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Iguazu Falls Hotel


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I see a lot of people on this board book the Gran Melia for their stay at Iguazu Falls. The Belmond Hotel das Cataratas seems quite appealing to me. Is there a reason why the majority chose the Melia over the other? I realize the Gran Melia is on the Brazilian side, but am I missing some other major factor? 

Also, once at the Falls, are there any tour companies you could recommend for boating excursions?

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I'm guessing only that it dates back to not very long ago that one had to have a Brazilian visa which was a pain to get. You had to have your flights booked and then send your passport and required info to a consulate or visa service. The required was temporarily lifted for the Olympics and now has been 'permanently'. Many years ago we stayed at the then Las Cataratas and it was a stunning property right by the falls. Belmond has fabulous properties so I'm betting it's even better now. I have no info re boating. It's a wonderful place and I'm glad we didn't miss it.

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13 minutes ago, clo said:

I'm guessing only that it dates back to not very long ago that one had to have a Brazilian visa which was a pain to get. You had to have your flights booked and then send your passport and required info to a consulate or visa service. The required was temporarily lifted for the Olympics and now has been 'permanently'. Many years ago we stayed at the then Las Cataratas and it was a stunning property right by the falls. Belmond has fabulous properties so I'm betting it's even better now. I have no info re boating. It's a wonderful place and I'm glad we didn't miss it.

Thanks! I noticed you were one of the few (only?) people on the boards who at stayed at Las Cataratas previously. Excellent point about the former visa issue. Thanks for chiming in!

 

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16 minutes ago, HALrunner said:

Thanks! I noticed you were one of the few (only?) people on the boards who at stayed at Las Cataratas previously. Excellent point about the former visa issue. Thanks for chiming in!

 

My pleasure. It was funny. I can't remember but somehow the light seemed odd. This was 25 years ago so no digital cameras. So I kept taking pictures and taking pictures and, of course, they all turned out 🙂

Edited by clo
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Hi! I want to update something that Clo mentioned:

 

* The VISA requierment to enter to Brazil is no longer operating since one year ago: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/brazil-lifts-visa-requirement/index.html

 

Regarding the hotel, i would suggest the Gran Melia instead of Belmond due to two reasons:

 

1) The Gran Melia Iguazu is in the argentinean national park, which is the largest park. You have more to see from this hotel and you can take the first train to the Devil's Throat circuit, which let you be there early in the morning with very few visitors around (something almost impossible after 12hs after the ground tours arrives). Also if you like trekking you can take the Macuco Trail which is a almost 5km circuit with a lot of faun and flora. This circuit is not possible to do it in a full day tour becuase you will not have enough time. 

 

2) The Gran Melia Iguazu had a change of brand recently and the hotel had a heavy wash of face. They changed all the decoration and upgraded their service. 

 

Regarding the boating excursions, we obviosly offer that, but as you are staying in Gran Melia Iguazu you can book it directly in one of the Iguazu Jungle desk. There's one close to the hotel. From Belmond Das Cataratas you have to take the Macuco Safari, look a bit into Google becuase they have a online page to buy your tickets.

 

Hope this helps!

Carlos 

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After our Santiago to Buenos Aires cruise we took a short Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Iguazu.  (February 29 - March 3, 2020)

We hired a driver through the hotel to pick us up at the hotel for ourselves and another couple.  $12.00 USD.  He was waiting for us after luggage pick up.  He was very personable and strived to tell us in his best English about the sights on the ride to the Gran Melia Iguazu.

 

Upon arrival we upgraded our Falls View to a Suite with Falls View.  Our friends had a Falls View.  The falls view is definitely worth the extra money.  Speaking of money - If you join the Gran Melia Loyalty Program they immediately give you 2,000 points to use for your room.  This significantly reduced the price.

 

We did take a day trip via private driver to the Brazil side.  We left a 9:00 and our driver walked us through both immigration stops each way, helped us to purchase our park entrance tickets, and the boat ride ticket.  He then gave us some tips and we were on our way.  The driver waited for us all day and was in the coffee shop when we finally emerged.  I think the driver was about $120.00 USD.  The Brazil side is much smaller and can be done in one day.  The Argentine side needs at least two days.

