Iguacu Falls

Destination Introduction

Iguacu Falls with a rainbow
Iguacu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

The Igaucu falls are located in the south of Brazil and form a spectacular border with Argentina. They were declared a Natural Heritage Site by Unesco in 1986. The falls are fed by the Parana river and are among some of the largest in the world being spread over 2.5 miles. They can be accessed by both Brazil and Argentina (both have their advantages in terms of views). There are a number of ways to view the waterfalls including by boat, by foot or by air. Humidity generated by the falls allows a lush tropical forest to grow around the area offering yet more wonderful subjects for photographers. Wildlife in the area is abundant including toucans and even jaguars.

Photographic Subjects

Rainbow infront of the Iguacu Falls
Iguacu Falls, Brazil

Obviously the main photographic subject are the waterfalls themselves, however, there is also a large quantity of flowers and wildlife. Viewing the falls themselves is easy to do as they can be accessed via pathways. A good idea is to arrange a trip over to the Argentinean side which offers more view points and covers more of the falls. However, the best way to experience the power of the falls is to go on a boat trip up the river to their base a waterproof plastic bag is essential for you camera as you do get wet! The best way to get a panoramic view of the falls is by air. Helicopter trips can take you for a ten minute ride around the falls allowing various views.
In terms of wildlife, the area around the waterfalls contains an array of animals. There are a huge amount of butterflies in the area and the bird life is also fantastic. However there are few opportunities to encounter the wildlife as the ability to explore the area is restricted.

Photography Tips

Iguacu Falls
Effect achieved with a long exposure

The most vital piece of photographic equipment to take with you to Iguacu is a tripod. This is essential for composing and taking shots of the falls. It may sound obvious, but a camera bag to shelter all your equipment from the mist is also important. To take more interesting photos of the waterfalls, you can use a slow shutter speed to capture a silky effect of the water moving (you must have a tripod for this). Ample memory is vital as you can be out all day taking pictures and meanwhile be eating up your storage! The best lens to take is a wide angle which will allow you to take panoramic shots of the landscape. Also, a polarising filter can give better results by saturating the sky and doubling the strength of rainbows.