Foz do Iguaçu
Foz do Iguaçu is a picturesque city located at the western end of the state of Parana in Brazil. What makes it more wonderful is the world’s famous Iguazu Falls, located in the Iguaçu National Park. The Iguacu National Park offers the wonderful boating, hiking and numbers of other fun activities near this majestic waterfall system of 275 waterfalls. The Iguazu Falls attract huge tourists from all around the world to enjoy the waterfalls and then they find many other wonderful activities in the city of Foz do Iguaçu as well.
Foz do Iguaçu is also famous as a three borders point. The borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet here but also two beautiful rivers: River Iguazu and River Parana. The city is the largest tourist destination in the western part of Parana State. The residents are remarkably diverse in culture and race. Foz do Iguaçu is also considered as one of the 14 most romantic destinations.
History of foz do iguaçu
This area was found by a Spanish explorer, cabeza de Vaca, in 1549. He was highly impressed by the waterfalls and called it “Quedas de Santa Maria”. The name later changed to Quedas del Iguazu. This area was a disputed territory between Brazil and Paraguay until 1860. Paraguay was defeated in the Paraguayan war and this area became part of Brazil. The area remained in use only by military until 1987.
In around 1910, when the area grew in population, it was named as Vila Iguazu, which means town of Iguazu. After 4 years, in 1914 the town changed to a city and by 1916, Brazilian government started to give attention to it. The government acquired the land and created the Iguaçu National Park by 1939. In 1945, the city name was officially changed to Foz do Iguaçu due to an agreement between the Brazilian Academy of Letters and the Academy of Lisbon.
In 1965, the Friendship Bridge was constructed to mark the good relationship between the three bordering countries. The Itaipu Dam was created in 1984 which is the 2nd largest hydroelectric dam in the world. There was an attempt to change the name of the city from Foz do Iguaçu to Foz do Iguassu, but it was unsuccessful because the change did not get enough votes.
15 Excellent Things to do in foz do iguaçu
Iguassu Waterfalls of Foz do Iguaçu
The Iguaçu/ Iguassu or Iguazu waterfalls are one the 7 natural wonders of the world and is an amazingly beautiful tourist destination. The waterfalls system consists of 275 small and big waterfalls with “Devil’s Throat” being the biggest of all. The waterfall is located between Brazil and Argentina and can be accessed and enjoyed from both sides of the two countries. I have written a complete detailed blog on the Iguazu Falls, where you can read about it in complete detail. You will love to read about the amazing details and the 9 things that you can do around the Iguazu Falls.
Buddhist Temple of Foz do Iguaçu
This Buddhist Temple is considered as the largest centers of mediation and Buddhist study in Latin America. The Chinese communities from the Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay combined to build this beautiful Temple. The temple is located at higher grounds above the city and offers beautiful views of the city of Foz do Iguaçu and across the borders of Paraguay. This a wonderful place to relax in a big green area of the temple where you can also see many sculptures and statues.
Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Mosque
This beautiful Mosque in white and blue is also another wonderful example of the diverse culture of Foz do Iguaçu city. Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Mosque is located in the city center of Foz do Iguaçu. The mosque is one of the best places to visit as the environment is very friendly and welcoming for the tourists. The visitors need to take off their shoes and the women need to cover their head before entering the mosque.
You can learn and understand the culture of Muslims and about the Religion of Islam in a wonderfully comfortable and friendly environment. Everybody is free to enter the mosque as long as they are respectful to the worship environment. An Imam of the mosque is present in the mosque to answer all the questions of the visitors. This place is worth the visit to absorb the diversity of the city’s environment.
Iporã Show of Foz do Iguaçu
You can enjoy the cultures, norms, styles and music of 9 countries of South America in one show. Ipora Show depicts the stories from these 9 countries through music, costumes, changing scenery and dance moves. Visitors love the show and enjoy the traditional dances in traditional costumes. The show is a great venue to learn about different culture at one place.
