I’ve been lucky enough to visit Iguazu Falls twice now and it’s definitely an amazing place to add to your South American trip. But the two experiences were quite different; one in February (summer) and one in July (winter), when the water reached exceptionally high levels due to floods in Parana state.
Summer doesn’t always mean more crowds
Iguazu Falls in summer
It was busy the first time we visited in the summer, but nothing compared to the selfie-stick-wielding crowds in winter. This might seem surprising, but it turns out we timed our visit for the school winter holidays.
Tip: if this applies in summer, it’s even more important in winter – arrive in time for when the gates open at 8am on the Argentinian side of the falls. This will give you time to enjoy the paths and lower falls almost to yourself and maybe even spot more wildlife. We had a fantastic 10 minutes with a pair of toucans all to ourselves this time.
Winter can mean more dramatic photos
Iguazu in winter 2015 – very high water levels due to floods in Parana state
…but you may not be able to take the boat trip in winter
One of my favourite parts of our visit the first time round was taking the little boat to Isla San Martin at the foot of Salto San Martin. This time the water levels made it too dangerous and the boat crossing was closed.
The water levels were unusually high during our visit this July and that meant getting drenched at the Brazilian side of the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat). It’s all part of the experience but bring a waterproof jacket (and not a cheap plastic poncho like us!).
It was incredible to get the chance to visit Iguazu Falls again, but if I could recommend one time to visit, I’d pick the start of the dry season. There’s still plenty of water in the falls, there’s a good chance the weather will be great with blue skies making perfect photos and there are hundreds of birds and butterflies to photograph.
So which would you choose, summer or winter?