Dear Argentina, The Brazilian Side is Better

Dear Argentina, The Brazilian Side is Better

One time while in Argentina, I felt like causing a little bit of trouble.  I asked my bartender casually who his favourite footballer was, knowing full well the answer about to be spit back at me.

“Maradona”

Pushing further, I asked him, knowing the entire time the upcoming answer to my question, who is the greatest footballer of all-time.

With a confused look on his face, as if the answer was so obviously carved in stone, he answered, with a slight pause to add dramatic affect to my obvious stupidity, “Maradona.”

I decided to push on, fashioning the idea that maybe Pele was a little bit better than Maradona, and that his career was a little bit more complete, a little more consistent.    Needless to say, I am no longer welcomed back at that establishment.

Maradona is everywhere in Argentina, even watching your kids!

Maradona is everywhere in Argentina, even watching your kids!

You might be wondering what the Pele vs. Maradona argument has to do with the title of this article, and although the article isn’t about football, the competitive nature between Brazil and Argentina is.  You see, throughout Argentina people constantly had told me that my arrival to Iguazu Falls would be amazing, something I already knew.  They told me, “wait until you see the Argentinean side, it is the natural jewel of this continent.”  Whenever I ask of which side is better I get the same answer thrown back at me as with the Maradona question: “olvidate (forget about it) the Argentinean side is much better.”

A Panoramic of the falls from the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls.  Click to enlarge.

A Panoramic of the falls from the Brazilian side. Click to enlarge.

Most of those who have been to Argentina soon catch on to this pride, if not conceit, in the patriarch.  Closer to Europe than Latin America, the best steak, greatest wine, most beautiful women in the world, “olvidate!!!”   And although the argument about the women is debatable (see Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia), they are not too far off base on the rest of it.  Where they are wrong, is when it comes to the Iguazu falls argument (and the Pele/Maradona argument… sorry Argentina).

Although the Argentinean side is incredible and trails through an amazingly large section of the falls offering numbers of different vantage points and angles, the Brazilian side just feels a little bit more powerful.

On the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls the vantage point has a certain explosive nature to it.  On the Argentinean side of the falls you feel like you are on top of them, looking down.  However, from the vantage point offered by the Brazilian side, you feel like you are within the falls.  The mist flies through the air and spatters your cheeks with a refreshing tingle, the fresh scent of scent of stirred waters finds a way to nestle in your nose as you breathe in the moment, and the crashing power of the water can almost overwhelm one’s sense of being.

Walkway into the spray of the falls

In my article about the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls I spoke a lot about the crowds, I spoke a lot about how a simple loss of one’s patience could easily ruin the experience, on the Brazilian side that is not at all the case.  This side of this world wonder is speckled with tourists in comparison and you’ll rarely find yourself jostling for position to take a photo or to have one taken.

I’m sorry Argentina, and I’m only saying this because I love you, but the Brazilian side is better.

How do you get to Iguazu Falls?

I got there with the amazing people at Gecko’s Adventures.  Check them out.

Where do we go from here?

From here my adventures take me to one of the most sustainable cities in the world.  On Wednesday, an article on Curitiba, Brazil will be up.  Thursday, I’m closing down “Penguin Thoughts,” an update then.  Also, remember that on Tuesday there will be an update to the Top100 Independent Travel Websites list.


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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21 Comments

  1. Both sides offer a different experience of the falls. They complement each other, don’t you think?

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    • yea, they are very different. Different perspectives.

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  2. I can’t believe I’m saying this…but I agree. Brasilian side is better.

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    • Haha… I think your fiance just broke it off! Who’s better Andi, Pele or Maradona? Come on, say it!

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  3. Both sides look pretty amazing. I have a question. Is it easy to travel back and forth between the two sides or is crossing the border really difficult? Most border crossings are not easy, but sometimes when there is a jewel like this on the border countries will make it easier for travelers to cross back and forth.

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    • ya, because of the falls it is quite fast and easy to get through. There are two different place you have to go to an office for Brazil and Argentina separately. But if you go by bus it is very simple. It does usually take about 30-45 to get from one side to the other though. Lots of people go from the Argentinean side to the Brazilian just for the day. Much like Americans popping over to the Canadian side for the day at Niagara Falls. P.S. the Canadian side is better

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  4. I have put it pff far too lomg, now I need to go and have a look for myself.

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  5. I don’t know if the Brazilian side is better. It’s definitely very different and I thing that both sides should be visited to fully experience Iguazu. I loved Brazilian side for amazing panoramic views, but Argentinean side for great for getting close and personal with the falls. The ability to almost touch the water was amazing.

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  6. I hated Argentina during my month-long stay there, so anything else is better.

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  7. I didn’t bother with the Argentine side of the falls, but Pele > Maradona for sure!

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    • oh i see why u so blah blah about brazil..u shaging that dumbo looking brazilians

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  8. I got a chance to do both as well and I would have to say that it depends on where you go, if your looking at the Devil’s throat I would def say Argentine side, otherwise Brazil side

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  9. When I went to Iguazu, my guide told me: “On the Brazilian side, you see the waterfalls, on the Argentinian side, you experience them.” I have been to both sides, and whatever he meant, I agree, Brazilian side is better! 😉

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  10. Nice said Brendan, I´ve published your blog on our facebook, hope that´s all right with you… we hope you had a great stay in Brazil 🙂
    cheers,
    Gondwana Brasil´s team

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  11. Great shots but have to go in person to decide which is better.

    Agree that the Canadian side is better. Much better.

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  12. I AGREE, BRAZILIAN SIDE IS BETTER, AS PELE IS FAR BETTER THAN MARADONA AND -OF COURSE- BRAZILIAN WOMEN… WE ARE MUCH HOTTER AND PRETTY THAN ARGENTINE WOMEN!!!!

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    • hahaha… and I think Brazilian girls are also much more humble 🙂 Thanks for checking into the website Amanda! (and just for the record, I fall in love each block I walk down in Brazil… wow).

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  13. Great post, but I fear I must disagree for 1 simple reason – getting into Brazil is a pain in the ass. Thus, for this reason alone I must give the nod to Argentina.

    After traveling through South America for months without any challenges and very easy border crossings, the fact that we need to spend somewhere between 5-14 days at a consulate AND pay $140 each for a 90-day visa makes it simply an unattractive proposition when there is so much we could see with this time and money.

    If there is still a way to get a day pass into Brazil while we are at the falls we may certainly explore the opportunity, but otherwise our money and time will be spent in Argentina.

    However, my vote for the greatest soccer player will continue to be Pele. Hard to vote for someone that was strung out on cocaine, believes “the hand of god” is a good excuse for cheating a World Cup victory, and remains a distraction to the national team on a regular basis.

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    • hahaha Warren, great comments, especially about Maradona.
      You can get a day pass to cross the border to see the Brazilian falls no problem. I’m not sure if you have to pay the big price, but I don’t think so. I agree the Brazilian Visa thing is brutal, but it’s only because we (Canada and USA) do it to them.

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  14. Yeah, when you go to the Brazilian side, what you still see is the Argentinean side… on a panoramic way, so… if we go for semantics, the Argentinean side is better, but you can see it more from Brazil. As someone mentioned already: “On the Brazilian side, you see the waterfalls, on the Argentinian side, you experience them.”

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  15. Both sides compliment each other though if I had to choose, it would be the Argentina side. You get to walk close up and “feel” the falls, whereas the Brazilian side is more from a distance for panoramic shots (which you can still more or less get from the Arg side). Though those funny little animals with their tails sticking up on the Brazilian side almost tipped the balance to their favour.

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