Flying to Puerto Iguazù
Argentina is a huge country and the distance between Buenos Aires and Puerto Iguazù is more than 1200 km’s. The most convenient and fast way of travelling is by airplane. Most domestic flights within Argentina are operated by Aerolineas Argentinas/Austral, LAN Argentina and Andes Líneas Aéreas.
The airport of Puerto Iguazù is situated 17 km's from town. For transport to your accommodation you can use a shuttle bus, taxi/remises or a pick up service from your hotel.
Aerolineas had 'on again off again labour problems'. LAN Argentina is a very good alternative for flying in Argentina. Aerolineas Argentinas (from August 2010) has its Aerolineas has its Corredor Federal to/from Iguazu and Mendoza: http://www.aerolineas.com.ar/arg/main.asp?idSitio=AR&idPagina=49&idIdioma=es&id=1250
Aerolineas and LAN have 'airpasses':
LAN has a 'South America Airpass' for travellers reaching South America with LAN or an other OneWorld airline:
There is also a One World South American Air Pass, sometimes with better deals than LAN:
Aerolineas has 'Visite Argentina' fares for foreigners arriving with an international ticket to Argentina. This ‘airpass’ can be affordable if you intend to make more flights within the country: http://www.aerolineas.com.ar/arg/main.asp?idSitio=EU&idPagina=49&idIdioma=en&id=170
Some remarks while flying in Argentina
- If you have a domestic flight after your international arrival in Bs As, be aware almost all domestic flights do leave from the airport Aeroparque, about 40 km’s from the international airport Ezeiza. By taxi or remise it will take 45 to 60 minutes travel time !!
- If you can not get affordable tickets, try a package deal; mostly they offer great value for the money.
- Travelling by plane is 3 à 4 times more expensive than by bus, but it is 10 times faster !!
(for instance Bs As - Iguazu: by plane 1 hour 45 minutes, by bus 18 hours)
- The luggage franchise on domestic flights of Aerolineas is officially 15 kg’s !!
(although we always carried 20 kg’s and never had any problem); with LAN it is 20 kg's and Andes is 15 kg's.
Short trip from BA to Iguazu
Just an overnight trip would not give you a good feeling of the Falls, even though in one day you can try to do both sides of the Falls. But the Brasilian side is much more spectacular. Technically, you can leave early morning from BA to Iguazu.perhaps go directly to the Brasilian side and spend until sunset there and come back to the argentine side. and spend the second day looking at the argentine side and then go back to BA that evening.
It is a rushed trip,but it would be much more wonderful if you could spare another day. but organizing it properly you could see both the brasilian and argentine side. I would recommend you to stay at the argentine side.
You might also consider a tour from BA including the aifare, hotel and tours..
We arranged everything with this loacltour companty to take us around the falls.They were referred by members on this this and I have to say they were wonderful and their rates were less than we could have arranged on our own and alot more convenient.They saved us lots of time!
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AR-BR on Crucero del Norte bus
This is a more 'luxurious' option (if not taking an escorted tour) to the Brazilian Falls. The bus leaves from Terminal de Omnibus 5 times a day, starting from 8:20 a.m. onward. I recommend taking the earliest one and get back on either 1p or 5p bus. Cost is $35 Pesos round-trip. The bus will drop you off at the borders on both sides and wait till you're done. So don't worry about being bumped like some people who took local buses had experienced.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
El Practico Bus to Parque Nacional de Iguazu
The cheapest way to get from Puerto Iguazu to the Parque is by this local bus. You can either catch one at Terminal de Omnibus or anywhere en-route (it says 'Cataratas'). The fare is $5 Pesos each way and it takes roughly about 20 minutes. The bus departs every 20-30 minutes from dawn till about 9 p.m. (but the park closes at 6 p.m. anyway). The busiest time would be from 9-10 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. when you might not be able to find a single seat!
- Road Trip
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Long distance bus-cheap way of travelling
Due to a strike of the pilots of Aerolineas Argentinas, we were almost forced to take the bus from Iguazù to Buenos Aires. But now I have a lot of information about these long distance buses in Argentina. I think it is an alternative for travelling by plane and one can reach ‘every corner’ of this enormous country by bus.
