The flight was at 4:15pm, boarding time scheduled for 3:45pm. I left my home on Viamonte y 9 de Julio at 2:30pm, took a taxi to Jorge Newbery airport, which was in Palermo, and made good time 20 minutes) at a cost of 40AR. Check in was less than 15 minutes (no lines), and went straight through security like the water in Mexico City passing through a hapless foreigner. I proceeded to the specified gate and in the time it took me to walk from the check in desk to the gate (8 minutes) the gate had changed.
Boarding was on time, and we were then driven by bus to the awaiting plane on the tarmac. We piled into the place, Southwestern-Airlines-style, and with the same punctuality as the boarding time, the take-off was en punto!
Off we went over the muddy waters of the Rio Plata, reputed to be the widest ‘river’ in the world. The Argentineans will claim nothing less. Cabin service consisted of a beverage with a sad, flattened piece of bread that squarely accommodated a pale piece of what smelt like ham and a thin piece of cheese. Dessert was the signature Argentine alfajor accompanied by a toffee just in the event that we needed an extra insulin boost after the already carmelised alfajor.
The border issue
I am not sure why there are so many who proclaim that the falls need one and one half day to see, perhaps if you want to stop and take rests, eat, enjoy all the sights, read a book, and that sort of thing, then yes, it takes that time, but for me, this was accomplished within 5 – 6 hours.
Of course, I did not walk the trails, but took the train instead. I did however enjoy the fun safari ride where we got drenched twice as the boat captain insisted on dipping us into two different falls. I guess that this is indeed a part of what we paid for – that ‘safari adventure.’
On the border crossing issue, if you take a taxi from Puerto Iguaçu and cross over the bridge that separates Argentina from Brazil, you only have Argentina’s customs to worry about. There are no customs for Brazil. The cost of the taxi is $220AR; he waits for you for 3 hours, and returns you to your hotel, with a brand new stamp in your passport, no need to pay any visa for Brazil.
The bus to Cataratas leaves every 20 minutes and you can buy the ticket anytime before the departure date/ time; cost is 19AR ida y vuelta, and the entrance to the park is 130AR. It is less for children, seniors and residents of MERCUR. There are three busses that leave for Foz do Iguaçu, and the rate is 8AR, the trip time is 30 – 40 minutes including the wait time at customs.