The Friendship Bridge and The Bridge of Brotherhood
Visitors of the Foz do Iguaçu love to visit these two bridges. The walk along the two bridges is totally amazing with beautiful views around them. These bridges connect the three countries together. The Friendship Bridge connects Brazil with Paraguay. The International Bridge of Brotherhood connected Brazil with Argentina.
Marcos das 3: Three Borders Landmark
Mark of the Three Borders is the place where all three countries of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet including the two rivers: River Iguazu and River Parana. The mark of the borders is placed at the exact distance from the borders of all three countries. This marks the equality, respect and friendship between the three countries. This point is situated at a distance of 6 kilometers from the city center.
PARQUE DAS AVES
Parque das Aves is a wonderful bird park in Foz do Iguaçu. The park has 1000s of exotic birds’ species from Brazil and from around the world. You will see some specific Brazilian and regional species of birds never seen before. Unlike other bird parks, this park collects the birds by rescuing them from bird smugglers and cruel owners. The bird park also finds the birds who are wounded or sick from the surroundings and treat them well and bring them back to a better life. Once admitted in the bird park, they are not sent out to the wild again, but the birds live in a very nice and peaceful environment. Tourists love this place as they walk around seeing so many birds and butterflies which fly pass their heads.
ITAIPU DAM TOUR
Itaipu Dam used to be the largest hydroelectric dam in the world but now after the China’s “Three Gorges”, Itaipu Dam is the 2nd largest in the world. The dam is a must visit for those who have interest in engineering. You can visit the dam and learn how the water from River Iguazu is harnessed for energy to produce electricity. This one dam benefits all three countries. You will also be able to visit the power station deep down at the facility where you can feel the heat generated by the surging water.
Visitors can visit both inside and outside of the Dam area. The interesting fact about the dam is that it is built by both countries of Brazil and Paraguay to cater their needs. The area used to be a disputed territory between both countries. The site is a wonderful attraction especially when you are seeing the 2nd largest dam in the world. There is also a night show in the lights of the dam to enhance the experience of visitors.
Ecomuseum at Itaipu Complex
Ecomuseum is part of the Itaipu Dam complex and displays the history of the power plant. The museum also displays the history of the territory of the hydroelectric dam. The museum has many historical sceneries, models, themed spaces and a replica of the axis of the turbine of the power plant. The visitors can enjoy and learn about the mechanisms behind this giant construction.
Valley of Dinosaurs
While in Foz do Iguaçu visiting the valley of Dinosaurs is highly recommended. The real size replicas are placed in the valley with movement and sound effects which look very appealing. The surroundings of the replicas are designed in a way to make you feel that you have travelled back in time and are walking in the real pre-historic era of dinosaurs.
Astronomical Pole in Foz do Iguaçu
This is a wonderful place to gaze at the sky in a very peaceful and calming environment. This Astronomical Pole is one of the only few in the world that gathers the astronomical information with the naked eye.
Argentina City Tour
Another great attraction in Foz do Iguaçu is that you can take a panoramic bus tour to Argentina from Brazil. You can learn the information about the history and construction of Puerto Iguazu (the Argentinian city). The bus takes you to the famous tourist and food spots in the city.
World of Wonders in Foz do Iguaçu
The world of wonders in the dream land complex Foz do Iguaçu displays the replicas of the famous monuments from around the world. This is a great place to see many wonders at one place. You can see the Statue of Liberty from USA, Taj Mahal from India, Eiffel Tower from France and many more amazing monuments. This is a great place to learn and take pictures.
Wax Museum in Foz do Iguaçu
Another amazing attraction in the city of Foz do Iguaçu is the Wax Museum in the Dream Land complex. The visitors get dazzled by the real-size statues of their favorite and famous personalities from around the world in a magnificent ambience around them. These wax statues consist of many artists, movie stars, characters from history and famous personalities.
Get fascinated by the world’s largest Ice Bar in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. The 300 m² bar has a temperature-controlled environment to maximize the experience. All furniture and décor of the bar is made of crystalline ice. There are also exceptionally beautiful ice sculptures in the ice bar.