Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil

I arrived to the city, home to ¼ million people and famous for the Iguaza Falls via a 12 hour bus journey from Curitiba. My hostel CLH suites cost around 8€ a night for a dorm room with breakfast. I planned to stay in the city for 3 nights and after the first night I left the hostel. It was filthy, the air conditioning unit smelt so bad, the swimming pool/ Jacuzzi were empty and after seeing how dirty the rooms were I didn’t even attempt breakfast.I moved the next day to OYO Luna, despite being on the edge of the city, it was very easy and cheap to get a taxi around the area. I paid 10€ a night for a double room.

On the first day I went to the Parque Das Aves (bird park), there were many amazing bird species and they do great conservation work especially for the birds living in the Atlantic forest. I was sad to read that 120 birds species were threatened with extinction. Walking around the park it was HOT! I sweat so much I think I must have drunk 4 bottles of water maybe even 5. It cost 10€ for entry.

Next up I took the short walk (around 10 minutes) to the entrance of the Iguaza falls, this for me was one of my bucket list ticks. I was so excited! Then I came face to face with the most people I’d seen during my first 3 weeks in Brazil. The queue went on and on and on. I couldn’t imagine how the falls would look with this many people, I spoke to the ticket office and they agreed to let me change my ticket.

Later that afternoon I took a taxi to the Frontera. This is an area where the river splits and Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil all meet. There wasn’t much to do here but it was a cool sight.

The next day I took a quick trip across the border to Paraguay’s Ciudad del Este, which basically was a really cheap shopping area. Why did I cross the border? So I could get an extra passport stamp and tick another country of course. I enjoyed a coffee and a light breakfast before diving back into Brazil.

Just a short drive away was the next stop, Chen Tien Buddhist Temple. Open from 0930-1600 it was the perfect place to have a moment of calm. I arrived just after it opened and there were very few people around. There were many statues and green areas with the temple and the back (entry was not possible).

After this I went onto my last stop of the day the Itaipu Dam. Generating the most power of any dam in the world this feat of engineering was mind blowing! To be honest before I had come to Foz I hadn’t even heard the name Itaipu. It is 16 times larger than the Hoover Dam! The tour cost around 7€ and was great. The dam produces 15% of Brazil’s energy and 86% of Paraguay’s!

Onto the final day in the city it was time to finally see the waterfalls. I actually had butterflies in my stomach from the excitement. Walking to the ticket booth I was relieved to find there were very few people around. To access the falls you take a bus for around 20 minutes. After this it’s around a 15-20 minutes walk to the falls. It was another really hot day and the humidity was real! I was sweating like crazy. I reached the corner of the path and saw my first glimpse….

A few weeks before the falls were actually nearly dry due to the lack of rain fall. I carried on walking to the most famous part of the falls, it was incredible. The view, the noise of the water. I was really emotional. The entrance cost 12€.

After I went to a shopping centre near my hotel for a late lunch before returning to pack and relax for the afternoon. Lunch cost around 4€ with a drink.

The next morning I caught an early morning flight back to Curitiba. Foz do Iguaçu is an amazing city to visit, if you are in Brazil the waterfalls are a must see. Due to covid the border with Argentina was closed, I would have definitely popped across given the chance.

The city itself I felt safe the whole time, I didn’t find it was really a city for tourism as such despite the great attractions in the area. There were few restaurants in the streets with most locals eating in malls. Of course it was a different experience for me giving that it was during the pandemic so there were very few tourists in the area.

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