When people think of a Brazilian city, they usually picture Rio de Janeiro or somewhere exotic in the Amazon. However, there is another city in Brazil, Foz do Iguaçu, which has a lot to offer visitors.
“Foz do Iguaçu” (“Mouth of Iguaçu” in Portuguese) is a major city in the Brazilian state of Paraná, near the border with Argentina and Paraguay.
It’s not a large city, with just over 200,000 people, but it has become a major tourist attraction in the last few decades. Every year more than 2 million people visit Brazil to see the mighty Iguazu Falls, which is why Foz do Iguaçu has earned the nickname “City of the Waterfalls”.
There are many reasons to visit Foz do Iguaçu, but one of the most compelling is the chance to see the magnificent Iguaçu Falls, also referred to as Iguazu Falls. Stretching for over two miles, the Iguazu Falls are one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world, and a visit to see them is an unforgettable experience.
The Iguaçu Falls are actually a series of 275 waterfalls along the Iguaçu River. The river flows over a large plateau of basalt, and the falls are the side effects of what might have been the largest volcanic eruption in the last few hundred million years. There are so many falls, in fact, that from a distance the river looks like a solid white barrier of water.
The Iguaçu Falls were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, and they are one of Brazil’s most popular tourist destinations.
The falls are located in a very scenic area, and there are many different hiking and walking trails that wind through the forest. The trails range from easy to difficult, and they offer a great way to see the falls from different angles.
Visitors can also get up close and personal with the falls on the many tourist boats that are available, by helicopter, or from the many different viewing platforms that have been set up along the waterfalls. In total, there are over one hundred viewing platforms, making it easy to get a good view.
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The Itaipu Dam is another major draw for visitors to Foz do Iguaçu. The construction of Itaipu in the 1950s, which was done jointly by Brazil and Paraguay, brought thousands of workers to the region and transformed Foz from a sleepy riverside village to the tourism hub it’s today.
The dam was listed by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest hydroelectric dam by energy generation until 2012. It still is the largest operational hydroelectric dam in terms of energy generation, producing as much as 14,000 megawatts of energy.
The Itaipu Dam is also famous for its architectural design and engineering. The dam is 7.8 kilometers long. Although the dam itself is a sight to see, the most impressive aspect of Itaipu is its spillway. The concrete spillway contains a total of 48 spillway gates, each weighing 420 tons. The dam also features a power plant that houses 20 generators, which use the dam’s water to create energy.
The dam is open for tours, and visitors can see how the power plant works and how the water is diverted and controlled. You can also enjoy an interesting light show, where all the dam’s lights are used to create a spectacle.
If you love animals, you will definitely want to visit Bird Park, which is home to over 3,500 rescued birds from all over the world. The park covers an area of over 200 acres and includes a large lake, which is a popular spot for bird-watching.
The park is home to many different species of birds, including toucans, macaws, cassowaries, parrots, and flamingos. The park also has alligators, snakes, lizards, and a butterfly house, which is home to over 1,500 butterflies.
Plus, at the end of the tour, you can take a picture with a beautiful red macaw on your arm!
The Triple Border
Being so close to Ciudad del Este(Paraguay) and Puerto Iguazu(Argentina), Foz do Iguaçu is part of a much larger metropolitan area. Considering the three countries, the triple border is home to almost 1 million people. This multiplies the attractions you can visit by crossing with ease into the neighboring countries.
In Ciudad del Este, you can visit casinos(which are not allowed in Brazil), amusement parks, and museums. If you want to try a true taste of Latin America, you can also visit an open-air market and even an underground market where you can buy all sorts of stuff, from food to clothes and electronics.
In Puerto Iguazu, you can visit the falls and delve into the rich Argentinian culture and cuisine and buy cheeses, wines, olives, and a tasty lunch on the open markets.
If you are the outdoorsy type, there are many activities that you can do in Foz do Iguaçu and its surroundings, such as rock climbing, camping, hiking, and even skydiving.
At the time of writing this article, the Brazilian Real is ⅕ of a dollar, and it has remained in a similar ratio range for many years. Brazil, like the rest of South America, can be a steal to find places you might not ever see home for a quality that you just can’t find in other places. Coffee, fruits, salads, and vegetables are amongst the best cost-quality items you need to buy when coming to Foz.
If you are interested in something traditional, Avenida Brasil(Brazil Avenue) is the best place to find local souvenirs. You will find everything from keychains to huge amethyst stones larger than a person(The south of brazil is the largest producer of Amethysts in the world).
For a genuinely unique and productive shopping experience, cross the bridge. Ciudad del Este is a bustling shopping mecca, and you can find just about anything there, from electronics to cheap knock-offs of designer clothes.
Just be sure to haggle–it’s expected, and you can get some great deals!
Come check us out
Foz do Iguaçu is a city full of history and culture, and it is one of the most important tourist attractions in the country. With its many entertainment options, great shopping, and fascinating history, there is no reason to choose any other city to visit in Brazil.
Languages spoken in Foz are mainly Portuguese and Spanish is commonly spoken by the local population, while English is spoken at most establishments.
There is a large selection of accommodations to choose from, ranging from luxury hotel chains to more rustic and unique hostels.
These are our favourite hotels in Foz da Iguacu if you want to visit the Iguazu Falls.
There are also a large number of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Most are located in the downtown area, where you can walk from one to the other.
It is also easy to move around the city, as there are many buses that go from one end of the city to the other, and most of them are affordable.
If you are planning on visiting Foz do Iguaçu, you will definitely have a great trip. Foz is filled with exciting things to do, and you will never get bored.