Foz do IguaçuFoz do Iguaçu is a major city in the state of Paraná, Brazil. It is a gateway to both Paraguay and Argentina, and home of the famous Iguaçu Falls. Together with the cities of Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) and Puerto Iguazu (Argentina), it forms part of one the largest cultural tourism poles in South America.
In the past, Foz do Iguaçu formed with a tourism pole together with the nearby city of Guaíra, which hosted the Guaíra Falls (Sete Quedas). After the construction of the gigantic Itaipu Dam in the early 1980s, the Guaíra Falls were inundated, leaving Foz do Iguaçu as the only major traveller destination in the southwestern border of the Paraná state.
Iguazu Falls Cataratas International AirportClose to the city. There are frequent flights to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Santiago de Chile etc. ATMs are available on the ground level next to Arrivals. Internet terminals and WiFi are available in the upstairs restaurant area but the WiFi can only be purchased in a 24 hour package for R$25 which is quite expensive. When flying out of Foz do Iguaçu, if you're going to Rio de Janeiro, request a window seat on the right side of the plane—don't miss the views!
Bus transportation is available to and from the most important cities in the country, and even to Argentina:
- São Paulo – About 15 hr, with at least three daily connections between both cities in the early and late afternoon, R$230-260.
- Rio de Janeiro – About 25 hr, with connections in the morning, early afternoon, and late afternoon, around R$300.
- Curitiba – About 11 hr, early and late connections with Catarinense, R$190-240.
- Cuiaba – About 28 hr with Eucatur.
- Campo Grande – About 14 hr with Medianeira, Integração or Unesul.
- Belo Horizonte – About 32 hr, one connection per day, R$380.
- Florianopolis – Several late afternoon and evening connections, R$170-350.
- Santos – With at least one daily connection.
- Buenos Aires – With at least three departures weekly from Iguaçu on Sundays at 13:30pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 17:00.
By freight bus companyIf you are looking for a cheap alternative for connections between Foz do Iguaçu and São Paulo, check out this combination of bus and freight company. They basically also handle goods transports to São Paulo for merchants buying in Ciudad del Este, what makes them so cheap but a little chaotic and different at the same time. They take a while with the boarding, which is also why there is always a restaurant nearby, which they probably own. Also, the journey includes a 30 min stop at a restaurant just 4 hr after leaving Foz do Iguaçu. Furthermore, the bus might be checked a little closer by police, but as a regular tourist that is nothing of your concern, because you do not carry any taxable goods. You and your luggage will also be checked by the bus company for any tradable goods. So, if you have anything still packaged and in uncommon amounts, this might be a problem. As of May 2018, the journey time is 15.5 hr, of which 2.5 hr are being stuck in São Paulo traffic. Entry and exit points are their local offices. The buses seats are semi-cama. It is probably a good idea to call ahead for reservation or availability of seats, or ask your ho(s)tel.
phone: +55 4535250606, +55 999993461address: Foz do Iguaçu, Rua Assis 124
phone: +55 4599636188, +55 4535223186, +55 45999644579address: Foz do Iguaçu, Av. Carlos Gomes 564
As with all bus companies, always keep an eye on your luggage—drug smuggle is not unheard of in Brazil. Some people say these buses are smuggler buses, because some people do not pay taxes on their good and bring them into São Paulo this way. But this is none of your concern, the bus company checks and labels all good and will also not take any responsibility but will just point to the owner of the freight.
By tour companyIn Iguaçu you can find many tour companies that make the trip from/to Paraguay, Argentina or any other point of interest.
By carFrom Curitiba, access is over the BR-227 (Curitiba - Asuncion) highway. There are 632 km of highway. Foz do Iguaçu is in the extreme west of Paraná, 640 km from Curitiba.
- From Curitiba: BR-277
- From São Paulo: BR-116/BR-277
- From Rio de Janeiro: BR-116/BR277
- Bus number 120 is the most convenient connection, running from the TTU (city center urban transport bus station), through the city center, to the airport, the bird park, and finally the national park.
- The airport is 15 km south of the city center and 3 km northwest of the national park. It is connected by bus number 120 (R$4 per person, cash only) to both the city center and the national park (i.e., the Brazilian side of the falls). The airport bus stop is a short 20 m outside the main entrance (to your left when exiting the terminal). At the airport, be sure to ask the driver so you know which direction the bus is going, as it stops two times at the airport - one time on its route to the bird park and then visitor's center in the park, and then again while returning back from the park to the city center. By bus, the park visitor's center is 10 minutes from the airport, while the city center is 40-60 min, depending on traffic.
