ABOUT FOZ DO IGUASSU: Foz do Iguassu
is a city located in the southeast of Brazil, with
border to Argentina and Paraguay. The name Iguassú
means "the big water" in the Guarany-Indian
language, the name of the city is spelled in several
ways, in Portuguese it is spelled Foz
do Iguaçu, but as the letter
"ç" does not exist in other languages,
the spelling in English is Iguassu Falls
and in Spanish Cataratas de Iguazu
Falls. The place is situated in the state of Paraná
and has 240.000 of inhabitants. The distance to Curitiba
is 640km, to Sao Paulo 1.050km, to Rio de Janeiro
1.470 and to Brasilia 1.650km.
HOW IS IGUAZU FALLS:
Foz do Iguassu city is most famous for its enormous
and beautiful waterfalls and they are recognized by
UNESCO as a Natural Heritage of Humanity. The falls
are considered as the biggest in the world, composed
of 275 different falls next to each other, forming
a horseshoe with a wide of 2,7km. The highest fall
is 80m high and damp into, what’s called “the
devils throat” (the bottom of the horse-shoe).
It is possible to reach this point via footbridges
on the Argentinean side, and from that outlook you
feel the power of the river and for sure you get wet
when “the devils throat” cough the water,
sometime the water throws about 100m up in the air
which also forms rainbows. The falls are 3 times bigger
than the Niagara Falls and can be visited from both
the Argentinean side and the Brazilian side, as the
river constitutes the frontier between the countries.
From the Brazilian side you have the beautiful panorama
view of the falls and can make the emotional Macuco
Boat Safari below the falls, meanwhile from the Argentinean
side you can walk on the footbridges behind the falls.
It is really recommended to experience both sides.
Another big attraction in Iguassu Falls is the world’s
biggest hydroelectric power station Itaipu. To get
an idea of the dam size, one can compare its height
with a 65 a 65-storeyed building. During the time
of the construction they used a volume of 120 millions
of cubic meters of cement, which could be used to
build 210 Maracana Football stadiums (the Maracana
stadium is considered as the biggest in the world).
Further it could be built 320 Eiffel towers of the
reinforcing iron that was used. The production of
energy provides electricity which covers 25% of the
consumption electric energy in Brazil.
Other sites of interest in Foz do Iguassu might be
a visit to the Tropical Bird Park, helicopter tours
viewing the falls and the dam, visit the local radical
sports land (rafting, abseiling, steeplechase course
in the rainforest, etc), visits to the neighbor countries;
casino in Argentina and visit the traffic & sales
of goods in Paraguay, enjoy a dinner with folkloric
show of music & dance from the three countries.
There is also a golf course in Foz do Iguassu, an
Ecological Museum, the Guarani Woods Zoo and the Three
Borders Landmark, where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay
meet. Packtours work with a wide selection of hotels
that pleases most travelers, but the only hotel that
is located beside the waterfalls, inside the national
park is the legendary hotel Tropical das Cataratas,
an attraction itself.
WHEN TO GO / CLIMATE:
The region’s climate is subtropical,
with rains distributed over every month of the year.
During the hot & rainy summer (October to March),
the temperature ranges between 22ºC & 35ºC,
and in the cooler and quite dry winter (June to August)
the temperature ranges between 5ºC and 22ºC.
To travel to Foz do Iguassu is possible during the
whole year, but according to less rain during the
winter months, the falls might be less powerful.
HOW TO GO:
By Air: there are flights
to Foz do Iguassu from most Brazilian cities via Curitiba,
Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. For those coming from
Buenos Aires, Argentina, there are flights to the
border city Puerto Iguazu, from where Packtours arranges
transports to any hotel in Foz do Iguassu, Brazil.
A direct flight from Sao Paulo takes 1,5hour.
By Highway: It is possible
to access Foz do Iguassu by land (bus or car), from
i.e Curitba or Sao Paulo, but one may consider the
long distance and time consuming transport. To travel
by bus from Sao Paulo, the travel takes approximately
Iguassu National Park
The Park was established on January 10, 1939 and declared
a Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1986.
It is one of the largest forest reserves in South
America and one of the largest reserves of renewable
natural resources in the State.
Park is open from Tuesday thru Sunday, from 8AM to
5PM; and on Monday from 1PM to 5PM. During the summer,
the park stays open until 6PM. There is a fee per
person, as well as a fee for the vehicle.
