Chutes d'Iguazu : Un guide complet pour les voyageurs

Découvrez les majestueuses chutes d'Iguazu grâce à notre guide de voyage complet, avec les sites à ne pas manquer et des conseils de voyage.

Chute d'eau tropicale éclairée par le soleil au milieu d'une forêt luxuriante.

Overview of Iguazu Falls

Location and Geography

Straddling the border between Argentine et Brésil, le Chutes d'Iguazu is a spectacular series of waterfalls on the Iguazu River. The falls stretch over 2.7 kilometers with more than 275 distinct cascades, making it one of the largest waterfall systems in the world.

Historical and Cultural Significance

The name “Iguazu” originates from the Guarani language, meaning “Big Water.” The falls have spiritual significance for local indigenous communities and were first brought to Western attention in 1541 by Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. Today, the falls are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

Unique Features and Highlights

  • Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo): A U-shaped chasm plunging 82 meters, offering a ferocious display of water power.
  • San Martin Island: A lush island providing a unique vantage point and hiking opportunities.
  • Panoramic Walkways: Both the Argentine and Brazilian sides offer breathtaking views and walkways close to the falls.

Comment s'y rendre

Flights and Airports

  • Argentine: Vol vers Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport (IGR), located 17 km from Puerto Iguazú. Direct flights are available from Buenos Aires and other major cities.
  • Brésil: Foz do Iguaçu International Airport (IGU) is approximately 13 km from Foz do Iguaçu. Direct flights connect to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and other Brazilian cities.

Buses and Overland Routes

  • Argentine: Long-distance buses connect Puerto Iguazú with Buenos Aires (18+ hours) and other Argentine cities.
  • Brésil: From Foz do Iguaçu, buses link to Curitiba, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro.

Crossing Borders Between Argentina and Brazil

  • Tancredo Neves Bridge: Connects Puerto Iguazú (Argentina) avec Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil). Ensure you have necessary visas and documents.

Meilleure période pour visiter

Conditions météorologiques saisonnières

  • Summer (Dec-Feb): High humidity and temperatures up to 40°C. Expect heavy rains and high water levels.
  • Winter (Jun-Aug): Cooler and drier, with temperatures around 15-25°C. Ideal conditions for hiking.

Water Levels and Viewing Conditions

  • High Water Levels: Impressive volume but may restrict access to certain trails.
  • Low Water Levels: Better visibility and more trails open, albeit less dramatic water flow.

Manifestations spéciales et festivals

  • Carnaval (Feb/Mar): Celebrate in both Puerto Iguazú and Foz do Iguaçu.
  • National Park Anniversaries: Special guided tours and activities in both Iguazú National Park (Argentina) and Iguaçu National Park (Brazil).

Exploring the Argentine Side

Entrance and Tickets

  • Parc national d'Iguazú: Tickets available online or at the gate. Argentine residents receive discounts.

Key Attractions

Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo)

  • Accessible via a walkway and train ride.
  • The platform offers an up-close view of the roaring chasm.

Upper and Lower Circuits

  • Upper Circuit: Elevated walkways provide a bird’s-eye view.
  • Lower Circuit: Closer to the water for a more immersive experience.

San Martin Island

  • Ferry access from the Lower Circuit.
  • Hiking trails et points de vue are worth the effort.

Activités

Jungle Excursions

  • 4×4 tours et guided nature walks through the subtropical forest.

Boat Rides and Rafting

  • Gran Aventura: A thrilling boat ride beneath the falls.
  • Rafting: Navigate the calmer sections of the river.

Repérage de la faune et de la flore

  • Toucans, coatiset singes hurleurs frequent the trails.

Exploring the Brazilian Side

Entrance and Tickets

  • Iguaçu National Park: Tickets can be purchased online or at the park entrance.

Key Attractions

Panoramic Walkways and Views

  • Elevated walkways provide sweeping views of the entire falls system.

Helicopter Tours

  • Fly above the falls for a bird’s-eye perspective.
  • Conseil de pro: Avoid if you’re prone to vertigo or wallet depletion.

Bird Park (Parque das Aves)

  • Over 1,300 birds representing 150 species.
  • Walkthrough aviaries allow close encounters with toucans et macaws.

Activités

Macuco Safari

  • A boat tour that takes you right under the falls.
  • Electric jeep ride through the jungle precedes the boat adventure.

Waterfall Rappelling

  • Descend down a smaller waterfall in the park’s adventure area.
  • Safety tip: Make sure to book with a reputable operator.

Itaipu Dam Tour

  • Visitez le second-largest hydroelectric dam in the world.
  • Panoramic and Special Circuit Tours offer different levels of access.

Informations pratiques

Options d'hébergement

Stations de luxe

  • Gran Meliá Iguazú (Argentina): Unmatched views of the Devil’s Throat.
  • Belmond Hotel das Cataratas (Brazil): The only hotel within the Brazilian side of the national park.

Hôtels de moyenne gamme

  • Loi Suites Iguazú (Argentina): Jungle setting with a touch of luxury.
  • Bourbon Cataratas do Iguaçu (Brazil): Family-friendly with a water park.

Budget Hostels and Campsites

  • Hostel Bambu (Brazil): Social atmosphere and budget-friendly.
  • Hostel Inn Iguazú (Argentina): Outdoor pool and relaxed vibe.

Dining and Cuisine

Local Argentine and Brazilian Delicacies

  • Argentine Asado: Savor grilled meats in Puerto Iguazú.
  • Brazilian Feijoada: Hearty bean stew in Foz do Iguaçu.

Popular Restaurants and Food Markets

  • El Quincho del Tío Querido (Argentina): Traditional Argentine grill.
  • Rafain Churrascaria Show (Brazil): Brazilian barbecue with live performances.

Safety Tips and Precautions

  • Stay on Marked Trails: The jungle is home to venomous snakes.
  • Avoid Feeding Coatis: These adorable raccoons can get aggressive.
  • Carry Rain Gear: Sudden downpours are common.

Language and Currency

  • Argentine: Spanish is the primary language, and the currency is the Argentine Peso.
  • Brésil: Portuguese is the primary language, and the currency is the Brazilian Real.
  • English and Tourist-Friendly: Both sides cater well to English-speaking tourists.

Additional Tips and Recommendations

L'essentiel de l'emballage

  • Matériel imperméable: Jacket or poncho for mist and downpours.
  • Répulsif à insectes: Protect against mosquitoes in the jungle.
  • Chaussures confortables: Trails can be slippery and uneven.

Photography Tips

  • Wide-Angle Lens: Capture the vastness of the falls.
  • Waterproof Camera: Essential for boat rides and rain.
  • L'heure d'or: Best lighting conditions are early morning or late afternoon.

Sustainable Travel Considerations

  • Stay on Trails: Prevent damage to delicate ecosystems.
  • Reusable Water Bottles: Minimize plastic waste.
  • Support Local Communities: Buy souvenirs from indigenous artisans.

Coutumes et étiquette locales

  • Greeting: A friendly handshake or kiss on the cheek is common.
  • Pourboire: 10% in restaurants is standard.
  • Respect the Wildlife: Maintain a safe distance and avoid touching animals.