- Ciudad del Este is across the river via the Friendship Bridge and can be reached by public bus, taxi, car, moto-taxi, or walking. Traffic jams of 30-90 min wait time are common from early morning to late evening. The public bus (R$6) does not stop at border control on either the Brazilian or Paraguayan side.
Iguaçu FallsOne of the most famous attractions in Brazil, the falls on the Iguaçu River have a flow capacity equal to three times that of Niagara Falls. The falls are shared between Brazil and Argentina, and each side has its own network of trails and viewpoints. The National Park on the Brazilian side runs a shuttle bus between the Visitors' Centre, the falls, and numerous outdoor tour operators, including boat rides run by Macuco Safari out to the bottom of the falls.
Parque das AvesIt is very close to the entrance of the falls, you can take a self-guided tour of the park to come in close contact with all different types of exotic birds. There may also be chances to hold and take pictures with the birds. The Birds Park is considered an ecological sanctuary. It is located near the Iguaçu National Park in a 16-hectare area of native woods. A paved trail leads visitors to the enormous aviaries that blend in with the forest and allow you to know approximately 900 birds from 180 species. The Park also has a butterfly section with 25 species and a reptile section as well. All of these animals can be seen from a distance of only a few meters. The park also has a parking lot, a souvenir shop and a snack bar.
Itaipu DamThe Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant is the largest electric power generator in the world and was considered to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineering. Take a bus R$2.85 from the Local Bus Terminal to get there. Booking in advance is recommended for special tour and/or on weekends/public holidays. There are many tourism attractions available, but the panoramic tour and of the dam is a must.
Three Borders LandmarkThe place where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet. Each side has its own Marco (landmark). Have a look at Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, all in the same glimpse of the eye while there are cargo freighters making their way slowly along the water. Accessing it can be hard, as there is a single bus line leaving from the Downtown Terminal whose final destination is the landmark. There is a new visitor center and a museum on the Brazilian side, costs R$25. It has a wall around it, so you cannot see the brazilian border mark without paying. Argentinian border mark is easily accessible even by walk from the center, or by bus. No entry fee. Paraguayan mark is quite far from the city, accessible by buses going to Pdte. Franco and then Tres Fronteras.
Paraguay Border MarketShopping is the main business of the visitors. The main shopping streets are San Blas and Camilo Recalde, where you can buy almost anything. Many people come for electronics. Otherwise, get some Paraguayan Chipa and/or exchange your dollars here. You probably do not need to get your passport stamped if you return to Brazil afterwards, as long as you have a valid visa for Brazil.
Salto do Macuco (Tinamou Drop) (Macuco Safári)On this tour, the visitor takes trails in an open, electric vehicle, accompanied by trilingual guides over 3 km of jungle. The vehicle stops at the beginning of a 600-m trail that leads to the Salto do Macuco – with its crystal clear waters that fall from a height of 20 m over rocks, forming a tiny lake. Those who do not want to descend on foot can take the same electric car to where they embark on the inflatable boat. It is an exciting adventure as the boat navigates over a canyon’s waters and gets very near the huge Garganta do Diabo falls and then receives the “wet blessing” from the Three Musketeers Falls. To get there take the Cataratas Highway to km 23, already inside the Iguaçu National Park. A hint: if you don’t want to get soaked, take a raincoat.
Helicopter TourThis 10-minute tour provides a beautiful aerial view of Iguaçu National Park. It is the best way to understand the real dimensions of the Falls. Another option is to fly over the Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant. For the flight over the Iguacu falls, you need a minimum of 3 people (the helicopter can take 7 people + the pilot), but you can wait around and will usually find another group of one or two people.
Poço PretoThis excursion is made in a special vehicle – over a rustic 18 km trail - through the exuberant vegetation of the National Park. It lasts up to 5 hours. Specialized guides accompany the visitors who can photograph or watch birds. It is located on km 18 of BR 469 – the Cataratas Highway.
DowntownDowntown shopping is mostly located at Av. Brasil (between Av. Jorge Schimmelpfeng and Av. República Argentina) and its surroundings. Shops there are mostly aimed at locals, not tourists, and do not open on evenings or Sundays.
address: Av. Costa e Silva, 185 - Pólo CentroA typical Brazilian-style shopping mall which offers the conveniences of late evening shopping and a decent food court. Contains a branch of the Brazilian department store Havan. The mall is definitely not tourist-oriented, but has trilingual signs. 113 shops.
MoneyChanging money in Ciudad del Este is considerably cheaper than in Foz, even when getting Brazilian Real. The bus ticket to Ciudad del Este is just R$5.50 one-way. See article: Ciudad del Este#Money.
