When is the best time to visit Iguazu Falls?
Well that really depends on what you’re trying to get out of your visit?
Are you looking for more water in the waterfall? More activities to do at the waterfall? More agreeable weather for better photographs? A less crowded experience? Some or all of the above?
Based on our limited sample size of one, we can extrapolate our experiences and compare with the historical averages. But at the end of the day, there’s enough variations from day-to-day, season-to-season, and year-to-year to contradict even the historical averages from time to time.
Nevertheless, in this post, we’re taking a closer look at our personal experiences as well as the historical averages and see how they stack up so that you can consider these observations to make your own judgment call.
Our Personal Experience
We made our visit on a Labor Day Weekend at the very end of August and into the first two days of September 2007.
According to our guide at the time, he said that we made our visit at perhaps the perfect time of the year, because he contended that the weather was cooler, the crowds weren’t as intense, and the waterflow was said to be neither too flooded nor too dry.
Who were we to argue with someone who said he had been doing this for 25 years!
In any case, at the time of our visit, Iguazu Falls seemed to be in a somewhat above average to average flow when compared to some photos circulating about on the web.
In fact, access to the San Martin Island was closed until our very last day there, when apparently the waterflow was low enough to make visitation safer.
Weather wise, on the first two days of our trip, we experienced mostly overcast skies. However, on our third and last day, we experienced sunny weather with blue skies.
And on both mornings of our stay, there was fog hovering over the area before it burned off by mid- to late morning. You can see a photo of what the morning fog was like at the very top of this post.
So I guess we either got lucky with the timing of our visit, or our guide was correct in that we showed up in a transitional period where we managed to get a good combination of decent waterflow, agreeable weather, and availability of activities.
Similarly, we could also conclude that we could come back at around the exact same time and have a completely different experience. It’s just hard to say with certainty what will happen.
However, even as I say this, once reliable historical norms may be a thing of the past as Global Warming continues to disrupt climate stability and rainfall distributions around the world.
As for other considerations regarding the timing of a visit, we’ve been told that January through February was actually a holiday period for Argentineans and Brazilians. Easter was also said to be a very busy time, and June/July was subject to Winter break for South American schools.
Given these holiday periods, I’d imagine prices and the crowd factor would peak, and that they’d probably be the times to avoid if seeking the best bang for the buck.
In terms of year-to-year climate patterns, all we can really glean from historical data was that Iguazu Falls (or more importantly the drainages further upstream) didn’t appear to have a pronounced wet nor dry season.
In fact, according to Wikipedia, we saw that the only real reliable climate pattern related to temperature as opposed to precipitation.
For example, from looking at the data, there was a cool, moderately humid season typically from April through September. Then, there was a stiflingly hot and steamy season around October through March.
So our visit in 2007 pretty much was at the tail end of that “cool” season.
Now even as I say these things based on the historical averages, I’m aware that there were droughts that rendered the falls dry or nearly dry in recent years such as in July-August 2006 and May 2009. Conversely, there was record flooding in June 2014.
Indeed, it would be hard to predict such anomalies based on the historical data alone.
And making such predictions would be further hampered by the climate instability and rainfall distribution changes resulting from Global Warming and Climate Change.
So if I had to place my bets on when I would time another trip, I’d probably shoot for the exact same time that Julie and I made our first visit on around the late August early September time frame.
But like I said earlier, it’s hard to say for certain when is the best time anyways. So at the end of the day, only extremes like drought and/or flooding could adversely affect a visit, but unless you happen to read about this stuff on the news prior to making a booking, you mind as well just go with the flow and take things as they come…
More Photos From Our Late May 2008 Visit
Just to give you an idea of how our experience went at Iguazu Falls, here are some more pictures taken from that Labor Day Weekend 2007 visit.