In Buenos Aires the bus to Iguazù leaves from the central situated Retiro Bus Station (next to the railway station); the central bus station in Iguazù is situated at Av Cordoba/Av Misiones. You can buy tickets at the offices of the bus companies in this stations or just do it on the internet. Following companies offer bus services between Bs As and Puerto Iguazù:
'Crucero del Norte', 'Via Bariloche', 'Expreso Singer SA' and 'Expreso Tigre iguazù'.
For long(er) distances, which are travelled overnight, there are two kinds of busses: semi-cama (with a reclining seat) and cama ejec or suite (more or less a bed). Most of them offer meals and drinks, do have a lavatory and will make some stops on their way. Be aware the distance from Bs As to Iguazù is more than 1200 km's.
Travelling by bus is much cheaper than by plane (2 or 3 times cheaper), but off course is much slower (10 times). Mostly buses will leave in the (late) afternoon and reach their destination in the (late) morning.
- Buenos Aires – Iguazu: between 215 and 310 pesos (2009) / 16 - 18 hours
For more information see the websites:
Taxis or remises everywhere
Taxis (or remises) are often used in Puerto Iguazú. Especially to and from the National Park and to and from the airport. They are much more expensive than the local bus (about 10 times !!). For instance a taxi ride to the Falls will be around 40 pesos and by bus it is 4 pesos; the same for a ride to Brazil, by taxi 40 pesos, by bus 4 pesos !!
If you are lucky taxi drivers will offer you a discount, specially for longer trips.
We used the taxi a couple of times to go to town, staying in a hotel outside town (4 km’s along Ruta 12). Sometimes taxis are waiting in front of your hotel or driving along the main road (Ruta 12), otherwise you (or your hotel) will have to phone for a taxi. In Puerto Iguazù we saw ‘on every corner of the street’ taxis waiting and also some offices ('remiserias'). We never had any problem to get a taxi.
Most of the taxi drivers try to ‘sell’ a ‘next trip’ to one of the sights in or outside town.
Local busses - very cheap
Local busses are the cheapest way of transportation to/from the town and the Iguazù Falls, or between the hotels outside the town and the town centre.
The yellow coloured busses of 'El Practico' run daily every half hour:
from Puerto Iguazù to the falls: from 7.10 am till 7.40 pm
from Nat. Park to the town: from 7.45 am till 8.15 pm
One way ticket: 4 pesos (2008/2009); you can buy your tickets from the driver.
In Puerto Iguazu are some bus stops, outside the town we just waited along the road and stopped the bus by raising our hands. On our way back from the falls somebody was playing a harp inside the bus; that makes travelling with local busses so special.
The bus to Brazil is also more or less a local bus and does leave from the central bus station (Av Cordoba - Av Misiones) and has also a couple of stops in town before heading to the border. One way ticket: 4 pesos or 4 reales.
(If travelling to Brazil see ‘General Tips’ for the border crossing.)
There is a major bus station in the city where buses come often from all the major cities in the area and neighbouring countries.
Buses leave regularly from Puerto Iguazú to the Centro de Informes for tours of the Iguazú falls.
Parana to Puerto Iguazu
Our trip to Puerto Iguazu gave us our first taste of long distance travel in Argentina. And we were very impressed. We left Parana, in the north east, travelled 15 hours overnight and were still in the north-east when we arrived in Puerto Iguazu the next day. This gives you an idea of just how huge Argentina is!
We travelled with PlusUltra who run buses 3 times a week along the Cordoba-Puerto Iguazu route. It cost us 120 Pesos for a single ticket and we had very comfortable seats. We travelled Cama class, which gives you lots of legroom and makes it possible to sleep. It was far better than any bus I had ever travelled on in Europe. Our seats almost extended back to a flat out position and we even had a movie - "The Motorcycle Diaries" - an appropriate choice given we were at the start of our own trip through South America.
From Puerto Iguazu to the Falls
1)For the argentinian side just go to the bus terminal and take the bus PRACTIKO(4pesos). There is one bus every 30’ and the 25’ ride will bring you just outside the entrance of the park. There’s no need for a taxi.
