Foz do Iguaçu (Iguazú River Mouth) (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈfɔz dw iɡwɐˈsu]) is the 7th largest city in Paraná state, Brazil, with a population of 255,900 inhabitants. It is located approximately 650 km (400 mi) west of Curitiba, Parana's capital city, being the westernmost city in that state. The inhabitants of the city are known as iguaçuenses. 

The Iguaçu word means "big water" in the tupi-guarani etymology. Foz do Iguaçu is located in the extreme west of the State of Paraná, on the border of Brazil with Paraguay and Argentina. Together with Ciudad Del Est and Puerto Iguazu, it participates in one of the biggest cultural touristic destinations in South America. It is a destination full of enchantment, with natural and artificial attractions, excellent hotel facilities and a perfect reception and event infrastructure.

The so-called "eighth wonder of the world" is located in the city of Foz do Iguaçu: the majestic Iguassu Falls. With 272 falls, up to 83 m tall, the Falls are formed by the Iguaçu River. Click here to view a virtual tour of the falls


The city is one of Brazil's most-frequented tourist destinations. Most tourists are Brazilians and Argentines, but Canadians, Americans, British, Germans, Italians, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, Japanese and Chinese tourists are also numerous. The city has about 100 hotels and inns. Its main attractions are:

  • Iguaçu Falls, which has a flow capacity equal to three times that of Niagara Falls. Part of the falls are on the Brazilian side. Others are on the Argentine side. "Garganta do Diabo" ("Devil's Throat" in Portuguese)is the tallest of the falls, which is 97 m, 318 ft (97 m) high.
  • Parque Nacional do Iguaçu (Iguaçu National Park), in both Brazil and Argentina, where the falls are. It is protected by the IBAMA
  • Itaipu Dam, the first-largest generator of hydro-electric power in the world, in the Parana river, between Brazil and Paraguay
  • The Tríplice Fronteira (Triple Frontier) location where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet. Each side has its own Marco(landmark)
  • The Omar Ibn Al-Khattab mosque, the largest in Latin America
  • The Bird Park (Parque das Aves), which features a collection of wild birds, and the "Bosque Guaraní", the city's zoo

The Itaipu Dam produces about 20% of Brazil's electricity needs, and employs (directly and indirectly) about 5,000 Iguaçuenses.

Many Iguacuenses work in the neighboring city of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, which is a duty-free market. All trade between Brazil and Paraguay uses the Friendship Bridge (called Ponte da Amizade in Brazil). Another bridge, the Fraternity Bridge (Ponte da Fraternidade, or Ponte Tancredo Neves, in Brazil), connects Foz do Iguaçu with its Argentine neighbor, Puerto Iguazú. The Fraternity Bridge, however, is far less important than the Friendship Bridge. Recently, the Friendship Bridge has faced problems such as traffic congestion as well as protests and blockades.

The city is strategically positioned, due to its position in Mercosur, and it is expected that its importance will increase following the formation of the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations).

Foz do Iguaçu has few industries apart from electrical energy generation; most are textile-related. Because of the importance of tourism, domestic and international crises can affect the city's economy by reducing tourist numbers and by bringing fewer consumers to Ciudad del Este.

Foz do Iguaçu has also recently won the bid to host part of the Summer X Games 2013. 


The city has a population of 255,900 inhabitants, whilst the Triplice Fronteira (Tri Frontier) region (Ciudad del Este, Hernandarias, Puerto Iguazú and the rural areas included within those municipalities) has a total of 820,000. The city is very heterogeneous, with many immigrant communities, such as: Arabs, Chinese, Germans, Italians, Lebanese, Paraguayans, Argentines,Palestinians, French, Swedes, Portuguese and Ukrainians.

The city has the second largest Chinese community in Brazil (approx. 55,000, and second only to São Paulo), and the third largest Islamic community[citation needed].

The city is predominantly Roman Catholic but a relatively large minority of Muslims and Buddhists are represented in the city as well. The city itself has a large mosque and a Buddhist temple.

Fenartec is an annual event held in the city's convention centre commemorating the city's multicultural diversity, usually in May.


The climate of Foz do Iguaçu is sub-tropical, with two distinctive seasons; one humid and hot in the summer and another, dry and cold, in the winter. The city's annual average temperature is 23.8°C (74.8°F), but can be as high as 40°C (104°F) in the summer (highest) or as low as -5°C (23°F) in the winter (lowest). The average in the summer is 26.5°C (79.7°F)and in the winter 15.4°C (59.6°F).

