Iguazu, Brazil

Foz do Iguaçu has a relatively large land area as it is regarded as the 4th largest city in Paraná state and the 11th largest in Brazil’s Southern region. It has 309,000 inhabitants. The city is 650 km (400 mi) west of Curitiba, Parana’s capital city and is the westernmost city in that state. The locals are called iguaçuenses.

Tourism is fast emerging in this part of Brazil. Frequent visitors are Brazilians from other parts of the country, Argentines, Canadians, Americans, British, Germans, Italians, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, Japanese and Chinese tourists. About a hundred hotels and inns are available in the city.

Tourist sites include:

Iguaçu Falls. The falls flow on both the Brazilian and Argentine sides and have a flow capacity three times more than the Niagara Falls. On the Argentine end, the tallest part of the falls is the “Garganta do Diabo” (“Devil’s Throat” in Portuguese) with a height of 318 ft (97 m).

The dam supplies 20% of Brazil’s electricity needs and about 5,000 Iguaçuenses have been either directly and indirectly employed by the facility.

Parque Nacional do Iguaçu (Iguaçu National Park). This IBAMA protected site is also both in Brazil and Argentina.

Itaipu Dam. Situated between Brazil and Paraguay, the dam is the world’s second-largest generator of hydro-electric power. Water flows from the Parana river.

Tríplice Fronteira (Triple Frontier). It is called as such as it is right at the meeting point of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. The sides have their own Marco or landmark.

Omar Ibn Al-Khattab mosque. It’s the largest mosque outside the Middle East.

The Bird Park (Parque das Aves). Featured in the park are different wild birds as well as the city zoo called “Bosque Guaraní”.

The neighboring duty-free market Ciudad del Este in Paraguay provides employment for many Iguacuenses. Trading between Brazil and Paraguay is made possible by the
Friendship Bridge (called Ponte da Amizade in Brazil). The Fraternity Bridge (Ponte da Fraternidade, or Ponte Tancredo Neves, in Brazil), on the other hand, links Foz do Iguaçu with Puerto Iguazú in Argentina. But it’s importance is less compared to the Friendship Bridge. But recently, the Friendship Bridge has been caught into traffic congestion, blockades, and protests.

The city’s position in Mercosul makes it strategic and an increase in its importance is expected after the SACN (South Community of Nations) has been formed.