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Fodor's Brazil 2014
Itaipú Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant
Itaipú Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant Review
It took more than 30,000 workers eight years to build this 8-km (5-mile) dam, voted one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The monumental structure produces 25% of Brazil's electricity and 78% of Paraguay's, and was the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world until China's Three Gorges (Yangtze) Dam was completed.
You get plenty of insight into how proud this makes the Brazilian government—and some idea of how the dam was built—during the 30-minute video that precedes hour-long guided panoramic bus tours of the complex. Although commentaries are humdrum, the sheer size of the dam is an impressive sight. To see more than a view over the spillways, consider the special tours, which take you inside the cavernous structure and include a visit to the control room. Night tours—which include a light-and-sound show—begin at 8 on Friday and Saturday, 9 during the summer months (reserve ahead).
Ecomuseu de Itaipú. At the Ecomuseu de Itaipú you can learn about the geology, archaeology, and efforts to preserve the flora and fauna of the area since the Itaipú Dam and Hydoelectric Power Plant was built. Note, however, that this museum is funded by the dam's operator, Itaipú Binacional, so the information isn't necessarily objective. Av. Tancredo Neves 6001, 85867–970. 045/3520–6398. www.turismoitaipu.com.br. R$10. Tues.–Sun 8–4:30.
- Address: Av. Tancredo Neves 6702, Foz do Iguaçu, 85867–970 | Map It
- Phone: 0800/645–4645
- Cost: Panoramic tour R$24, special tour R$60
- Hours: Regular tours daily 8–4 (hourly on the hour). Special tours daily 8, 8:30, 10, 10:30, 1:30, 2, 3:30, and 4
- Website: www.turismoitaipu.com.br
- Location: Iguaçu Falls
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