Iguazu Falls In 24 Breathtaking Photos

Published September 1, 2016
Updated May 4, 2018

Everyone should see Iguazu Falls in person, but if you can't make it to South America just yet, these photos should tide you over.

Igauzu Falls

Iguaza Falls Orange Blaze
Orange clouds blaze across the South American sky. Wikimedia Commons

Iguaza Falls Rainbow Moss
With all the moisture in the air, rainbows make frequent appearances at Iguazu Falls. transworld/Flickr

Time Lapse
A dreamy time-lapse of cascading water. diser55/Flickr

Foggy Crevice
Permanent mist rises from the great falls. Shane R/Flickr

Tree Fog
Sometimes the mist is so thick that it's hard to see the falls at all. Pixabay

Hazy Sunset
A hazy sunset above the falls. cnbattson/Flickr

Roadside Attraction
The view from a helicopter tour in Brazil. You can't take these tours in Argentina, which doesn't provide them out of preservation concerns.schrey/Flickr

Lookout Point
View of the falls from a lookout point. y_fujii/Flickr

Panoramic Shot
A panoramic shot shows the falls' breadth.Wikimedia Commons

Garganta Del Diablo
The largest cataract of Iguazu Falls — Garganta del Diablo, or Devil's Throat — is an 80 meter (262 foot) drop. ishot71/Flickr

People Looking
People congregate at the Iguazu Falls lookout. cristinavalencia/Flickr

Wide Yellow
Prismatic color adds a touch of mysticism to the air. frankensteinnn/Flickr

Rosy Waters
Rosy skies reflect upon the relatively still water.Pixabay

From Above
Lush rainforests surround the great natural wonder. Wikimedia Commons

Foamy Rush
Rushing water collides and creates vast quantities of white foam. Pixabay

Cliff Below
A view of the falls' enormous length.Pixabay

Blue Sky
Azure skies peek out above the falls.Pixabay

Green Rocky
Approximately 53,000 cubic feet of water flow over the edges of Iguazu Falls every second. Pixabay

Close Water
In 2011, Iguazu Falls was one of the winners in a "New Seven Wonders of Nature" competition, which allowed people across the world to vote for new natural wonders. Other winners included the Amazon Rainforest, Halong Bay, Jeju Island, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Komodo Island, and Table Mountain.Wikimedia Commons

Aerial Road
Aerial photos capture the falls' grandiose nature.Wikimedia Commons

Bridge Tour
The Argentina side (above) offers walking tours via a rustic boardwalk. Wikimedia Commons

Above Bridge
Visitors that travel via the boardwalk are advised that they might get soaked while crossing. Wikimedia Commons

Steep Drop
It's certainly fitting that "Iguazu" literally means "big water" in the native Guarani Indian language.Wikimedia Commons

Satellite Image
A NASA satellite image of Iguazu Falls.Wikimedia Commons

A single waterfall is spellbinding in its own right -- imagine the sight of 275 of them convening in a single spot. That place isn't fantasy; it's a reality to be found at Iguazu Falls.

Over 1 million tourists visit this gigantic natural wonder each year. Well known to indigenous peoples -- indeed, its name comes from the guarani word for "big water" -- it wasn't until 1541 that the Old Continent first laid eyes on the falls vis-a-vis an expedition led by Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca.

Located in Brazil and Argentina, what surrounds Iguazu Falls is as striking as the falls themselves. Rainforests encircle the area on both sides, making a home for over 2,000 varieties of indigenous plants, 400 species of birds, and 80 native mammals.

Furthermore, the falls' sheer colossal size -- Iguazu Falls is three times as wide as Niagara Falls and enough water passes over the falls per second to fill five Olympic-sized pools -- fittingly lends itself to some fascinating local mythology.

According to legends of the local Guaraní tribe, Iguazu Falls formed when a young boy saved a beautiful young girl from being sacrificed to a giant serpent named Boi. When Boi found out that the boy had rescued in a canoe, the story goes that the serpent created the falls to catch them. Upon catching them, the serpent transformed the boy into trees, and the girl’s hair into the falls themselves. The rainbows that form above the falls, according to indigenous myth, signal the insuperable bond between the young boy and girl.

For more phenomenal South American nature, check out the Bolivian salt flats. Then, take a look at the most spectacular waterfalls around the world. Finally, enjoy the splendor of Fly Geyser in Nevada.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.