Brazil - Is Iguazu Falls worth visiting?

My plan for Brazil was to spend the first day at the Iguazu falls and then continue to Sao Paolo, to see the city and the beach-city Santos. Even though I see just a small part of Brazil during my stay, I already know that I will come back to see other areas of Brazil. The country has, same as Argentina, so much to offer.

The border crossing from Paraguay to Brazil could not have been any easier and quicker. After a comfortable 7-hour bus drive from Asuncion (Paraguay), I arrived in the early morning in Foz do Iguazu at the NSA bus terminal.

A coffee, then directly by cab to Iguazu falls, which is about 20 minutes to the entrance gate. 

Iguazu Falls are truly spectacular

There it's like Jurrasic Park, one huge open entrance area to buy tickets, eat and wait for the park bus to drive visitors to the falls.

The whole Iguazu area is fenced and only accessible by the main entrance.

They even have lots of storage for luggage to deposit backpacks and suitcases. The entrance fee to see the falls was 105 Rial and 5 Rial for luggage storage.

After paying for the tickets, it takes about 15 minutes until a bus shows up to bring visitors to the falls. From there the scenic walk along the many waterfalls begins.

I was totally surprised by the scenery as I didn't expect anything at all before coming and didn't look at any images on the internet. 

The trek follows for 45 minutes along the hill with views of dozen different waterfalls.

Before I came here I thought it surely is a nice waterfall, but it's definitely the best landscape with waterfalls I've ever seen.

There's a paved walking trail along the river with a view of several waterfalls; each lookout along the way is even more spectacular than the previous ones.

After one hour on the trail, the biggest lookout with 3 story platform is however the absolute best.

At the end are huge eating and sitting areas with restaurants and a view of the top of the majestic Iguazu waterfalls. 

In the background, it's even possible to see the visitors on the Argentina side. That's where I spend about 2 hours eating and just watching the water passing by in front of me.

Arrival in Sao Paolo. So many homeless people?!

After eating I went back directly to the Foz do Iguazu airport. The flight to Sao Paolo was in the evening.

With Uber from Sao Paolo Airport to the city and to the apartment. Unlike in other third-world country cities, I specifically noticed how clean the city actually is and how stable everything seems to be built. All very modern it seemed. 

However, it is remarkable how many homeless people spend the night in tents. Even the biggest streets in the nicest of Sao Paolo are covered with tents.

Day 2 - Sao Paolo is not very spectacular

Was mainly walking around in Sao Paolo. From Paolista to the Central Mercado. I don't speak any Portuguese but with some Spanish, it's easy to get along and talk about basic things.

According to the internet, Brazil is among the most dangerous countries on the planet.

All over the city are lots of police everywhere, but I have been told a couple of times when walking on the street and taking pictures:

Better wear your backpack on the front and don't show your camera around

Although there are many homeless people and drug addicts on the street, I felt fine all the time and nothing happened.

The area around Central Mercado is very busy and there are many stores. Everything is well developed and basically, all is clean.

However, there are many homeless people here as well, no matter where I look. Seems like they belong to the culture of Brazil and everybody is fine with them?

In general, Sao Paolo Downtown looks pretty much the same everywhere. Many high-rise buildings and apartments for 12 million people. 

Lots of concrete everywhere and the streets are divided into squares.

In the afternoon to "Beto do Batman". Lots of cool graffiti. And for today that was enough city life.

Day 3 - Beach at Santos

I didn't plan a trip to Santos, it was a spontaneous idea. So I had to find a transport and buses are too complicated and take too much time. 

Looked around for a car and found a Volkswagen for 40 dollars a day. My goal was to go to Santos to see the beach of Sao Paolo.

The drive took 1.5 hours and was glad I did that to have another nice impression of Brazil and its surroundings. 

Santos has easy streets to navigate and it's not chaotic at all with only a few cars on the streets. I liked it immediately.

Sao Paolo is not only a city and has many beaches whereas the beach of Santos belongs to them.

Even if I was not the most beautiful (according to various people) I was still fascinated to see a Brazilian beach. 

I have never visited such a busy beach in South America, but I can say that it is very different from Africa. 

Walked around the streets, had dinner, and soon drove back to Sao Paolo to be back before its too dark.

Day 4 - For now the last walk through Brazil

Had to return the rental car and walked along the Avenida Paulista, the largest and most famous street in the business district.

The direct flight from Sao Paolo all the way back home was departing in the late afternoon.

But Brazil is huge and such diverse that I can say it won't be the last time I've been in this country. 

At this point, the South American trip ends and I can say it was a great refresher seeing South America after a few years now. The next trip will be in the other direction on the planet, towards Asia and the Middle East.

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