The world's largest power plant impresses with its size and structure. Located between Brazil and Paraguay, the Itaipu Binacional Dam is the result of the union of two peoples, technology, engineering and more than 40,000 people who worked during its construction. Giving new shape to the region, the dam is fully operational and generates energy that supplies Paraguayan and Brazilian cities throughout the year.
The reservoir of the plant formed an artificial lake in the Paraná Riverbed. It has a length of 170 km and a maximum volume of 29 billion m³ of water, amount that is sufficient to distribute 4 thousand liters of water to each inhabitant of the Planet. It is possible to observe the immensity of this lake when passing by the top of the dam or navigating in some of the circuits offered by the tourist complex. Also from the outside one can see the 20 turbines, which are the large white tubes that protrude perpendicularly from the huge concrete wall. The flow capacity of each of these conduits is 690 m³ per second, exactly half of the average flow of the Iguassu Falls.
If on the outside the colossal dam catches the eye, walking through the interior of the plant keeps the visitor dazzled. There are corridors that are over 1km long and concrete walls that are tens of meters high. Through a guided tour, the visitor goes through the control room and it is possible to reach one of the turbines. Seeing one of the rotors running allows us to feel the full force of power generation.
In addition to the entire structure dedicated to energy production, Itaipu Binacional develops important fauna and flora preservation projects at the Bela Vista Biological Refuge, located within the binational area, which is open to visitors. In addition to this visit and the two tours available at the dam, there are other tours available, such as the Astronomical Pole, the Kattamaram I, the Ecomuseum and the Illuminated Itaipu.
What to do
There are several tours that are part of the tourist complex of Itaipu Binacional.
Special Itaipu: A route in the heart of the plant, where it is possible to observe the activity of a rotor of one of the generating units. The circuit also takes the visitor to the central control room, as well as to the main external areas with stops in lookouts.
Panoramic Itaipu: A trip through some external areas of the plant and stop at two lookouts with a privileged view on the dam.
Illuminated Itaipu: Performed at night, with a stop at the central belvedere and exceptional view of the dam illuminated by 747 reflectors and 112 luminaires. A soundtrack composes the attraction and turn the lights on in sync, revealing the nearly 8km length of the structure.
Itaipu Biological Refuge: There are 50 animal species and more than 960 plant genera housed in this protection unit created and maintained by Itaipu Binacional. There are two kilometers of guided trail through the native forest, with plenty of lessons about the environment.
Itaipu Kattamaram Sunset: During this tour you can sail on the giant Itaipu lake in the comfort of a Kattamaram boat. The highlight of the tour is the sunset, especially reflected in the waters of the lake.
Itaipu Ecomuseum: A return to the past driven by installation and equipment that allow interaction and realism. The site recreates scenarios ranging from the prehistoric period to the village of Foz do Iguaçu and the construction of the plant. There is a huge model of 76 m² that reproduces the whole trinational region.
Itaipu Astronomical Pole Night: The sidereal experience at the Casimiro Montenegro Filho Astronomical Pole brings together a planetarium, observatory and observation platform with naked eyes — like few of its kind in the world.
* Specifically for the “Itaipu Special” tour, it is important to note the obligation to wear below-the-knee clothing, preferably long pants and closed shoes without heels, as well as not carrying backpacks or purses.