 

The Gran Melia was spectacular.  The rooms were very nice, clean, and modern.  The views were outstanding.  The included breakfast was very good and lots of choices.  They even have a fresh squeezed orange juice machine.  The dinners were yummy and large portions.  After the first night my husband and I ordered only one entre and two salads.  We still could not finish everything on our plate.

 

The sunrises in the morning from either your room or the lobby are spectacular.  The wildlife around the hotel and in the park are fun and very photogenic.  Being able to just walk past the pool and onto the trails make it so easy and you can beat the crowds.  When you go to the Devil's Throat you can get one of the first trains to the trail.  (TIP - When you go to the devils throat bring your water camera.)

 

We did go to the Belmond (love their hotels) while on the Brazil side.  I do not think many, if any, of the rooms have a view of the falls.  It is a grand hotel with a more old world feel than the Gran Melia.  The Gran Melia is more organic and contemporary.

 

 

IMG_1424.JPEG

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27 minutes ago, Heartfelttraveler said:

After our Santiago to Buenos Aires cruise we took a short Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Iguazu.  (February 29 - March 3, 2020)

We hired a driver through the hotel to pick us up at the hotel for ourselves and another couple.  $12.00 USD.  He was waiting for us after luggage pick up.  He was very personable and strived to tell us in his best English about the sights on the ride to the Gran Melia Iguazu.

 

Upon arrival we upgraded our Falls View to a Suite with Falls View.  Our friends had a Falls View.  The falls view is definitely worth the extra money.  Speaking of money - If you join the Gran Melia Loyalty Program they immediately give you 2,000 points to use for your room.  This significantly reduced the price.

 

We did take a day trip via private driver to the Brazil side.  We left a 9:00 and our driver walked us through both immigration stops each way, helped us to purchase our park entrance tickets, and the boat ride ticket.  He then gave us some tips and we were on our way.  The driver waited for us all day and was in the coffee shop when we finally emerged.  I think the driver was about $120.00 USD.  The Brazil side is much smaller and can be done in one day.  The Argentine side needs at least two days.

 

The Gran Melia was spectacular.  The rooms were very nice, clean, and modern.  The views were outstanding.  The included breakfast was very good and lots of choices.  They even have a fresh squeezed orange juice machine.  The dinners were yummy and large portions.  After the first night my husband and I ordered only one entre and two salads.  We still could not finish everything on our plate.

 

The sunrises in the morning from either your room or the lobby are spectacular.  The wildlife around the hotel and in the park are fun and very photogenic.  Being able to just walk past the pool and onto the trails make it so easy and you can beat the crowds.  When you go to the Devil's Throat you can get one of the first trains to the trail.  (TIP - When you go to the devils throat bring your water camera.)

 

We did go to the Belmond (love their hotels) while on the Brazil side.  I do not think many, if any, of the rooms have a view of the falls.  It is a grand hotel with a more old world feel than the Gran Melia.  The Gran Melia is more organic and contemporary.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience and tips! 

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  • 10 months later...

We have booked a Santiago to Buenos Aires cruise Jan '23, yes along way out. I would LOVE  to see Highway Falls!!! What is the best way to get there, where to stay?

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  • 5 weeks later...

Highway Falls?  Sorry, I'm confused as to which falls you mean.  If it is the Iguazu Falls as noted in the title of the thread, then I would say definitely make plans to see them.  We arrived in Buenos Aires a few days before our cruise from Buenos Aires to Vancouver.  I would say Iguazu was the highlitght.  We also stayed at the Gran Melia and it is a delightful place to stay.  Since you are already in the park, you do not have to pay an entrance fee every time you enter.  It is wonderful to be able to return to the hotel and sit out on the patio, viewing the falls while resting.  We flew from BA to Iguazu, a short flight.

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