Thursday, November 15, 2012

Crossing Three Frontiers... Ciudad del Este... Puerto Iguazu... Foz do Iguacu

From Ciudad del Este I planned to visit the famous Iguazu Falls. One can access the falls by Puerto Iguazu in Argentina or Foz de Iguacu in Brazil. I wanted to see the falls from both vantage points, so I planned my route.

There is a bridge called the Friendship Bridge that spans the Rio Parana between Ciudad del Este, Paraguay and Foz de Iguacu, Brazil. It is a highly trafficked bridge and I had heard that it somethings takes hours to cross the border with a vehicle. This proposition did not sound apealing.

A Paraguayan friend of mine had mentioned to me that there was a ferry that crosses the Rio Parana into Puerto Iguazu, Argentina from a small town, just south of Ciudad del Este, called Presidente Franco. Supposedly the route was lightly trafficked. It sounded more like my style.

So I plotted my route to travel south from Ciudad del Este to Presidente Franco. I would take the ferry to Puerto Iguazu, Argentina and see the falls in one day. Then I would travel from Puerto Iguazu, Argentina across a land bridge to Foz de Iguacu, Brazil and see the falls from the second vantage point.
I rode south for about 30 minutes to the town of Presidente Franco and found the ferry. I was the only non-local crossing the border so immigration and customs processing only took about two minutes.
It was a short crossing and only took about 10 minutes. It cost about US$10. To the left was Brazil. To the right was Argentina. 
Behind me was Paraguay. 
La Triple Frontera... The three frontiers all seen from this one vantage point.

The ferry approached the dock of Puerto Iguazu, Argentina and I rode off. Again, the immigration and customs processing was quick and easy.

It turned out to be nice and relaxing way to cross the frontier.


  1. thanks troy, sounds fun, i'll do the same thing in a couple weeks!

  2. July 7, 2014: does anyone know if this ferry still operates?

    1. I have not read anything that would indicate that they have stopped the ferry service.

  3. Hi! Great story thanks Troy! So was the immigration desk on the Paraguay side actually operating? I am planning to take the ferry from Puerto Iguazu to Paraguay for a one day trip without a visa, but not sure if that's gonna work. Thanks!

    1. Yes, the immigration desk was operating when I passed through. I went through the formal checkout. The whole Tri-border area is pretty relaxed to help promote tourism. If you are going just for the day they may not require all the regular processing. Let me know how it turns out if you go. Good luck.

  4. Hei..I'll try to take a ferry from Puerto Iguazu to Paraguay in August this year. Have you heard is the ferry is still operating? I understand it's a legal way of entering the country...Another question- is there anything to see or do besides shopping in Ciudad del Este? How did you get to the portt from the town?

  5. As far as I know the ferry is still operating. In CdeE It is possible to visit the Itaipu Dam and a Bird Zoo. I was traveling by motorcycle, so I simply rode my motorcycle.


Thanks for visiting my website and for leaving a comment. - Troy

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