Foz do Iguaçu Basics

Although I didn’t include it in my original plans for Brazil, I decided that one of the must-sees on my trip had to be a visit to Iguazu Falls. I cut off a few days in Ilhabela to make it happen.

I flew out of São Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport early in the morning and landed in Foz do Iguaçu. I took a taxi which cost BRA$50, although there is an airport bus that costs just a few reals. If you want to take the bus, go outside of the airport, cross the first lane of traffic, and walk all the way to the left of the canopy until the end. The bus will stop there and you can pay cash on the bus. Just make sure it says “Centro” on the front because the bus also goes to the falls in the complete opposite direction.

I stayed in the center of town at Hotel Dany. The room was big, clean, comfortable, and cheap. Wifi was fast and breakfast was nice. It was one of the better hotels I stayed at in Brazil, although none of the staff spoke English. There are plenty of shops and restaurants near the hotel. Unfortunately, on Sunday, nearly everything is closed.

There really isn’t anything of interest in Foz do Iguaçu itself. It’s mainly a hotel destination for those visiting the falls in Brazil and across the border in Argentina.

An option while in Foz do Iguaçu is to visit Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, by crossing the Friendship Bridge. Ciudad del Este is a chaotic city known for countless shops offering cheap electronics and other goods, many being knock-offs. An Argentinian friend described it as “South America’s answer to Bangkok”. Many Brazilians and Argentinians flock there to buy the cheap goods offered at much lower prices than in their own countries. It’s possible to walk across the bridge or take a bus or taxi and NOT have your passport checked, ultimately meaning you cross the border illegally. It isn’t a big problem for South Americans or EU citizens, but it can be a risk for US citizens – they need to pay a reciprocity fee of $160 to enter Paraguay, which is not available for purchase at the land crossing. If I didn’t have the World Cup coming up, I would’ve attempted to cross. I didn’t think it was worth the risk to be the one guy that got caught crossing illegally without a reciprocity fee and I didn’t want to have to pay a bribe to get out of it.

Food options in Foz do Iguaçu are good. There is lots of variety. I ate twice at Lebanese restaurants – Alaaddin and Sahara. The food was incredible. It tasted just like any meal I had eaten in Lebanon.

Alaaddin in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil

Alaaddin

Sahara in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil

Sahara

One night I ate at a Chinese restaurant, Hokila. The portion size was massive, but the quality wasn’t that great.

Nightlife in Foz is also good. Wood’s Bar seemed like the place to be (I went twice).

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