My crazy plan to visit the spectacular Iguazu Falls was simple. Start in Cuidad de Este, Paraguay. Go over the Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil to get an overview of the waterfalls. Then hop over to Puerto Iguazú, Argentina to see the falls up close and personal. Easy, right?
Here was what I did.
Ciudad de Este, Paraguay to Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
- Get any bus to Terminal de Urbanos. (Gs. 3,000/50¢) [in PYG only].
- From the terminal, walk for 15 minutes to the Paraguay immigration office and stamp out of Paraguay.
- Wait for the international bus to Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil outside the immigration office. (Gs. 10,000/R$6/$1.65) [in PYG or BRL].
- At the Brazilian border, you do not need to leave the bus for immigration as the country allows people to go in and out of Foz do Iguaçu easily. If you are planning to continue on to the rest of Brazil, then you do need to get a stamp into Brazil.
- At the immigration checkpoint, you stay on the bus, but a Customs Officier will board the bus. Open your bag for inspection. As long as you didn’t bring with you a whole bunch of electronics in new packaging from Paraguay, you’re fine.
- Once in Brazil, get off in front of Terminal De Transporte Urbano. The bus will not enter this terminal.
- Get Linea 120 to Aeroporto/
Catartas. (R$3.75/$1) [only in BRL]. The last station is the entrance to the Brazil side of the waterfalls.
- The entrance fee is R$70/$18.57 [only in BRL or credit card]. I highly recommend you pay by credit card as there are card kiosks to handle payment. The queue for the ticket office was ridiculously long.
Views from the Brazilian Side
You will need to take a bus to get to the falls. If you go early in the morning, there isn’t much of a queue for the bus. By 10 am, expect to wait an hour or so before boarding.
The Brazilian side of the Iguazu offers a nice panoramic view of the waterfalls. Unless you want to do other activities in this park, which isn’t included in the ticket price, this walk takes about an hour to two, the most.
Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil to
Puerto Iguazú, Argentina
- At the bus stop at the Brazilian national park, wait for the Crucero de Norte bus to Puerto Iguazú. (R$20/$210 ARS/$5.30) [in BRL or ARS].
- The bus will wait for you at immigration in Argentina as you stamp into the country.
- Ask the driver to drop you off at a taxi stand for the Cataratas (waterfalls). The taxi and bus from Puerto Iguazú to the falls are the same price. (R$25/$160 ARS/$6.63) [in BRL or ARS]. For the bus, the company that runs the route is Rio Uruguay.
- The entrance fee for the Argentinean side of the park is $700 ARS/$17.93 [only in ARS or credit card]. There is the ticket office only to pay for the ticket.
- To get to the falls, you will need to take a train, which is included in the price. From the park entrance to the end of the line (Garganta del Diablo) takes about 45 minutes. You can also walk alongside the train tracks, but it’s hot.
Views from the Argentina Side
The Argentina side of Iguazu Falls offers a more up-close-and-personal view of the waterfalls.
I first went to the Garganta del Diablo. It was a good 15 minute walk on a bridge to get to these massive falls, but it was worth it. Feeling the rush and being showered by the water was amazing. And if you look carefully, you can wave hi to the people on the Brazilian side.
Then, I went to the Cataratas Station and followed the upper trail to see some smaller waterfalls. There are also
The only downside of the Argentina side of the park is the train. It’s slow and extremely packed, so you have to get a number to board the train. There is a walking trail, but there’s no shade and it’s muggy.
The Animals of Iguazu
The Argentina side had more animals bumming around compared to the Brazilian side.
Puerto Iguazú, Argentina back to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
- Take the Rio Uruguay bus from the park to the Puerto Iguazú Terminal. ($160 ARS/$6.63) [in ARS only. The sign outside the ticket office said they take credit card, but of course, the machine was broken.]
- On platform 7, there will be a bus that will go straight to Ciudad del Este ($100 ARS/Gs. 15,000) [ARS or PYG].
- Everyone on the bus must get off at immigration in Argentina, so the bus will wait for everyone.
- Only foreigners not belonging to MERCOSUR will need to go to immigration in Paraguay to get stamped in. The bus will not wait for you. If you get lucky like me, there will be lots of traffic in the afternoon. I was able to catch up with the bus and reboard without paying again.
If I had to do it all over again, I would focus on the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls because there is more to see and do. Originally, that was my plan, but I ended up in Brazil first. I also would have gone to the Paraguay border at 6 am, but I wanted breakfast. Oh well.