The city of Foz do Iguaçu has reasonably good bus services, but it is best to know a bit of Portuguese in order to use them - or at the very least it is good to have a Brazilian Portuguese travel language book with you so you can try to communicate what you need.
Some of the bus routes do not operate very frequently, and some of them are only once every half hour or so, and so it is best to know their timetable. It is possible to get it from the web site for the bus system, but you need to know a bit of Portuguese in order to get it, and also you need to know a bit about where you are going as they are listed by bus route number.
The bus services cover much of downtown, as well as most of the tourist locations that you would need to visit, including connecting the city airport to the Iguaçu National Park (Parque Nacional del Iguaçu). This bus route is number 120.
Foz do Iguaçu City Bus Services: (FozTrans) (100% Portuguese)
After the flash media stuff is overwith, you need to select "Prefeitura Municipal" from the bottom menu. A new page will open, and from the left size you will need to select "Foztrans". In the new window that opens, the left side has a section called "Transporte Coletivo" - this is the section that features information on the public bus system.
When you are looking to visit the Foz do Iguaçu, you have two good options in terms of flights. The first is to fly into the Brazilian side, or the second option is to fly into the Argentinian side. The decision of which to fly into will likely be determined on where you are starting and ending your trip. If you are flying through Buenos Aires, you will likely end up landing on the Argentinian side, but if most of your itinerary is Brazilian based you can go with the Brazil airport. One factor to keep into consideration is if you are coming from the US, you will have to get a Brazilian visa to land at this airport, but if you enter Argentina you will not have to worry about this.
Overall, this is a very easy airport to navigate, as it is a very small place with just a few gates. We were treated to a band when we first arrived, and entered through just one small gate. There are two airlines that land here, TAM and GOL, both Brazilian regional airlines.
The regional airline that we chose to fly to Foz do Iguaçu was TAM Airlines. TAM is the largest of the Brazilian based airlines, and serves many cities in Brazil as well as a few other South American cities. When we flew into Foz do Iguaçu, we went through Curtiba (pronounced Curcheeba) and on the return we went direct to Rio (GIG).
Sarah and I were actually able to book this flight through American Airlines in the US, but unfortunately we will not be able to do that any more as the code share agreement ended in 2007.
Originally, the plan was to use buses to conquer the significant distance between Rio de Janeiro and Foz de Iguaçu but the reality massacred it. First, when I tried to go the "Brazilian" way with a "leito" bus, meaning sleeper class, it was impossible to board it from Rio; just from Sao Paulo. This meant a change of buses in Sao Paulo many hours of travel and as I was prompted by a benevolent concierge, significant danger to the stomach. The food bought along the route would be of questionable quality.
Second, the price of the bus ticket combined with the food expenditures would amount to exactly half the price of the airplane ticket. Considering that the plane crosses the same distance ten times faster, it was a huge bargain. Varig is fabulous - one can book and buy a ticket the day before departure for a price not affected by the proximity of purchase and flight.
This park is small enough to be covered in a morning .The bus that takes you around the park is quite efficient making the whole experience run quite smoothlyneven when the crowds are large. They are free and stop at all the different points along the way.
Enough buses to all important destinations in all the three countries meeting here. But expect sometimes long queues at the frontiers to Argetina and Paraguay - but this is no problem for the regional buses.
There are buses every 30 minutes at peak times between Puerto Iguazu and Foz do Iguaçu. If you are only crossing for the day you don't need to get an exit and later a re-entry stamp for Argentina. Neither do you need a Brazil stamp. However, you need to state this clearly at to Argentine customs. We ended up getting the exit/entry combination for both countries which delayed us by about an hour as we had to wait for the next bus. Also, bus company tickets are not interchangeable so if you're in a hurry and the next bus is from a different company you'll need another ticket.
The journey from Puerto Iguazu to Foz do Iguaçu takes about an hour in all. From Foz do Iguaçu to the falls on the Brazilian side is another 45 minutes at least. If you only want to visit the falls then there is no need to go all the way to Foz do Iguaçu from Puerto Iguazu. Ask your driver to let you off on the main road for the falls once you´ve cleared customs. All buses accept both Pesos and Reais so you won't need to change money.
Foz do Iguaçu and Iguaçu Falls are popular year round tourist destination on the three border.
