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The World’s Best Waterfall

map iguazu

On a trip we made from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we flew to Iguazu for a stopover to visit the falls.

Rand and I are huge waterfall enthusiasts. As we travel the world, if there is a tempting waterfall anywhere nearby, we’ll go to great lengths to get there and explore it.  Sometimes this involves a simple detour. Sometimes a hike. Other times we’ve forded rivers and climbed up to the falls through rushing rivers. We’ve approached them by boat, swum under them, and flown over them. Among the more notable that we’ve been to are Niagara, Victoria Falls, and remote ones in Hawaii, King’s Canyon Dominica in the Caribbean, and Iguazu Falls.

Looking into the deep horsehoe of Iguazu Falls from the helicopter as we flew over them

Of all the waterfalls we’ve seen on many continents, the one we rank as the world’s best for its majesty, beauty and sheer power is Iguazu Falls.

And we’re not the only who felt that way. Upon seeing Iguazu Falls, President Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor, was reported to have said “Poor Niagara, Iguazu makes Niagara look like a dripping faucet” referring to the USA’s biggest falls bordering New York state and Canada.


the water that plunges from the river over the falls creates huge clouds of spray

Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Brazil

Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Brazil

Iguazú means “The Great Waters” in the Guarani language and the falls are a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site.

Iguazu sits on the border between Argentina and Brazil in South America not far from Paraguay. We spent some time in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then were going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so we detoured in between to see Iguazu and the falls were well worth the trip.DSC_3442_1024

When you visit Iguazu Falls, the two best hotels to choose from are either the Sheraton in Argentina or the Iguassu Falls Hotel, also known as Belmond Hotel das Cararatas, on the Brazilian side. The Belmond is a nicer hotel, but the Sheraton has a better location because when all the day-tripper tourists depart, you still have direct access to many pathways out over the falls from the Sheraton’s grounds. DSC_3357_1024A great advantage of staying at the Sheraton is being able to wander over the falls without any crowds in the early morning and late afternoon.


How the Iguazu walkways let you experience the falls

At Iguazu, not only are the falls enormous, powerful, and magnificent, but also you can experience them more intensely than any other falls because you can get incredibly close to them, perhaps dangerously so. There are walkways criss-crossing the falls that allow you to literally walk above the falls and far out over them. The experience is indescribable. Deafening. Wet. Thrilling. Exhilarating.

We took a helicopter ride above the falls, and also took a boat up and almost under the falls, both of which I highly recommend too. No matter how you experience Iguazu, put this waterfall on your bucket list!


I took this photo from a walkway that allowed me to stand right over where the falls plunged over the edge of the precipice where the river fell away and look straight down over the edge!


this photo, also taken from a walkway over the fall’s edge, shows the crescent shape of the falls


Iguazu Falls seen from our helicopter



Still photos can’t begin to do justice to Iguazu. I hope this video will give you a better sense of its beauty and power.

2 Comments on The World’s Best Waterfall

  1. Fantastic! Iguazu has been on our bucket list for years. After watching that it just got bumped up the list! Thanks for sharing. It’s great armchair traveling. We’re hiking the national parks in New Zealand next month. You’ve inspired me to take videos.

    • Carole,
      When we toured New Zealand 6-7 ago, we didn’t have the photo/video/drone equipment we now have, so we’re looking forward to seeing your videos very much. NZ has to be one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. We covered the whole north and south islands, traveling by campervan. It was an epic and wonderful trip!
      There were drone/quadropters under our Christmas tree so we hope to have even better travel videos to share once we begin sailing again in March. Fingers crossed!
      We love the photos on FB of your beautiful growing family. Congratulations on the Grandparent joy we see. It’s so good to see!
      Love, Ellen & Rand
      We miss you and Ed. Let’s travel somewhere TOGETHER again sometime – soon!

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