Salto Arrechea

Iguazu Falls National Park, Misiones, Argentina

About Salto Arrechea

Hiking Distance: 5-7km round trip
Suggested Time: 3 hours

Date first visited: 2007-09-02
Date last visited: 2007-09-02

Waterfall Latitude: -25.65547
Waterfall Longitude: -54.45593

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Salto Arrechea seemed to us to be a bit off the beaten path even though I think it was technically part of the larger network of waterfalls comprising Iguazú Falls.

We’ve treated this as a separate waterfall because we had to hike about 90 minutes to get there from the Sheraton Iguazú along Sendero Macuco.

Iguazu_Falls_801_09022007 - Salto Arrechea spilling right onto rocks at its base
Salto Arrechea spilling right onto rocks at its base

It was said to be 2.5km each way though I did read somewhere that it was actually 7km return.

In any case, it only took us another hour to return to the general Iguazú Falls area, but it was for that reason (that we had to do some hiking) that we did get a pretty peaceful experience.

After all, there were far fewer tourists and the sounds of the jungle were broken only by Brazilian tour helicopters periodically flying over Iguazú Falls.

Given the relative peace and quiet of Sendero Macuco, we were told that it was possible to see exotic wildlife within the subtropical rainforest that the trail meandered through.

The morning would probably be the best time for this, but one thing we always kept in the back of our minds was the presence of jaguars.

Iguazu_Falls_782_09022007 - The entirety of Salto Arrechea
The entirety of Salto Arrechea

Apparently, back in 1991, a kid was eaten by one.

But other than that one incident, I believed that as long as we stayed together and didn’t go it alone, we were fine.

In our visit, we saw lots of colorful butterflies and heard some native birds here and there.

The waterfall was a thin but tall 30m or so.

It clearly lacked the size and force of the larger more famous neighboring waterfall, but it seemed like Salto Arrechea was more of an excuse to escape crowds and go for a refreshing swim.

We even noticed a guy who felt comfortable enough with the relative seclusion here to go for a skinny dip.

Iguazu_Falls_759_09022007 - Julie on the trail headed to Salto Arrechea
Julie on the trail headed to Salto Arrechea

The trail also provided a viewpoint at the top of this waterfall.

From there, we followed a steep path leaving the boardwalk descending to the base of the waterfall for access to its plunge pool.


Salto Arrechea resides near Puerto Iguazú in the province of Misiones, Argentina. To my knowledge, there doesn’t appear to be an official governmental authority directly managing Iguazu Falls National Park. Instead, it seems to me that the governmental authority has delegated management responsibilities to the primary concessioners, which is subject to change.

So for information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting Iguazu Argentina website. I don’t think it is sanctioned by the governments as authoritative sources of information, but it should get you started on any further inquiries you may have.

Iguazu_Falls_756_09022007 - Walking the road to get to the trailhead for Sendero Macuco
Iguazu_Falls_758_09022007 - Well signposted trailhead for the Sendero Macuco (the trail leading to Salto Arrechea)
Iguazu_Falls_259_jx_09022007 - This sign pretty much summed up the naturalness of the Sendero Macuco as it was certainly removed from most of the action at the Iguazu Falls
Iguazu_Falls_762_09022007 - Julie passing by a rubbish bin by the Sendero Macuco
Iguazu_Falls_763_09022007 - I believe the boardwalks were there to keep walkers from having to deal with the muddiest sections
Iguazu_Falls_764_09022007 - Looking over the brink of Salto Arrechea and the stream making its way to the Iguazu River
Iguazu_Falls_257_jx_09022007 - Map sign pretty much summing up what there was to see and do at the Salto Arrechea and how the Sendero Macuco fits into all of that
Iguazu_Falls_261_jx_09022007 - Sign pointing us towards Salto Arrechea along with other things
Iguazu_Falls_769_09022007 - Steep and potentially slippery path to the base of Salto Arrechea
Iguazu_Falls_777_09022007 - At the base of the waterfall where there's a guy cooling off nude
Iguazu_Falls_796_09022007 - A slightly more direct look at the Salto Arrechea
Iguazu_Falls_265_jx_09022007 - This guy had no issues skinny dipping at Salto Arrechea
Iguazu_Falls_278_jx_09022007 - After watching shows like Naked and Afraid, I definitely appreciated the danger (or at least the pain) that a single bullet ant like this one can inflict

Since we stayed at the Sheraton Iguazú on the Argentina side, we didn’t need any motorized transport to get onto this trail.

I recalled we walked the road connecting the hotel and the visitor center.

The somewhat “hidden” trailhead was within this stretch of road.

For context, the Sheraton Iguazú was near Puerto Iguazú, which itself was about 6.5 hours flight from Buenos Aires.

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Tagged with: iguazu falls, misiones, parana, macuco, swim, swimming, hike, sendero, argentina, waterfall

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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