The Airport is one of the best equipped in the country. Its runway, equipped with radar-based approach control for day and night flights, is capable of landing any kind of aircraft, such as B-747, DC-10 or A-330.
It also serves nearby cities including Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.
Currently you can only fly directly to Foz do Iguaçu from within Brazil. There are 16 daily flights from/to Brazilian cities such as Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Recife, São Paulo, Salvador etc.; four by Varig, two by Vasp, two by Tam and one by Ocean Air among others. A normal priced return is around US$600.
Aerial distances: Rio de Janeiro 685 miles; only a 2 hour flight, Brasília 740 miles, Curitiba 288 miles, Porto Alegre 346 miles, Sao Paulo 492 miles.
Distance from downtown of Foz do Iguaçu about 12 kms on highway BR 469, driving time 20 minutes. The Taxis in the airport bring the visitors to wherever they want to go.
The airport is not to be confused with Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport, which is located beyond the border in Puerto Iguazú/Argentina!!!!
This is how you can get from the bus terminal to the falls.
At the terminal take a bus to TTU. When you get there take a bus to Parque national with the same ticket. TTU is like a small terminal where many city busses stop; You can't get in there without a ticket so that's why you don't have to buy another ticket.
The way to the falls is pretty direct and doesn't take a lot of time; The way back to the terminal takes longer. From TTU take a bus to rodoviaria (=bus terminal)
Off course you can also take a taxi but this is more expensive .
In order to eat dinner outside our resort, we had to use a taxi to get into town. Our hotel had a taxi stand right outside the resort entrance and they would tell them where to take us and on the way back we had the restaurants call us a taxi. Taxis are metered here, the fare was close to R$16 each time we took one, about $8US.
We took a taxi arranged by our hotel to get to the Argentine National Park, there is also the option to take the public bus. According to the guidebook, you take a Linha Internacional (Puerto Iguazu) bus to the terminal in Puerto Iguazu and then catch a yellow El Practico bus labeled Cataras to get to the Park. If you are not staying in Foz do Iguacu, you might check with your hotel whether or not the buses run along Av. Cataras, I suspect that you have to get into town in order to use this bus if you are staying at one of the resorts along Av. Cataras.
The least expensive way to get to the Parque and to visit the Falls is by public bus. The bus leaves from the municipal bus station in Foz de Iguacu and goes up Av. Catarates where many of the luxury hotels are located. We picked up the bus across the street from our resort, the Mabu Foz, and the cost was R$1.85 (90 cents) each. The bus ride was about 25 -30 minutes, this is the same route that goes to the airport. Buses run every 20 minutes.
You board the bus and pay the woman seated about 1/3 of the way down the bus, she can make change, we even saw her take US cash but it's always best to have exact change. After paying go through the turnstile.
To pick the bus back up to get back into town, we just waited under the shelter where they dropped us off, the bus dropping passengers off will come by, wait until the bus turns around to get on.
We had an arranged transfer from the airport to our hotel included in our Go Today package but I noticed that the same bus that takes you to the National Park also serve the airport. Look for the "Parque Nacional" stop at the airport and make sure that you are headed to town instead of to the National Park as the bus stops there both coming and going. The fare was R$1.85 one way.
According to Lonely Planet you can fly in on one of 3 airlines, Varig, TAM or VASP, we came in on Varig and it was an uneventful flight.
You'll probaly don't have problems to buy you ticket to go to Foz, but don't leave it for the last moment buying your return ticket.
There is many people from all around Brasil who goes to Paraguay to buy any kind of things cheaper and they come back to their cities to make bussines.
Most of the times they go in the morning and they come back at night, so the buses often are full.
I had to come back to Campinas alone because tere was no place for everybody in the buses, so you should decide when are you going to come back as soon as posible and buy the tickets.
You do not need any reservations for a hotel room because the taxi driver is going to show you around Foz for the same original price of 34Reals (less than USD15).
I went to 3-4 different hotels before settling down. The explanation for this state of affairs is the fact that hotels pay commission to taxi drivers (nicely explained to you by the tourist official at the airport). Moreover, mister "fix it" offers to you an option of visiting "all" sights worth seeing the very next day. There is a chance that you, impressed by his skills might hire him again. I personally would not recommend it - just too expensive compared to the local transportation system, but one has the choice.