Sitting Room

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bus to Puerto Iguazu - Argentina


The terminal for buses coming from Puerto Iguazú (to Foz do Iguaçu) is around the area of the International Friendship Bridge. When they leave the Bridge Area they stop and can be boarded at any of the bus stops along the Avenida JK. Important for people in hotels along the avenue like the Lider Palace Hotel. The bus stops by the TTU on Rua Mem de Sá right beside the Lanchonete Corujão (Big Owl). Do not forget that to go to Puerto Iguazu you will need to carry your passport and have the right visas in case citizens of your country needs visa. If you are Brazilian, only official documents are accepted, i.e. RG (Carteira de Identidade) or Passport. No other. No kind of professional document like Lawyers’ (OAB) ID, Military Papers, Politicians’ Identification. Nothing. Just RG or Passport.

I have seen Argentina’s Migration Agents turning down Brazilian Ministers, Deputados (Congresmen), and even the Paraná State Secretary of Segurança (Security) was sent back to his hotel to get his Brazilian (RG) ID. Brazil will soon have to start to tighten things up. Paraguay too.

Buses to Argentina are part of the International Urban Transportation. If you have trouble understanding something that is “International Urban” you are not alone. This concept is older than the International Metropolitan. Two Argentine bus companies operate the Puerto Iguazú – Foz do Iguaçu – Puerto Iguazú line. They are the locally-owned Transportes Tres Fronteras and the Posadas-owned Crucero del Norte ( Crucero also travels to São Paulo, Rio, Buenos Aires, La Plata, Bariloche and Santiago)

There are also two Brazilian companies operating on the same stretch: Viação Itaipu and Celeste (part of Pluma bus) What I am going to say now is a secret and understandably some people don’t like it. Crucero del Norte charges R$ 2.00 or $ 2.00(Argentine pesos). The remaining trio Itaipu, Celeste and Tres Fronteras charge R$ 3.00 or $ 3.00 pesos. Crucero del Norte’s bus tend to be better, wider, easier to move around with luggage. Itaipu sometimes use a micro bus with doors too narrow for people to get in with the added problem that the turnstile is right by the door. This is the worst for the handicapped. Definitely impossible for wheelchairs. None of the international buses offers accessibility for wheelchairs users. What is the message?

You have to get off at the Brazilian Federal Police Immigration Control. Buses normally will not wait. So, the driver will give you a small piece of paper, a ticket, that you can use in the next bus. But tickets are not interchangeable. They have to be used in buses of the same company. Remember the R$ 3.00 – R$ 2.00 deal? This is revenge time!

It is possible that you will lose the bus again on the Argentine Immigration Control area. The same will be done. A ticket so that you can board the next bus. All buses will go to the International Bus Terminal of Puerto Iguazu.

On the Puerto Iguazú – Foz do Iguaçu stretch, buses depart from the International Bus Terminal. Remember that you have to go through immigration and stamp your passport out.

Be careful when you enter Brazil. Situation in Brazil is more laid back, relaxed and that is bad. It is possible that you will not see a police man and some drivers will drive slowly but straight through the control area. It means that you are illegal. Some people may stay illegally during their whole stay in the Border and only be awaken to reality when they try to leave Brazil from Rio, São Paulo. Some drivers are very good in trying to guide passengers in the right direction. Also remember that if there is a long line it is better to get off the bus with your gear and take the next bus.

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