Take the Bus from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu in 2022

Reviewed

on: 2022-07-10

by: Joaquin Russo

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    17 hours 30 minutes

  • Rating

  • Experience

    natural wonder, community tourism, museums

  • Best Price

    USD $ 83

  • Maximum comfort or class

    Good

  • Departures

    Multiple departures daily

  • Recommended by

    4193 travelers

Price may fluctuate due to seasonal demand and other market-driven and regulatory events.

Bus from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu

Iguazu waterfalls

Get ready for one of the most amazing spectacles of nature on earth! If you’ve landed in the capital of Argentina, you’ll be excited to know you can get on a bus from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu and witness the mind-boggling complex of waterfalls that span the borders of not just two, but three countries.  

What’s better, you don’t have to worry about getting international visas or crossing a border, extra shots, fees – none of that!  Puerto Iguazu on the Argentina side has plenty of exposure to the falls to satisfy every whim and wonder.

What we’ll cover in this article is everything you need to know about the bus trip from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu, and then get into a mix of popular and uncommon things to do once you’re there.  But if you’re ready to get your seat saved, just press the Reserve Now button and you’ll be on your way.

What are the buses in Argentina like?

Only Brazil rivals Argentina for setting the gold standard for long-distance bus transportation. If you haven’t taken a bus in South America, you will expect more from your airline after you’ve taken a bus in Argentina.  Bus companies take pride in offering luxury accommodations and experiences to their passengers, with wide-bodied seats, leather upholstery, wi-fi, excellent climate control, and superior customer service.

High quality is such an embedded tradition in bus travel in Argentina that even in the most rural areas, they either live up to what is being offered in the higher profile and densely populated areas or they are in a hurry to get it done because they know what’s expected of them.  Many travelers remark that when traveling the bus in Argentina, they have never felt more like royalty.

How long is the bus ride to Puerto Iguazu?

The ride from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu is 1,277 kilometers and takes 17-18 hours, so you will be riding for about three-quarters of a day.  Many travelers elect to take a departure at night so they can save on lodging and pass a third of the travel time just sleeping.

In any case, you will be treated to an extremely beautiful part of Argentina out the window that is like a slice of cheese sandwiched between Paraguay on the left and Uruguay on the right. You will pass through lands heavily populated by eastern European immigrants as well as indigenous Guarani communities for whom the Misiones province is famous.

The buses stop at intervals to let passengers take a break, get some fresh air, stretch their legs, use expanded restroom facilities, and get snacks at cafeterias and stores that cater specifically to bus travelers.

What is the cost of traveling by bus from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu?

Tickets range from $83 USD on the low end to over $200 on the top, with the higher range largely driven by carriers that either make fewer stops or prefer only to deliver VIP service.
Some other factors can affect the price:

When you go

Weekdays are ideal for travel. You avoid working folks and large families all trying to get out of the city for the weekend, which drives the price up because each seat becomes more precious. Also, Puerto Iguazu is a tourist town with its main nature show operating around the clock, so there are plenty of activities to do all throughout the week that doesn’t require you to wait for the weekend. If you must travel on a weekend, do so on a Saturday as that is the day after most weekenders have already gotten to their destination.

When you book

Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to book.  More often than not, you will be greeted by closed offices because they’ve completed all their sales, or you will be given the endless run-around from agents because they’re either too busy or they don’t want to deal with desperate people.  You will encounter long lines and other travelers pushing past you and swarming the ticket booths with their more savvy use of Spanish.  

The far better strategy is to book farther in advance and do it online, when not only you can think more clearly, but bus companies are the ones in the positions ready to serve and please so they can meet their early quotas.  Then you can just walk right into the station with your ticket in hand and not have to fight the frenzied travel mobs.

What are the bus schedules from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu?

There are a lot, but that doesn’t mean there are many that are available or empty.  And then there may be plenty that go a circuitous route or that are using an inferior coach.  So, you have to be discerning.

Also, keep in mind that many departures are duplicated because bus companies expect high demand and therefore provision several coaches to depart at the same time and create a caravan.
Having said all that, buses to Puerto Iguazu aren’t really attracted to morning departures.  You will find only one or two.  They really start getting active in the afternoon and then keep increasing the frequency of departures into the night.  People just love to travel at night. 

Where can I book bus tickets from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu?

You two options here:

Online

The fastest, cheapest, and most reliable way of booking a bus anywhere in Latin America, is by getting a ticket online. Click the Reserve Now button above, choose a date, time, and price point that suit you perfectly, and you’ll be done.  Show up at the terminal and show your ticket from your phone and you’ll be boarded immediately.

In-person

As I said earlier, this option has no real advantages aside from letting you be spontaneous, which is certainly allowed!  If you do elect to go in person to shop at the terminal, you should go several hours in advance and bring all your luggage with you.  You could find it takes much longer than you expected and won’t have time to go back to your hotel to get your stuff.  Besides, bus terminals are huge places, especially in Argentina, and you’ll be exhausted walking through them trying to battle your way through lines just to find out by the time you get to the front that all seats have been sold.  It’s a rotten way to spend your vacation.

What to do in Puerto Iguazu

Guarani community tour

Importantly, Puerto Iguazu is different than most places in that there is no such thing as a dry season. The great waterfall system that is only 11 km from the town keeps the area misty and humid all year long.  Mix that in with the heat that sets in between October and March, and you realize you should ideally plan on visiting between April and September when you have cooler weather. 

Also, as the falls straddle the border of three countries, you might have visa issues depending on your nationality to try and visit the falls in all three countries.  Luckily, the Argentinean side has the largest share of nature walks and waterfall exposure, so don’t worry if you have difficulties crossing the border.  There will be more than enough to do without leaving Argentina.

You will surely want to do a lot of outdoor activities, so we’ll cover some of the best of those, as well as our favorite things to do that are a bit unusual.

#1 - Walking or Riding Nature Trails to the Falls

Make your way to the Visitor’s Center (Centro de Visitantes), which is southeast of the town. There you will find four nature trails to different parts and vantage points of the various falls that make up the Iguazu system.  Walking time ranges from two to three hours per trail, and many people choose the longer one called La Garganta Diablo because it has the most dramatic finish. The Macuco trail is the only one that is not handicap-accessible, and although the shortest in distance, takes the longest time to hike.

However, the park administrators have also built an eco-train that basically runs alongside the Garganta Diablo walking trail and has intermittent stops if passengers want to disembark and walk the remainder or connect to other trails.

Get a free park map when you purchase a bus ticket to Puerto Iguazu.

#2 - Bottle House

La Casa de Botellas is a quizzical and ingenious piece of architecture made entirely of plastic bottles and other recycled materials, right on the eastern edge of town. Tetra Pack cartons, discarded compact discs, and other plastics gave Alfredo Santa Cruz inspiration to make walls, doors, and even furniture and a partnering playground that will make you marvel.  

#3 - Visit the Guarani communities

Within the city as well as outside are surviving Guarani indigenous communities that you can visit on tours to understand their history and traditions.  The epic struggle between Guarani and European colonizers (made famous by the 1986 film, “The Mission”) is centered around the falls, so it’s hard to grasp the real importance of the falls without also understanding the people who have held it dearly for centuries before the Jesuit missionaries arrived.  Half-day tours will take you to Fortin M Borore where you will learn Guarani songs, medicine, ways of hunting, and their artisan traditions. 

#4 - Artisan street market

Every night starting at 6 pm in the center of Puerto Iguazu, the avenue Balbinus Brañas comes alive with color and festive sound. It is walking distance from most hotels in the town, so take a stroll and some cash to be ready to buy locally made crafts and souvenirs, and fabulous street food that represents the culinary traditions of the area.

#5 - Images of the Rainforest Museum

Halfway between the town and the national park is a superb museum you should make a point to visit. Museo Imágenes de la Selva is dedicated to the extraordinary work of Paraguayan-born artist Rodolfo Teófilo Allou. He was a dentist by profession but spent his life carving wood to depict the images of the rainforest, its people, animals, and local legends.

Conclusion

If you are headed to Brazil or Paraguay, or just want to see the great Iguazu falls as part of your adventure within Argentina, reserve your bus tickets today. You will not only be rewarded with lots of spectacles once you arrive but get to see a strikingly beautiful part of Argentina along the way.

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does the bus to Puerto Iguazu go onward to the Brazil side of the falls?
International buses to Foz do Iguacu from Argentina were pretty much shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, and border relationships between the two countries are still difficult enough that international bus carriers find it too onerous to resume the service. However, as long as travelers have the correct documentation to enter Brazil, they are free to get off the bus in Puerto Iguazu and walk across the border bridge to the Brazil side.
Does the bus to Puerto Iguazu offer VIP cabins?
Yes, some of the bus companies have a lower level that is reserved for luxury-class passengers. You can upgrade to the VIP service during checkout on andestransit.com.
Can I hop off the bus to Puerto Iguazu to visit other cities along the way and use the same ticket to resume my journey later?
No, the buses are not hop-on-hop-off varieties. We encourage you to simply purchase separate tickets for each smaller segment.
What are the ticket policies?
It depends on the carrier you choose, but their specific policies can be previewed during checkout or in the summaries printed on your ticket email. For a general overview, see the Ticket Policy page.

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