Falls can be visited all year long. In the summer,
there are quick, strong showers, but the Falls have
greater water volume and the brush is more exuberant.
Extended rains are common between the months of September
the Falls, the region also maintains an area of Atlantic
Woods, with great diversity of flora and fauna. Approximately
350 species of birds, 250 of butterflies and 50 mammals
– some of which are endangered species, such
as the jaguar and purple-breasted parrot – live
Park can be explored over trails through the woods
and by kayak and boat. There are areas appropriate
for rafting, rappel and tree climbing. There is complete
infrastructure for visitors, including internal transportation
and snack bars, as well as a traditional resort.
The Falls are formed in the Iguaçu River and
they extend for 2,700m. Trails flanked by the Iguassu
National Park’s picturesque subtropical forest
lead to walkways and observation areas for the Falls.
A must stop is the observation deck near the Garganta
do Diabo Falls – which is 90m high -, on the
Argentine side of the Park.
This tour provides a beautiful aerial view of Iguassu
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.
Center - Museum
The Center is located in the Iguaçu National
Park. It is set in a large house from the 1940s. Its
collection includes countless specimens of stuffed
animals, mineral samples, vegetal species, regional
ethnographic material, Indian objects, funeral urns
and arts and crafts from the Tupi-Guarani culture
– as well as existing botanical specimens in
photographic panels. Outside, in front of the Museum,
there is a stairway that is approximately one thousand
meters long that leads to the bank of the Iguaçu
Poço Preto (Black Well)
This 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.
Boat Safári (Salto do Macuco) (Tinamou Drop)
On this tour, the visitor takes trails in an open,
electric vehicle, accompanied by trilingual guides
over three kilometers of jungle. The vehicle stops
at the beginning of a 600m trail that leads to the
Salto do Macuco – with its crystal clear waters
that fall from a height of 20m 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.
Branco Inlet (Canoas Port)
Located 1 km above the Falls, the Rio Branco Inlet
is a place for relaxation and leisure. It is a wooded
area, with barbeque pits, benches and tables, and
a beautiful panoramic view of the Iguassu River.
Ever since 1996, the Municipal Zoo has been an example
of environmental education, leisure and tourism. The
40 thousand m² area has 20 enclosed areas –
reached by trails – where the visitors can enjoy
animals such as toucans, macaws, wildcats, monkeys,
and many more. The area also has around one thousand
native trees and three lakes. The zoo is home to nearly
683 animals of 49 species. It is located at Rua Tarobá,
875 – Downtown, and it is open from Tuesday
thru Sunday, from 9AM to 5PM, in the winter, and from
9AM to 6PM in the summer.
The Birds Park is considered an ecological sanctuary.
It is located near the Iguaçu National Park
in a 17 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
sector with 25 species and a reptile sector 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. It is located on
the Cataratas Highway (BR 469) - km 11. It is open
daily – including holidays – from 8:30AM
to 5:30PM, in the winter, and from 8:30AM to 6PM,
in the summer.
The Itaipu Lake is the result of the damming of the
Paraná River. It supplies the hydroelectric
plant and borders 15 townships. The hydroelectric
plant belongs to Brazil and Paraguay. Monitored visits
take the tourists to know the external installation,
going through the dam and the observation deck, and
a view of the spillway that forms an enormous curtain
of water. The Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant, the largest
electric power generator in the world, was considered
to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world
by the American Society of Civil Engineering. Itaipu
Lake offers several attractions, such as artificial
beaches, boat rides and regattas, clubs, marinas and
The bridge was a decisive factor in attracting investment
and business between Brazil and Paraguay. It was inaugurated
in 1965. Located at the end of BR 277 the International
Bridge of Friendship gives direct highway access to
Asuncion, over Ruta 01 in Paraguay.
Iguassu Golf Club & Resort
With its 18-hole professional golf course that occupies
over 600m² of the enterprises total area, the
Bourbon Iguassu Golf Club & Resort is part of
the circuits that gather sports enthusiasts from all
over Brazil. The project, with its complete leisure
and lodging infrastructure was conceived by Tai-Ping
Hwang, a Chinese American. It valorizes the ample
and cozy apartments installed in seven villas, each
with a total of tem apartments. It is located on Cataratas
Highway, km 2.5.