Iguazu Falls (also known as Iguacu Falls in Brazil) is undoubtedly one of the most well-known natural wonders in South America, and deservedly so, home not only to thundering waters but also to colourful and unique wildlife surrounded by lush Atlantic rainforest. Even its name, derived from the local Guarani language means ‘big water’. The 275 separate cascades that make up the Falls straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil and even leads up to the border with Paraguay not far away. Vivid rainbows appear regularly in the permanent mist surrounding the river, coatis and butterflies are seen around the falls pathways and tropical birds are often spotted early morning before the crowds arrive or in quieter jungle settings only a few miles from the more crowded tourist spots.
Most of the waterfalls flow along the Argentine side of the Iguazu River, which has the more extensive network of pathways as well as a dramatic bridge looking down over the edge of the largest body of water, the Devil’s Throat. But the viewpoint for all these falls is better from the Brazilian side, so it makes sense to visit the national park in both countries while you are there. Heading further from the Falls takes you into more remote jungle to see a wider range of wildlife, away from the crowds of visitors, for a chance to spot larger mammals such as capybara and tapir. Further south still are the ruins of the once famous Jesuit Missions that flourished here in the 17th century and the wildlife rich wetlands of Ibera for a great combination of experiences in the North-East.