After three long days of bus travel, we hopped off in Puerto Iguazú excited to be exploring the jungle for Lia’s birthday. The great Iguazú Falls draw people from all around the world to this far corner of Argentina, and while the falls themselves make the long trip here worthwhile, there are plenty of other unique attractions in the area. Here are our top seven things to do in Puerto Iguazú.
1. Admire the amazing Iguazú Falls
Okay, we’ll start with the most obvious. Venture into Parque Nacional Iquazú to see the famous Iguazú Falls. This incredible feature lies on the border of Argentina and Brazil, making it possible to see the falls from both countries. Take a stroll along the top of the falls or jet along the misty river and get soaked below them.
You can see both sides of the falls thoroughly in a day each. Either book a tour in advance of the day you intend to visit or visit on your own! For more information on visiting the Argentinian side of the falls without a tour, click here.
2. Shop souvenirs in town
The central streets of Puerto Iguazú are packed with little shops. On a hot, humid day, we enjoyed strolling around the city center, stepping into the air conditioned stores selling anything from backpacks and shot glasses to home décor and apparel.
Puerto Iguazú was early in our Argentina timeline, and we were a bit surprised at how much more expensive it was than the previous countries we ventured through in South America. We’re not saying that visiting Argentina isn’t doable on a tight budget, but after being accustomed to the low cost of living in Bolivia, our souvenir budget was definitely a bit smaller!
3. Visit the Güirá Oga refuge
There are many animal refuges in and around the Amazon rainforest dedicated to helping the vast amount of wildlife that inhabits it. Gürá Oga helps rehabilitate many species of birds and other wildlife while also breeding a variety of endangered species.
The park is only a few miles outside of Puerto Iguazú and is easily reachable by taxi. It costs about $10 USD to enter the park, and the guided tour lasts about 1.5 hours. You will be able to walk through the jungle learning about the animals and the goals of the park to help them thrive and offer them a better life.
4. Experience night life in Puerto Iguazú
The day might be over, but the fun doesn’t stop! Head to the area of town sprawling out from Las Siete Esquinas and you’ll find the majority of restaurants, bars, and clubs in town. Step into Iguazú’s Ice Bar to grab refreshing drink or get your dance on at Cuba Libre Nightclub.
While we can’t say that the night life here is anywhere near comparable to the scene in Buenos Aires or other larger cities, venturing out for a night is a fun way to experience a different side of this little jungle town.
5. Venture to the San Ignacio Ruins and Wanda Mines
The jungle around Puerto Iguazú holds an intriguing history that you can learn a bit more about on a tour to the San Ignacio Ruins and Wanda Mines. A full-day tour will take you through the well-preserved mission ruins that were built here in colonial times.
If you geology interests you, then you will be thrilled that most tours also stop at the Wanda Mines. Here, you’ll see gems and crystals galore while learning about the mining of these precious and semi-precious stones. Full-day tours to both of these sites run for about $100 USD per person.
6. Hit the jungle and get in touch with your adventurous side
The jungle around Puerto Iguazú is full of beautiful views, waterfalls, and wildlife. A variety of tours are offered in Puerto Iguazú that provide fun-filled days of zip-lining, swimming below waterfalls, hiking, and river cruises, and more.
There are quite a few tour companies and options, so do your online research, ask your accommodation and locals which tours they recommend, and visit a few tour companies in town if you have the time to pick the one best suited for you.
7. See Las Tres Fronteras
Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina all meet at a T in the river. From Puerto Iguazú’s center, walk down Avenida Tres Fronteras to reach Las Tres Fronteras park. Here, you can stand at a river overlook in Argentina while looking across the river to Paraguay and Brazil.
This doesn’t compare to the views in the park, so we won’t hype it up too much, but there are a few cool monuments and some colorful benches great for relaxing and people watching. After dark, the park lights up with colorful fountains and bright beams. This spot is also free to explore!