2)For the brazilian side you can take a bus from the bus terminal(4pesos) to the Foz de Iguazu and from there another bus(3pesos) for the falls. If you don’t want to loose time changing buses (more or less 70-90’ from P.Iguazu till the park) you can take a taxi. For 100 pesos it will take you just outside the park in 20’ and he will wait for you there for the return (when you will be tired anyway). With the taxi you wont loose much time for the customs on the border because wit the bus you have to wait every passenger to complete the papers etc Maybe 100pesos sound too much but in fact is 20euros and if you are 3 or 4 people isn’t that much…
The bus terminal of Puerto Iguazu is in the centre and you can go there and ask at different companies about buses to Buenos Aires or other argentinian cities. What's more most of them have day trips to San Ignacio, Wanda etc
From Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu
1)by BUS: There several companies on the route BsAs-P.Iguazu. You have to check out the schedules, the prices (usually around 145 pesos=29euros) and the service of each company. The trip takes 20 hours so its worth pay a bit more for a good company that will give you a meal, comfortable seat (ask for “cama” a seat that becomes almost a bed!). I used MICROBUS PLUSULTRE from Santa Fe and I wasn’t satisfy at all (they only gave us some chocolates after 10 hours!).
2)by PLANE:This is more expensive (usually around 400pesos=80euros) but much more faster (100’) so you don’t loose a day on the road. Aerolineas Argentina serve the route with several daily flights but everyone says that Lan Chile is more reliable so I used this one for my return trip to BsAs. The service was good, icluding a breakfast in the plane..
There is no local bus from Puerto Iguazu to the airport but you can reserve a mini bus for 15pesos each person. The taxi will cost you 55pesos.
El Gomón / The big Rubber
Llaman "gomones" a las lanchas rápidas , para 30 personas , que hacen "la Gran Aventura" y en ellas navegas por los rápidos , haciendo locuras y te meten debajo de las cataratas con lo que te das un buen baño , que se agradece con el calor que hace
Lleva traje de baño y mete toda tu ropa y tus cosas en las bolsas que te dan , que si lo haces bien son herméticas y no entra agua
El "tío Luis" era nuestro Capitán que se llevó todos nuestros aplausos , a pesar de que en algún momento pensamos que estaba pirado. Todos a voz en grito le pedíamos un "bis" y que repitiera el paso por debajo de la cascada o un derrape con el gomón
They call "Gomones" big rubbers to the speed boats , for 30 persons , that make the "Great Adventure" and you sail on them by the rapids , like nuts and they go under the waterfalls so you will take a good bath , that helps you to support the hot weather
take your swimming costume and put all your clothes and belongings in the bags that they give you and if you make it well they are hermetic and water proof
"Uncle Luis" it was our Captain that received all our applause , though in some moments we could think that he was crazy . All shouting asked him for a "bis"to repeat the pass under the waterfall or a slip with the "gomón"
Plane or bus to Iguazu.
From Buenos Aires you can travel to Iguazu by plane (1 hour and a half flight) there are flights departing from Aeroparque or Ezeiza. Or by sleepers bus (14 hours), all depends in your time and budget.
Taxis At the Ready
We were very happy with all of the taxis that we used, both in Buenos Aires and our one time while in Puerto Iguazu. The Hotel Esturion always had one on standby just below the steps of the main lobby, so there was no waiting.
On our final full day in PI, we decided to return to the Argentinian-side of Iguazu Falls to complete some parts of the tour that we had missed because of a foul-up on our trip to the National Park the first day in town. We tried to ask the taxi driver the logistics and how much it would cost for the 40-km (25-mile) round-trip to the Falls. There was some difficulty in making ourselves understood until one of the nearby tour bus drivers helped with the translation!
As it turned out, the cost was A$60 (US$20) for him to drop us off at the National Park entrance Visitor's Centre and then return at a pre-arranged time. This sounded good to us, so away we went down the rather nice highway to the Park. When we got there I asked him if he wanted any cash then, but he waved it off and said no, pay me when I come back!
And come back he did, right on schedule! It was great to get in the air-conditioned car after slogging around in the 34 C heat and then be delivered pool-side with no stops!!
The photo shows some drivers outside the hotel passing the time with the local custom of sharing a pot of 'mate' tea, which almost everyone seems to carry with them!
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