Itaipu Dam and hydroelectric power plant, close to the
Iguasssu Falls, is the largest development of its kind
in operation in the world and represents the accomplishments
of the both Brazil and the neighboring country of Paraguay.
The dam shifts the course of the seventh largest river
in the world, the Parana.
The dam was built because both countries, which had suffered
major droughts, wanted to use water from the rivers more
effectively for crops, cattle, factories and industries.
The 18 turbines, or engines in the dam wall, are turned
by the water to generate 75 billion kilowatts of electricity
each year, with cables taking this electricity to supply
25 percent of the energy consumed in Brazil and 78 percent
of the demand in Paraguay.
The power plant is a major tourist attraction in the
Foz do Iguacu area, and has received millions of visitors
from around the globe. Tours include a film about the
construction, which took seven years and 30,000 people,
and a bus trip around the dam to various points of interest.
You'll do best to purchase tickets in advance at local