Agencias / Agencies
Recién llegado al aeropuerto te recoge el autobús de una agencia de viajes y en él va un Sr. que "vende" a los recién llegados las excursiones de los próximos días .Como el recorrido hasta los hoteles es muy corto , presionan fuertemente a los turistas para que decidan de inmediato y le cobran hasta 10x de lo que les saldría hacerlo por su cuenta
Just arrived to the airport a travels agency bus picks you up and on it there is a person who "sells" to the just arrived the excursions for the next days . As the trip up to the Hotels is short , they make a lot of pressure to the tourists in order that they take an urgent decision and they charge them up to 10x what should cost them if they negotiate directly
Unique Suggestions: Ten toda la información que puedas , no tienes que tomar la decisión en el autobús , espera a llegar al hotel o al pueblo , consulta por allí y luego toma la decisión con calma
Have as much info as you can , you must not take the decision in the bus , wait to reach to the hotel or to the village , ask around and then take with calm the decision
Remenber that the passport is absolutely necesary if you come from the brazilian side of the border. if you just go for one day or with a tour they'll probably don't put stamp on it, but bring it anyway
Promise heaven and earth
I don't really know in which category to put this one. But you can almost say it's a habit of the residents, or more precisely, the owners of hotels and travel agencys to make tourists pay through their nose. I have been travelling through Argentina and Paraguay and never had such problems as in Iguazu. They promise you heaven and give you a ladder.
Unique Suggestions: My advice is, ask for every little detail before you book a tour, a hotel or anything else.
Hotel says: "Breakfast included"
Ask them of what consists a breakfast. If it includes tea, coffee or bread with butter.
Agency says: "The marvelous cascade from the brasilian side. Entrance for the National Park included"
Ask them if the entrance is really included or if they are just lying to catch your attention.
I hope it is clear what I am trying to say.
Fun Alternatives: If you can afford it, try to get a place in the more expensive hotels, such as Pirayu Resort or the Sheraton inside the park. I've met many persons who had made good experiences with those.
Caracol Viajes - Fraud
I booked a tour for 42 Pesos that included (original text from the brochure):
1) Puente Tancredo Neves que une Argentina con Brasil
2) Fabrica de Chocolates Caseros y artesanias "Tres Fronteras"
3) Las maravillosas Cataratas del Iguazu (lado Brasile?o)
4) Ciudad Tour por la Ciudad de Foz do Iguacu com tiempo libre para realizar sus compras
5) Almuerzo con una variedad de platos fr?os y carnes asadas que podr? repetir a gusto
6) Documental sobre Itaipu y posteriormente....
7) Visita a la represa de Itaipu.
8) Regreso a la Argentina
9) Traslado hasta su Hotel.
Here is what they gave me:
1) We crossed the bridge without saying a word
3) I had to pay the entranca although they had written to me in an email that it was included in the price (lie = fraud??)
5) Yes, but I had to pay for drinks.
6) 5 minutes of glorification of the "world wonder". moreover i missed the beginning because we arrived late.
7) Yes, but don't even think of getting close or even inside.
When I complained in their office, they still were not capable of saying the truth and of course they did not return money. Conclusion: it pays off to betray and to lie to the tourists. I am really disappointed and pissed off since this is not the only Iguazu Trap (see my other tips).
Unique Suggestions: If you have been frauded already, walk into the agency and complain about it loudly so that other clients can hear it.
Fun Alternatives: do everything on your own. buy a bus ticket and head off to Foz do Iguacu.
Jard?n de Picaflores
What can you do in Puerto Iguazu, when you have half day left until you leave? I had a brochure that showed me an Orquidiario. It didn't exist anymore... so I went to the Garden of Hummingbirds (Jardin de Picaflores). Entrance 4 Pesos. What they offer: 1 (one) bench to sit down and watch hummingbirds drink sugarwater. This is not even worth 25 cents. Don't be a fool, don't go inside, don't pay 4 Pesos. To cap it all off, they have a box for contributions. It sucks to be the stupid foreigner with dollar signs on the forehead. I am NOT rich! And it's a pity they have to rip off tourists in that way. Shame on you!
Museo La Aripuca
It was recommended that I go to La Aripuca and then go and see the birds at Guira-Oga.
Hey, why not? I had been told that they were both interesting. I couldn't find anything that sounded any better.
The entrance fee for each one was 4 pesos. They are pretty close together but far enough out that I would not recommend walking.
La Aripuca consisted of a couple of buildings made out of logs. I had a problem figuring out why anyone would want to wander around looking at them.
The birds at Guira-Oga were all in cages and apparently were there to recover from various injuries. If you want to see a toucan or maybe a parrot, this place was OK. If some of your entrance fee actually goes to help out the local bird population, that's OK too. If you have nothing better to do, then give this mini-zoo a shot.
Of these two places, the birds were mildly interesting. I found nothing at La Aripuca that was worth my 4P.
Unique Suggestions: Try to look interested and maybe you will even fool yourself.
Fun Alternatives: I bought a birdwatching tour from the lads at the Four Tourist Travel booth at the airport. Don't recall the price, but it wasn't cheap. It consisted of a 4 wheel drive vehicle, a driver and an English speaking guide. We left the hotel at 5:00AM and spent 4-5 hrs driving and walking down muddy roads looking for birds with binoculars. We saw some parrots and other colorful birds and ruined a pair of old shoes in the red mud. Had a pretty nice time.
The guide knew his birds pretty well. We didn't see a lot of birds but I enjoyed seeing the country-side and felt the trip was a lot of fun.
Be absolutely sure that the guide knows you do not have your own binoculars. He can provide them. When I booked the tour, I told them I had no binoculars. When the guide showed up, he had been told that I did have them. He went and got a pair.