Boi Na Brasaphone: +55 45 3523-5858address: Av. Juscelino KubitscheckBuffet with grilled meat.
Bufalo BrancoThe best churrascaria in town. Problaby also the most expensive.
Martignoni Pizza Parlorphone: +55 45 522-2706address: Av. Paraná 3535Pizza de rodizio: the waiters bring around a selection of meats, pastas, and (the main attraction) pizza. A nice atmosphere with an excellent variety of pizzas, including some with fruit, chocolate, and ice cream. But before dessert, try the catupiry and the tomate seco (dried tomato).
La Bella Pizzaphone: +55 45 3574-2285address: Rua Xavier da Silva 648All you can eat pizza and pasta, 40 different types including chocolate and banana pizza.
phone: +55 45 3572-8397address: Rua das Papoulas, 452Renovated hostel with fine kitchen, big cinema room and a mini library. The hostel can organize tours and bus tickets and breakfast is included.
Hostel Backpackerphone: +55 45 3027-2500address: Rua Tarobá 827Friendly staff. Breakfast included. Internet. Conveniently located in the city center. Booking for organized tours to Iguaçu Falls possible.
phone: +55 45 3025-4493address: Rua Engenheiro Reboucas 306Dorms from R$22, doubles from R$60, incl breakfast buffet, swimming pool, kitchen use. Clean and friendly. Quiet and central location near amenities like banks, supermarkets, restaurants, launderettes.
- Albergue Paudimar Campestre (Av. das Cataratas). Twelve kilometres outside Foz do Iguaçu on the way to the Brazilian side of the falls, it's more a mini-resort than a hostel. It offers free internet, budget meals and also has a swimming pool and bar. They also arrange tours to the Argentinean side of the falls. Half the taxi fair from the bus terminal is returned if you go with two or more persons and stay at least two days. Look for the stand at the bus terminal.
phone: +55 45 3529-6949 (hostel), +55 45 9116-0979 (mobile)address: Av. das Cataratas, KM 12,5 - Bairro Remanso GrandeThe hostel is located close to the Albergue Paudimar Campestre, some way outside the city. It's small, quiet, clean and has two ponds where you can swim (besides the swimming pool). It offers free internet (WiFi), has a small kitchen to use and a small bar with pool, tabletop soccer and TV. The staff is very friendly and helps you planning your visit to the falls.
Your Place Hostelphone: +55 45 3029 2462address: Rua Joaquim Firmino 222Free breakfast. Close to the bars and commerce area. Staying here you can easily catch direct buses to the main touristic places.
phone: +55 45 3521-5050address: Av. República Argentina, 1334Central location. Offers a number of options for leisure and facilities for its businesses.
phone: +55 45 3573-5764address: Rua Men de Sá, 267Family-run, friendly pousada. Breakfast buffet, a swimming pool and even a tiny gym.
- Hotel San Rafael, Rua Almirante Barroso No 1660. 85851-010. A pleasant hotel with friendly staff. You can hire their tour guide, Val, who will take you to both sides of the falls. Hotel includes a gym and pool, which is needed as it gets very hot in Iguaçu in summer. Breakfast is included and there is a buffet in the evenings for R$20 a head.
phone: +55 85853-000Avenida das Cataratas. Resort offers 155 anti-alergic rooms with ceramic tiled floor and 102 rooms with balcony. The resort is surrounded by woods and gardens, in a green area of 130.000 m² of native forests and tropical gardens. Next to the hotel you can find Acquamania, a water park with pools, toboggans and buoy-cross.
phone: +55 45 2102-7000address: Iguacu National Park, beside the FallsFancy rooms, gourmet dining rooms, outdoor pool and tennis place. 203 rooms.
- Iguaçu Falls- Obviously the most important attraction nearby Foz do Iguaçu. The world-famous falls.
- Puerto Iguazu- On the Argentinian side of the border, offers access to the Argentinian side of the falls and a number of casinos and shopping. Buses go from behind of Local Bus Terminal every 30-60 minutes and costs R$4. If you are staying for longer than a day you need to get off at each border and pass through immigration. Bus will not wait for you, so you will have to wait for the next bus, that you can board with the original ticket. As it is not far and buses do not go often, walking may be faster.
- Ciudad del Este - On the Paraguay side of the border, it is a rather chaotic mid-size town that serves as a shopping destination for Brazilians and Argentinians looking for low-tax imported goods.
Some taxis will take you to Puerto Iguazu and wait for you to pass through the two customs but are quite expensive. For example, taking the taxi only to the Argentinian border from Foz de Iguacu costs around R$40. You need to agree with the driver on a price before boarding as they don't want to use the meter for these sort of trips.