The border formed by Iguazu Falls between the Misiones province in Argentina and the state of Paraná in Brazil is nothing short of breathtaking. The famous falls are a tremendous system of 275 waterfalls that combine to make the biggest of its kind in the world.
Unlike other overhyped tourist attractions, this one lives up to its name. Just ask the more than one million tourists that visit this UNESCO site every year, consistently proving the pure awesomeness of Iguazu Falls.
The two most logical ways to travel to Iguazu Falls from Buenos Aires are by bus or plane. Self-driving is possible; however, the journey is considerably long (roughly 15 hours and 1,300km).
Taking a bus to Iguazu falls is the cheapest option, but not the quickest. There are 6 different companies that offer the trip from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu (Argentine access city to the falls). The overnight bus trip lasts about 18 hours and costs between USD 160 – 200* for a round trip. The variation in price depends on which seat class you select. Semi cama is a semi-reclined bed seat and cama offers a fully reclining bed seat. Buses in Argentina are comfortable and usually have food and beverage service.
- Buenos Aires’ massive bus terminal is located in the Retiro district.
- Omnilineas and Plataforma10 are great resources for purchasing tickets online. These sites don’t charge commission.
- The most reputable bus companies include Andesmar, Via Bariloche, Rio Uruguay and Expreso Singer.
- Once you arrive in the Puerto Iguazu terminal, you can take another bus to either the Brazilian or Argentine side of the falls. Rio Uruguay has buses running every 20 minutes from the terminal to the Argentine side, costing USD 8. There’s another company offering the same service to the Brazilian side for USD 4* round trip.
- You might need a visa to cross the border into Brazil. However, border crossings tend to be relaxed — there aren’t any officials working on weekends, so visitors are free to cross without a visa!
Flying from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls is undoubtedly faster and more comfortable, although it’ll cost you. There are two possible airports to fly into to reach Iguazu Falls. Choose between Foz do Iguaçu Airport (IGU) on the Brazilian side and Cataratas del Iguazú (IGR) on the Argentine side. Both are nearby Iguazu Falls. There are around 6–8 flights a day servicing IGU and IGR. Round trip tickets start around USD 300* — if booked more than a month in advance.
- Budget airlines are not a ‘thing’ yet in Argentina, so book in advance and save money. This is especially true if traveling in high season (December – February, and around Easter week).
- Aerolineas Argentinas is one of the most reputable and reasonably priced airlines offering the most flight options.
- IGU airport (Brazil) is closer to Iguazu Falls than the Argentine airport IGR. You can take a bus for about USD 25 – 30* from IGU straight to the park entrance. Remember to check if you need to a visa before you fly into Brazil.
Booking a tour can take the stress out of planning your Iguazu Falls trip. You can opt for an all-inclusive Iguazu Falls tour from Buenos Aires. If you want to travel to the destination by yourself and then take a guided tour of Iguazu Falls, there are plenty of full day options running out of Puerto Iguazu:
- A 9-hour sightseeing tour of the Argentine and Brazilian sides of the falls includes visits to multiple viewpoints, light trekking in the Iguazu National Park, and hotel pick-up and drop-off.
- An 8-hour tour of the Argentine falls includes light trekking to two different viewpoints, and a boat ride that gets you up close and personal (and wet) with the falls.
- Two-day tours are worth it to enjoy more of the hiking and trekking trails around the falls. It also includes more adventurous activities like rappelling and ziplining.
There are many ways to explore and experience Iguazu Falls. Whether you go by bus, plane, or organized tour, if you visit Argentina, you must make time to see one of South America’s biggest attractions.
*Note: Prices are as of March 2018.