with its 7 kilometers of direct contact with the Atlantic Forest, is ideal for those who love trekking.