Boy pointing at Iguazu Falls Argentina from boardwalk

Visiting Iguazu Falls Argentina with Kids

This post may contain compensated links. For more information please read our disclaimer.

Iguazu Falls are the largest waterfall system in the world. It is comprised of 275 separate waterfalls along 3 km of the Parana plateau which straddles both Brazil and Argentina.  Even with our limited time in South America we wanted to make sure to visit Iguazu Falls Argentina with kids. We opted to fly from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu, the closest city to the falls. It was a quick 1 hr 50 min direct flight. To see Iguazu Falls Argentina with kids, we spent 3 days and 2 nights in Yvy Selva Lodge, Puerto Iguazu. We made arrangements beforehand using a local tour operator, SayHueque.

Tip: For those with more time or on a budget, a cheaper alternative is a 15-hour bus ride.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel see all our latest videos!

What to do in Iguazu Falls Argentina with kids

To fully appreciate the size of Iguazu Falls we visited both the Argentina and Brazil side on two separate days. First up, Iguazu Falls Argentina with kids! We started the day early and drove the 15 min drive to the entrance of Iguazu Falls National Park with a tour company. Although we were there early, the park was already busy with visitors.

Entrance to Iguazu Falls National Park in Argentina.

Pro-Tip: Only Argentinian Pesos are accepted as payment for the entrance fee. At the time of our visit, the fee was Ar$215.

Eco-Museum

A few meters from the entrance is the visitor’s center which houses a small eco-museum. The museum has two rooms. One focuses on explaining the diversity of the jungle surrounding Iguazu Falls. The second is about how man interacts with the area. We spent only a few minutes in the museum as the train to take us closer to the falls was about to arrive and the children were anxious to get going.

Two boys lean against a post as a small train comes into the station at Iguazu Park Visitor Centre in Argentina

Riding the Ecological Train

The eco train is a very slow locomotive that traverses the park from the entrance (Central Station) to two stops within the park: Estacion Cataratas and Estacion Garganta del Diablo. Although the train is supposed to run every 20 min, it doesn’t follow the schedule strictly.

Often, it will not leave the station until it is full. We chose to take the train to save our energy for hiking. For those that don’t want to take the train or have more energy than us, there is a trail from the visitor’s center, Sendero Verde, which is a jungle route to get to the next train stop,

Estacion Cataratas. We opted to go to the end of the train ride and got off at Estacion Garganta del Diablo. The train ride itself was not very exciting. Surprisingly, the jungle scenery did not lend itself to spotting much wildlife.

Hiking

From Estacion Garganta del Diablo there is an elevated bridge path that winds through 1100 m of wetland and rivers. The path leads to 3 overlooks that give an up close view of Devil’s Throat. Just like Niagara Falls on the border of the United States and Canada, Devil’s Throat in Iguazu Falls it is a giant horseshoe-shaped waterfall.

A powerful horseshoe waterfall in Iguazu Park Argentina

It has been said that when the first First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt saw Devil’s Throat, she exclaimed, “Poor Niagara”. No wonder, at 80 m high and 150 m wide it dwarfs Niagara Falls by approximately 30 m.

View from Devil's Throat lookout point in Iguazu Falls Argentina.

The viewpoint for the Devil’s Throat was very crowded. Because it is the focus of many tour groups, there is a lot of maneuvering of crowds trying to get group photos. We also found the official photographers on ladders that you could pay to take group photos to be a bit of a frustration. They stand right in the middle of the viewing platform blocking traffic from easily getting through.

Crowded viewpoint at Devil's Point lookout in Iguazu Falls Argentina.

Pro-Tip: There is a snack bar and restroom at the beginning of the trail but there are no services along the trail.

After getting our fill of the spectacular overlook, we made our way to our next adventure, boating on the Iguazu river (see below under “Boating”). The ride ended at Tres Marias port which is a quick walk to Estacion Cataratas.

From this train station, you can either do the upper circuit or lower circuit or both. The upper circuit provides more of a panoramic view of the falls. There is a 650 m boardwalk that is built over the waterfalls so you are looking down at the falls.

Looking over the edge of a coarsing waterfall. A small catwalk is beneath it with visitors watching the watefall

By contrast, the lower circuit is almost three times longer at 1700 m.  It also has 8 viewpoints. Some of the viewpoints are larger and have spaces for you to sit down and have a quick snack. Just be aware of the coati that are in the area just waiting to steal food (sometimes right from your bag).

View of Salto dos Hermanas was one of our favorite waterfalls in our visit to Iguazu Falls Argentina with kids.

Although swimming is no longer allowed in the National Park, the lower circuit allows you to get up close and personal with several waterfalls including the Two Sisters.

Family with kids gets wet at Salto Bosetti in Iguazu Falls Argentina with kids.

Pro-Tip: Bring your own food, drinks, and snacks as there are no food vendors on trails.

For those that want to hike further, there is another trail, Sendero Macuco, that has a trail head near the visitor’s center. This 7.2 km trail (roundtrip) brings you close to the jungle and to Arrechea Waterfall, a less visited waterfall in the park.

Boating

There are four boating activities on offer at Iguazu Falls Argentina by Iguazu Jungle. Most provide a way to get up close to the falls and guests get very wet! These include the Nautical Adventure which gets very close to San Martin waterfall and the Great Adventure which includes a trip in the jungle and a ride through some rapids. However, these activities are restricted to persons over 12 years of age. Even with painted on mustaches, there was no way C and D would pass!

