Foz do Iguaçu

Iguaçu Falls near Foz do Iguaçu

Foz 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.

Itaipu dam

Understand

Foz do Iguaçu is so named because it sits at the mouth of the Iguaçu river, discharging into Paraná river, where lies the frontier among Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The word Iguaçu means "large water", in Tupi-Guarani etymology. Despite hosting one of Brazil's major tourist attractions, the city has a rather un-touristy feel, and other than the large number of hotels and occasional tri-lingual signs, it looks like any other medium-sized Brazilian city - there are practically no "tourist shopping streets" and like. There is however a new large shopping mall being constructed at Avenida das Cataratas, which shall provide additional convenience to visitors in terms of night-time shopping and gastronomy.

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 early 80s, the Guaíra Falls were inundated, leaving Foz do Iguaçu as the only major traveller destination in the southwestern border of the Paraná state.

Get in

By plane

Iguazu Falls Cataratas International Airport (IATA: IGU) is close 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.

By bus

Bus transportation is available to and from the most important cities in the country, and even to Argentina.

Many other destinations as well.

By car

From Curitiba, access is over the BR-227 (Curitiba - Assuncion) highway. There are 632 km of highway. Foz do Iguaçu is in the extreme west of Paraná, 640 km from Curitiba. Main highways:

Get around

There is a bus you can take from the Terminal in Foz de Iguacu that leaves you at a stop relatively close to the bridge, if you tell the driver/tickets person you want to go to Ciudad del Este when boarding. However, you have to walk from the stop to the bridge for about 10-15 minutes through an area that does not look or feel safe, until you reach the Brazilian customs so this way is not advisable. Take an official taxi to and from the border instead. Also, Ciudad del Este does not feel any safer than Foz de Iguacu, it's a place for cheaper shopping not tourism.

Remember to get stamped out at the Brazilian customs and stamped in the Paraguay side on your way in, and likewise stamped out of Paraguay and into Brazil on return, even for a short day trip, otherwise you are in Paraguay illegally.

See

Parque das Aves

Do

Buy

Foz do Iguaçu is not a shopping destination. Brazilians generally go to the neighbouring cities of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay for cheaper imported goods, or to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina for Argentinean wines and alfajor.

Eat

Sleep

Budget

Mid-Range

Splurge

Go next

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.

Mobile Apps

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 13, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.