The climate of the city is generally hot or warm throughout the year, due to the relatively low altitude (standing only 173 m, 567 ft (173 m), above sea level).

Generally, the city is sunny during the year, but rain is fairly common during the spring and in the summer. The weather of the city, however, changes very constantly, because the region where the city stands is the zone where frequently three fronts meet. As consequence, it is not uncommon to see temperatures as high as 35°C (95°F) and in the summer as low as 8°C (46°F) in the city and, frequently, thunderstorms.

Climate data for Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
Average high °C (°F) 33
Daily mean °C (°F) 25
Average low °C (°F) 20
Precipitation mm (inches) 188
humidity 77 80 82 85 86 85 83 80 79 78 75 74 80
Mean monthly sunshine hours 179 145 147 139 142 131 158 124 118 155 197 217 1,852


Foz do Iguaçu is connected to the east by the BR-277, to Paranaguá, and also to the east by the Friendship Bridge to Ciudad del Este, and to the south to Puerto Iguazú by the Fraternity Bridge. Both the BR-277 and the Friendship Bridge are very busy roads, linking Paraguay to the Paranaguá's seaport.

The city is served by the Foz do Iguaçu/Cataratas International Airport.

Public transport

The city does not operate its own municipal transport networks, but instead licenses four private bus companies to operate services on its behalf. The bus fares are set by the municipality for all four companies. In 2003, the city initiated an integrated city fare and created a hub near the city centre. Now, most of the bus routes pass through this hub and passengers pay a standard fare within the city zone, which enables them to transfer routes, even when these may be operated by another company. The transport network extends to certain distant areas, such as the city's airport and the Iguazu Park, but not between the city and its neighbor Ciudad del Este, nor with Puerto Iguazú, which are serviced by other companies. These routes are not part of the integrated network, a situation reflected by higher fares.

Avenida Brasil (Brazil Avenue)

Since Foz do Iguaçu's foundation, Brazil Avenue is the city's main road. While during its early years the street was primarily the military headquarters' location (now they are just in the right beginning of the Avenue), nowadays the street is a very active place where many retail stores are located. It is located at the downtown of the city and it is 5 km (3 mi) long (of which 3 km, 2 mi (3.2 km), is arterial road).

As of 2004, the prefecture of the city decided that a major revitalization of "Avenida Brasil" (Brazil Avenue) was needed. Attracting many consumers from many different areas of the city and even from its neighbours Ciudad del Este and Puerto Iguazú, the avenue, wide enough only to support two cars side-by-side, is frequently used during business days, and even more in important holidays (Christmas, Children's day, Easter, Mother's day), with many cars competing for a parking space.


The city has a literacy rate of 95.5%, with most children attending public or private schools. Public education has been a priority of the municipality of the city and the government of the state of Paraná; however, most middle and upper-class families continue to send their children to elite private schools.

The city has approximately 30 private schools and approximately 120 public schools (including daycare and kindergarten schools). In addition, there are six universities: Cesufoz, UDC, Uniamérica, Unifoz, Unioeste and Anglo-Americano Faculdades., .

In January 2010, the Universidade Federal da Integração Latino-Americana (UNILA) was founded.


As most Brazilian cities, health care in Foz is either public or private. While the private system provides the city's middle and elite classes with a rather good, modern and reliable health care, the public system is completely efficient and sufficient to suit the demand of the lower income or very poor classes (which compose 40% of the city's population).


Foz do Iguaçu area phone code (called DDD in Brazil) is 45.[3] Brazil international code is 55, so to call Foz do Iguaçu from abroad you have to dial 00 55 45 + phone number

Links to more information about Foz do Iguaçu & Brazil


    Tips on visiting Iguazú Falls

    1. There are two sides to Iguazú Falls: the Argentinian side and the Brazilian side. You can technically rush around both in a day, but two days gives you more time to take it all in.
    2. A standard itinerary would include a day and a half on the Argentinian side for its walking trails, a boat trip and the unmissable Devil's Throat viewpoint, then half a day in Brazil, including a stop at the point where the two countries meet Paraguay.
    3. The two parks are so close you can hop between them in a taxi. Check the current rate with your hotel.
    4. Visit midweek if you can and avoid local holidays
    5. Do your very best to time your visit with one of the monthly full-moon tours.
    6. Visitors in wheelchairs or with physical difficulties need not worry: Argentina has made 90% of the Iguazú park accessible to people with disabilities, and this includes all walkways and viewpoints.
    7. If you take a boat ride to the falls, opt for the slightly more expensive, longer approach, so you can see the falls rise impressively from nowhere.
    8. Pack a plastic poncho. You will get wet !!

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