Puerto Iguazu and Buenos Aires, Argentina
November 15, 2016
Iguazu Falls are easily explored from both Brazil and Argentina as this Wonder of the World is actually located right on the border. This is our story and journey of exploring the falls from the Argentinian side (the town of Puerto Iguazu) and then heading to Buenos Aires.
Puerto Iguazu is the gateway to Iguazu Falls from Argentina. It is a touristic town with not much more to offer than day trips to Iguazu Falls. And that was our plan while we were there, check out this world-famous waterfall and then catch a night bus to Buenos Aires.
Getting to Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
We crossed the Argentina border in a local bus from Brazil, which was actually very easy and about 50 times cheaper than the alternative of taking a taxi.
The only confusing part is that the local bus does not wait for you at immigration. So, you catch one bus to immigration and then get off and that bus leaves.
Once you are done getting your exit and entrance stamps (both done in the same spot) you then catch another bus heading in the same direction. This sometimes means you must wait up to an hour. So, bring water and snacks!
Iguazu Falls on the Argentinian Side of the Border
The next day we visited the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls, it was a MUCH better experience than in Brazil.
There are about three different trails, each about 1.4km long. All of the tourists were spread out throughout all the different trails so it made it much easier to take photos and enjoy in peace.
We walked all of the trails and our favourite was the ‘Devils Throat’ which took us to the top of a very narrow waterfall – so much water and so powerful!
Getting from Iguazu Falls to Buenos Aires
The same day as we explored the Falls we caught a night bus to Buenos Aires (19 hours.)
Luckily we splurged for the ‘cama’ option type of bus which is supposed to be like the middle-class option. It was the best bus I’ve ever been on in my whole life! The seats we huge and reclined very far. They served us dinner, wine, and then breakfast the next day. We were actually able to get some sleep on this bus.
We arrived at the Retiro bus terminal in Buenos Aires around 1 pm tired from the long bus ride. Nonetheless we were determined to make it to our hostel with public transport.
The area near the bus terminal was quite rough with rubbish everywhere and even the locals were wearing their backpacks on their fronts (to prevent pick-pockets.)
I had researched before-hand and knew that the train station was only a block away from the bus terminal and then our hostel was only four stops on the train away (we want to save money whenever possible by taking public transit instead of taxis which are comparable in price to Canada or Australia.)
We struggled for a while to figure out the card we had to buy for the train and where to go but eventually made our way to the hostel.
I later learned that the area around the Retiro bus terminal is actually quite dangerous. It isn’t recommended to walk around there after dark.
Where to Stay in Buenos Aires
The hostel we chose in Buenos Aires was the Milhouse Hipo which is rated as one of the top 10 party hostels in the world. We stayed in a dorm room and met two American guys and an English guy.
That night we went out partying with our new friends and had a great time, I really regretted that decision the next morning when I had an awful hangover. They really know how to party in Buenos Aires! Did you know most of the clubs don’t even open until 2am?!?
Walking Tour in San Telmo
Even with my hangover, we got up and joined a walking tour provided by the hostel. We were taken to the area of San Telmo which is an area of Buenos Aires with lots of history.
We were told about the dictatorship in the 70’s and all the people that went “missing”. We also learned about Argentina’s colonisation and some of the political things going on in the country at the moment.
Argentina is quite the political country, there are protests every day and some protests that remain for years. We saw first hand a group of mothers protesting the ignorance of the government towards finding the people that are still missing from the dictatorship (their children) as well as trialling the people responsible. These women are all quite old now but come to the city’s central square every Thursday at 3:30 to protest. They read the names of the people still missing on a megaphone and many people join them in their walk. This tradition has been going on for 45+ years.
Visiting La Boca
The following day we did another walking tour, this time in the area of La Boca. La Boca is very neat looking with all the houses painted bright colours. There were people dancing the tango in the streets and tons of food stalls and restaurants. Tango was created in La Boca!
This is also the neighboured of the football (soccer) stadium which we also walked by.
That night we got a real taste of Argentinian culture when we attended a world famous show which began in Argentina called Fuerza Bruta.
The guys from our hostel recommended we come with them as they had heard it was amazing! In my opinion, it was basically a mix between Cirque du Soleil, contemporary art, and political theatre. There were people flying from the ceiling, a massive pool with girls swimming above our heads that lowered to the point the audience could touch the bottom of the pool, and percussion music.
I’m not exactly sure what the message was as it probably means something different to each individual, but to me, it seemed to be about the struggles of the working class and the extra oppression towards women.
Saying Goodbye to Buenos Aires
The next day we checked out of our hostel and jumped on another 19-hour bus, but this time it was to Puerto Madryn. Puerto Madryn is in Southern Argentina (Patagonia) on the Atlantic Coast. This was our next step on our journey to Puerto Natales where we would embark on the famous Torres del Paine hike!