Let’s face it. Words like breathtaking, mesmerizing, and stunning are far too often misused. I fall into this category sometimes. But if you ask me to describe Iguazu Falls, I’m not sure those aforementioned adjectives can’t completely describe the falls.
Iguazu isn’t your regular waterfall. It’s a broken waterfall, and the largest in the world in that category, made up of 275 broken cascades. Thousands of liters of water cascade down the Parana Plateau which is surrounded by a rich area that’s home to an impressive collection of flora and fauna.
The Iguazu Falls span some 1.7 miles (2.7 km) along the border between Brazil and Argentina.
Interestingly and unsurprisingly, the views from both countries are different and unique in their own ways. So, I recommend you experience Iguazu Falls from both Brazil and Argentina.
This article focuses on the best time to visit the majestic Iguazu Falls.
Seasons at Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls are located close to the equator and thus have a humid subtropical climate. This means temperatures are hot or warm (temp rarely drops below 50 °F or 10 °C) all year round. And this means Iguazu can pretty much be visited all year round. However, to know the best time to go to the falls, you’ll need to understand the seasons at the falls.
Winter (June to August)
The weather during this time is dry and sunny although days tend to be shorter during this period. The key to getting the most out of day trips to the Iguazu Falls during these months is to visit early in the day so you can have enough time to explore before it starts to get dark.
The crowds start to ease around this time except during the last two weeks of July when the falls are filled with Argentine tourists. Winter vacation starts around this time in Argentina and many people head to the Iguazu Falls to have some fun.
Apart from the last two weeks of July and some days into August, the winter season is generally a low season and a good time to visit. There’s less crowd and accommodation prices are lower.
Spring (September to November)
September to November brings warm and humid weather to the areas surrounding Iguazu Falls. Rains fall from time to time and October tends to have the highest amount of rainfall. However, rain is usually not a dealbreaker for people visiting the falls in Spring. After all, the falls are surrounded by lush jungles and people are going to get wet by going on boat rides or having some fun in the water.
Ensure you pack rain gear when you are visiting Iguazu between September and November. If you don’t feel like packing rain gear, you can always buy ponchos at gift shops around the falls. However, come along with appropriate footwear as rain can make the trails and walkways slippery.
Summer (December to February)
This is the peak period in Iguazu Falls and prices of hotels and rental cars go up. It’s advisable you book well in advance and be prepared to pay premium prices.
The reason for the influx of visitors is due to South America’s vacation months that coincide with this time as well as the European cold weather. So, the falls are full of both local and international visitors around this time. Also, the summer months are the best time for exploring South America and many travelers have Iguazu Falls on their itinerary.
Fall (March to May)
March to May falls within the dry period in the Iguazu Falls region. The weather is hot and humid and rain rarely falls. This makes the conditions perfect for exploring the outdoors as the trails are in good shape. However, there is the downside of the falls not being as dramatic as the water volume reduces during the dry season.
If you can get past not seeing the Iguazu Falls in its full glory, fall is a fantastic time to visit. The crowds are also moderate and you’ll get fantastic deals from hotels. However, note that the Semana Santa (Holy Week) falls during this period and Iguazu is usually crowded. So, you should avoid visiting the falls around Holy Week.
Peak, Shoulder, And Off-Peak Season at Iguazu Falls
The best time to visit Iguazu when you want to beat the crowd is late March to May, or August to early October (the shoulder seasons). There’s abundant sunshine and warm temperature between March to May and there’s less chance of getting caught in a rain. Accommodation and car rental prices are also down during this period.
August to early October also has fewer visitors but there’s the chance of getting caught in a rain but this is rarely a dealbreaker for many tourists. Prices are also lower during this period due to the fewer visitors.
December to February is the peak period as Brazilians and Argentinians take their annual leave during this period. Add international visitors and the falls are overflowing with visitors. The Iguazu Falls are also at their highest levels during this period so you can see them in all their glory.
If possible, avoid the Iguazu Falls during the Easter holidays, Holy Week, and South America’s summer. If you can travel to Iguazu only in South America’s summer months (which coincides with the US and Europe winter holidays), go to the falls during the week as it’s a little less crowded at this time.
Best Time For Maximum Water Flow
December to February is the best time to see the Iguazu Falls when the water flow is highest. The frequent rain of these months increases the water level and you get to see the falls thundering furiously and all their full glory.
Brazilian vs Argentinian Side
Since the Iguazu Falls are located on the border between and over Brazil and Argentina, you can see the falls from either the Brazil or Argentina side. Both sides offer a completely different view and perspective of the falls.
On the Brazilian side, you get panoramic views of the falls and understand the sheer scale and scope. Expect to take awe-inspiring pictures on this side of Iguazu. On the other hand, the Argentinian side brings you up close and personal to the falls. There are walkways that lead up to Devil’s Throat and beyond. You can go on speedboat rides below the thundering torrents. Our recommendation? See the waterfall from both sides.
Best Time Of The Day To Visit Iguazu Falls
The best time for viewing Iguazu Falls is in the morning as there’s less crowd. However, the sun rises over some of the most dramatic parts of the falls so you may be looking directly into the sun as you take in the views. You’ll get the best view in the late afternoon although the falls will be crowded by this time.
Best Time For Maximum Water Flow
The Devil’s Throat
Devil’s Throat is the largest drop in Iguazu Falls. Almost half of the river’s flow passes through here and drops to a depth of 260 ft over a narrow plateau. The Devil’s Throat is one of the highlights of any trip to Iguazu Falls and you can take a boat ride to it and swim around in what is one of the best open-air pools in the world.
Packing Tips for Iguazu Falls
The season you are visiting will determine the things you pack for your trip. If you are visiting during the rainy months, you’ll need to pack some rain gear. If it is in the dry months, you’ll need light attire.
Below are the things you should have for any Iguazu Falls exploration:
- Sunscreen: The falls are located in a tropical climate and you’ll need sunscreen to cope with the heat of the sun. I recommend you pack sunscreen with SPF rating of 50.
- Comfortable, walking shoes for the trails.
- Hat to protect the face from the sun.
- Insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other insects in the area.
- Waterproof or rain jacket.
- Towel, bathing suit, and light clothing.
- Camera/phone for pictures.