This article is a continuation of our previous post about Iguazu Falls: On the way to Cataratas do Iguaçu. Our journey on the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. But now, let’s take a look at the Falls from the Argentine side!
Two international airports are close to Iguazu Falls: the Argentine Cataratas del Iguazú International Airport (IGR) and the Brazilian Foz do Iguaçu International Airport (IGU). Bus and taxi services are available from and to the Airport-Falls on both sides. As I have already mentioned we had landed on the Brazilian side at Foz, and we visited the waterfalls first from there. After this visit, we had spent the night still in Foz and the next morning we wanted to cross the border and travel to Puerto Iguazú, go to the natural park and flying further on the following day to Buenos Aires. At least this is how we planned it, and in theory, it made sense. But from experience, we learned that to cross the Brazilian-Argentine border is not that quick. The rule of thumb that everyone needs to keep in mind is that you need to get a stamp into your passport on the border. In order to do so, you must take a bus first from Foz to the border, get out – queue for the stamp – take another bus to go further to Puerto Iguazú. In reality, though, you are buying one bus ticket in Foz directly to Puerto Iguazú. That means – regardless of which bus company you choose since there are many available more or less on the same price – you are allowed to go further after the border control only with the same bus company. But that bus you take to the border doesn’t wait for you there, the driver is just picking up the awaiting passengers and heading immediately to Puerto Iguazú. So after you finish with the border control, the bus for sure is already gone and you need to wait for another bus to arrive from the same bus company, as your ticket is only valid for that. And the buses are not coming very often at all…it’s better to be prepared to wait at least 45-60 minutes there, and there are no bars, shops, cafes, nothing around, only the bus stop…
Puerto Iguazú, frankly speaking, is not a very interesting town, regardless of the high number of tourists who are passing by. Basically, only restaurants and souvenir shops line the streets, hotels and there were many child beggars walking barefoot from table to table all day and throughout the town. But still, it seemed to me a bit more real and authentic .vs Foz on the Brazilian side. And finally, we could have access to the amazing selection of Argentine empanadas all around the town. 😋
The Falls are only 18 kilometers away from Puerto Iguazú, but in terms of transport you have only two options, either you take the longer bus ride that goes to the Cataratas, or you choose the faster taxi option. Taxi drivers are everywhere on the streets offering their services, it’s possible to negotiate with them as well and in the end, we were able to go more or less for the same price as the bus ticket would have cost. Also worth to mention that its better to be prepared with Argentine Peso in order to pay, as neither for the bus nor for the taxi you cannot pay by card. And to get cash out of an ATM or exchange in the city, well you can lose a lot…☝️
Once you arrive at the Parque Nacional de las Cataratas, first you also need to buy tickets in order to enter the main gate. It’s relatively expensive to get the tickets on the Argentine side too, more or less the same amount as on the Brazilian side, as the park has an entrance fee on both Brazilian and Argentine sides, but everything is very well organized here as well. Once you are inside you need to just walk to a little train station, as the Argentine access, across the forest, is by a Rainforest Ecological Train. The train brings visitors to the entrance of Devil’s Throat, as well as the upper and lower trails. The Paseo Garganta del Diablo is a 1 km-long trail that brings visitors directly over the falls of Devil’s Throat, the highest and deepest of the falls. On the upper and lower trials, you need to walk more, but most of the walking surface is flat, while on the Brazilian side you need to climb many steps, even the length of the walking tour is shorter. While the Brazilian side is pretty manageable with only one walkway (1.2 km long), the maze of walkways on the Argentine side is much longer, you can wander around for hours and hours. We were exhausted after both visits, but I don’t think it was because of the walkways around the national parks, rather than because of the organization of getting there and back.
In terms of animal life, here you can also find the cute coatis ☺️, maybe less than in Brazil, see different types of fishes, including huge catfish in the river, sunbathing turtles on the rocks, colorful birds, monkeys and as per the signs you might observe crocodiles and jaguars (unfortunately, the last two we didn’t personally see).
Net-net, from whichever angle one looks at it, it’s one of the world’s major natural wonders and personally for me the most amazing waterfalls I’ve ever seen in my life. Walking to the view deck of Devil’s Throat, as close to the big waterfalls is undoubtedly an experience of a lifetime. 🤩