Mother and sons rafting with Iguazu Jungle on Upper Iguazu River on their visit of Iguazu Falls Argentina with kids.

There are two boating options however that are available to families with kids. The first is a boat ride to Isla San Martin, an island located in the middle of all the waterfalls in the National Park. The boat ride is free and accessed via a path from the lower circuit. Unlucky for us, the island was closed to visitors during our visit.

A monitor lizard finds a ray of sunshine in Iguazu Falls Argentina

The second option is the Ecological Ride also by Iguazu Jungle. Instead of a boat, we boarded a raft for a slow 30-minute ride along the upper Iguazu river. It was the first time for the boys to be on a wildlife spotting adventure that required them to be near silent for an extended period of time. They were so occupied with trying to spot fishes, turtles, butterflies, and birds that they forgot about their constant need to talk.

A turtle clings to a rock in the rivers of Iguazu Falls

Wildlife Spotting

Besides wildlife spotting on the boat. We also spotted other wildlife along the trails. The butterflies that congregated around the puddles excited C the most. D enjoyed trying to follow iguanas into the forest. While hiking the pathways of the lower trail, we spotted several monkeys. This was the boys first time seeing monkeys and the loved it- until the monkeys tried to eat the GoPro!

Plush-crested Jay in Iguazu Falls Argentina.

Iguazu Falls Argentina with kids- worth it!

Iguazu Falls had been on my personal bucket list even before it became one of the new seven wonders of the natural world. So, when C requested that we visit a country with penguins for our next adventure, I knew it would finally be my chance!

What I didn’t know was that it would be so costly. Seeing Iguazu Falls Argentina with kids is not a cheap venture. It is out of the way of all the other highly visited sites. However, I can say that for us, visiting Iguazu Falls Argentina with kids was worth the cost of the detour.

D-the-Climber-in-Iguazu-Falls-Argentina-2

Once there, the falls are very easy to navigate with kids. The pathways are well marked and a guide is not necessary. We chose to have a guide as we wanted to learn more about the flora and fauna. Plus, it is always helpful to have another adult around as D loves to climb fences. Next stop, Iguazu Falls Brazil with kids! Have you visited Iguazu Falls?

Wandering Wagars is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Christina Wagar
Follow me

Christina Wagar

Christina Wagar grew up in a travel loving family. She strives to instil her love of learning about different cultures and seeing new and old places to her husband Kevin and their two young boys.
Having experienced over 20 countries across 4 continents Christina is well versed at travel planning and thrives on sharing that information with others with the hopes of encouraging more families to experience this incredible world that we live in.
Christina Wagar
Follow me

17 Comments

  1. This looks like such an amazing place to take my little cousins for an outdoor adventure! We loveeeeeee Niagara Falls so I’m sure this one will blow us away!

  2. Being a mom of a 5 year old kid, I know how important it becomes to choose a suitable destination while traveling with kids. Iguazu falls looks like the right destination to have some good time with family. I m blown away by the sheer size fo it. I would love to take a family trip to the falls some day.

  3. I didn’t realise there was so much to see & do at Iguazu Falls rather than just looking at it haha! If all goes well, I hope to visit in the middle of the year so it’s great to know that there are hikes & boat trips around for different perspectives 🙂

  4. This looks like an amazing family trip. If I had kids, I would probably enjoy this place as much as they do! This is the perfect getaway for people who love animals and beautiful scenery. So funny that the monkeys tried to eat the GoPro! Monkeys are so cheeky!

  5. HELLO WAGARS! Your destinations are always amazing. How do you choose where to go next? Anyways.. I watched your video.. The waterfalls ARE UNBELIEVABLE!!!! I am in great awe! Iguazu Falls is like a paradise, isn’t it? I wonder how much I need to get to this place though, with my 5 year old son.

  6. That indeed is one massive waterfall. 275 waterfalls in one cluster and along 3km stretch..I got a feel of what it would be like. I like waterfalls so much. I will love to visit here

  7. I have been always fascinated by the falls and forest of South America. But I never knew where exactly to start with. Iguazu falls looks just mesmerizing and i think i have a new additional now to my bucket list and know exactly what to do.

  8. What a great experience for your kids to have! Loved that they choose it for the penguins hahah thats something I would do! I didn’t realise how grand they were or that they spanned across two countries! Pictures and video really make me want to visit!

  9. I have never seen waterfalls as big as Iguazu falls in my life. I am already fascinated with the smaller ones, what more a falls as huge as this. So this is even bigger than Niagara? Damn it’s impressive. At first I was thinking, the official photographers are making sure that you will get their service by blocking the view, but then again, maybe they stand on that spot so anyone who avails of their service can have the best photo.

  10. Hi, great website. Thanks. I’m going there next month with my 11 and 7 year old kids to both sides of the Falls. What kind of footwear do you recommend? Are crocs ok or sneakers? Are the pathways very slippery?

    1. Hello Anita! Wonderful to hear that you are exploring both sides. You won’t regret it, they’re both very different.
      I highly recommend bringing shoes that have a good grip. Crocs have slippery bottoms and the trails can often get slick. On the Argentinean side the trails can be more rough with lots of stairs. Crocs can fall off. On the Brazilian side, the walk can be very slippery and wet. A pair of good hikers, runners with rubber soles, or even water shoes would work better.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *