BA â€“ Iguazu
We flew to Iguazu and took the bus back due to time and money constraints.
We checked the prices of flights from BA to Iguazu with our hostel travel agents, 1 real travel agent and the airline websites themselves. The cheapest deal we could find was for $155 one way on LAN Argentina’s website. Then, I used kyak.com just in case and we found the same flight as LAN had for $133. So, we bought it.
Taxi from down town to national airport $7
We saw signs that said we needed to pay an airport tax, but we never could figure out where to pay it and no one asked us for any kind of proof. But, if you do actually have to pay it, then it is important to add that amount ($12 I think) into the cost analysis of bus vs. plane
The plane ride was a little over an hour.
Both the airport and the falls are a good 15-20 minutes outside of town. A private taxi ride from the airport would be pretty expensive. They do have a shuttle for about $3 per person that will drop you off at your hostel, so it is a good deal. There is a little booth right outside the room where you pick up your luggage and before you leave the airport. You pay and get a ticket there.
The ride is pretty and there are yellow butterflies everywhere.
We tried to book a room at The Hostel Inn Iguazu http://www.hostel-inn.com/realindex.php?lang=en
It looked great from the outside, although it was a little outside of town, meaning more complicated to go in to grab a bite to eat. There were no doubles available, so we had to find something else.
We stayed at Residencial Uno
http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/ResidencialUno-PuertoIguazu-16107 (this is hostel world’s website)
Price - $20 for a double with a bath, small breakfast, and weak air conditioner.
Cleanliness â€“ It wasn’t dirty, but it didn’t feel clean either.
Comfort â€“ Not much. The bed wasn’t so hot, the shower was weak. There was no a/c in the lounge areas. It was too hot to be in there in the afternoon. It only had hard wood backed chairs to sit in, so it wasn’t really a comfy place to chill out and watch a movie at night or anything either.
Character â€“ Nothing much to speak of. They are adding on some additional rooms. Maybe those will be nicer.
Amenities â€“ TV and DVD player in the lounge, really slow internet wireless and 2 computers, an uninviting swimming pool, breakfast, luggage storage
Recommended? Not really. I do recommend getting a/c or at least a fan unless you just love the heat. Some of the dirt cheap places don’t have those options, but there were many other places of a comparable price that looked nicer.
The town itself is small enough with quite a few hotels, that this is a place you could go check out a couple once you got there to see which one you liked. The only problem would be availability.
You can get to the falls by bus or taxi. The bus costs $2.50 round trip. It leaves every half an hour from the terminal. Not on the hour though. More like 10 and 40 past.
We ended up having to take a taxi back from the falls because we ended up staying late and we would have missed out bus back to BA if we waited for the next return bus. The taxi cost about $14 â€“ sucky for us (I’ll explain why later).
We went to the falls at 8:10am and left at 4:45 to catch our 5:30 night bus to BA.(at least 15 minutes from the falls to the town)
We used up every second of out time there. Some of the night buses left at around 3pm. I don’t see how you could possibly see all the falls have to offer in less time than we spent.
Entrance fee - $10. The food was all a little expensive, but not outrageous. We actually ate at the fancy restaurant in the hotel. The buffet was recommended by LP as being a good splurge. Well the buffet was almost $25 per person, we couldn’t do that, so we just ate $7 sandwiches. I loved it though because the wait staff treated us like royalty despite us still being damp from our dunking in the waterfalls and having completely messed up hair etc. The view was also very pretty.
I was really excited to go on one of the rafts that take you into the falls. What I couldn’t decide was whether to pay $15 for a 10 minute raft ride into the falls or $30 to go on a 8km trip though the jungle on a big truck, a longer raft ride down the river and a dunk under the falls (1 hr total).
We decided to go for the whole package in the end. I don’t regret it because my feet and legs were exhausted and I really needed to just sit down and take a break for a while, but we really didn’t see anything of great worth and I felt a little silly riding around on the top of that monster truck. So, my advice $15 for the raft ride is definitely worth it. The other half of the trip wasn’t.
We booked our ticket in a local travel agency in town. They charge the exact same amount no matter where you go. You can also book it once you get to the park if you aren’t sure what you want to do.
The falls were beautiful. The best view was from the raft. The second best view is from the island in the middle. I had read that it was more of an intense hike. True the stairs were steep and long, but I’m not very fit, and I was fine although a little breathless. It was worth it.
The devil’s throat falls are amazing too, but you normally have to ride on their little train to get there. The walk from the train to the falls is very beautiful. We were told to go in the later afternoon because you have the best light without the sun blinding you. It takes a good 15 minutes to walk from the train to the falls. We were supposed to catch the train back and head straight for the bus so we could catch the big bus back to BA. Our plans were thwarted when a tree fell on the train tracks and we couldn’t continue on. They had to bring people in with chain saws and all that to remove the tree. That extra time caused us to miss the bus back to town and so that’s why we ended up taking a taxi.
The bus we took didn’t have the full sleepers or alcohol on board, but I’m glad we took the later trip because we really enjoyed our time at the falls and wouldn’t have wanted to leave earlier. I think it would be great to spread it out over 2 days, but then you have to pay another $10 to get back in the next day, so we didn’t, but I would recommend that if you aren’t on a tight budget.
The bus from Iguazu to BA cost about $45 and we arrived the next day around 11am.
I know many people think the long overnight buses are a great way to travel. I agree for the most part, but every time we did it I needed at least 5-6 hours after we arrived at our next destination to recuperate. I’m just pointing that out because everyone raves about them all the time, but I see my exhaustion â€“ almost like jet lag â€“ as a big disadvantage, and a good reason to fly if you can afford it and are short on time.
We did not go to Brazil because we are Americans and were told that we would have to pay $100 each just to cross over for a few hours.Â One travel agent said if we went on an organized tour we would not have to pay for the visa, but I did not have that confirmed by anyone else.