As soon as we arrived in Foz do Iguacu we grabbed a bus and headed for the Brazilian-Argentine border. Finding the right bus (or, rather, combination of buses) was trickier than I had expected because all the bus drivers seemed to speak with strong Argentine accents, and many mixed Portuguese and Spanish.

About an hour after arriving in the city, however, we were at the border. It was still relatively early in the day (our bus from Curitiba had arrived around 7 am) and that meant that there weren’t many people around. The border is in the middle of a grassy, dusty plain that has rain forest off in the distance. Coming from Foz do Iguacu, we got to the Brazilian side first, and were told we could catch a bus to the Argentine side, about a kilometer ahead, and then into town.

The Brazilians working on their side we’re just kind of lounging around and everything was very low-key. We got in a short line, and pretty soon we had been stamped out of the country. I was really glad we got there when we did because while we were waiting for our next bus we watched as bus-load after bus-load of tour groups showed up. By the time our bus came, about 40 minutes later, the border was crowed and chaotic.

On our next bus we crossed into Argentina. From the Brazilian border station, the road goes over the Iguacu river. On the bridge the concrete dividers that line the sides are painted yellow and green for Brazil. Halfway across, though, the colors change to blue and white, for Argentina.

Shortly after crossing the brigde our bus arrived at the Argentine border station. This time the bus waited while everyone got their passports stamped, and then took us into the city of Puerto Iguazu.

As soon as we arrived in Puerto Iguazu, Laura and I were glad we decided to come to Argentina. In Brazil, Foz do Iguacu is a relatively big city. It has tall buildings, an international airport, and all the things you’d expect in city. Puerto Iguazu, however, is small by comparison. Though it has everything we needed, it seemed to only have a few principle roads. There are also no tall buildings. While it caters to tourists much like its Brazilian counterpart, it feels like a small town. Though I love big cities, it was nice to experience a more rustic area for a couple of days.

Our bus dropped us off on a street lined with hostels and pousadas. We actually looked at quite a few before choosing. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the place we chose, but for A$90 (less than 25 dollars) we got a private room with a private bathroom, large TV, a fan, A/C, and functioning wireless Internet. For many people that may not sound impressive, but it’s the first time we’ve had all of those things at once on this trip. Also, Brazilian accomodations have been surprisingly expensive, so this really seemed like a deal.


Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.

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