Arriving at the airport in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina, you’ll see lots of people lining up for tickets at a tourist bus counter so it may seem like there’s not a public bus into the city center.
But there is a public bus, it picks up right in front of the airport, and it costs half the price…
This is all info for IGR airport on the Argentina side of the border which serves the city of Puerto Iguazu also on the Argentina side. The city on the Brazil side is called Foz de Iguacu which is served by a different airport and is not what this post is about…
Coming out of the baggage claim at the Puerto Iguazu airport you’ll see a row of counters for car rental companies and a tourist bus company called Four Tourists. They runs private shuttle vans — which sneakily say “bus a la cuidad” on the sides so you think they’re the regular option — to the city and they also sell tours for Iguazu Falls. When I arrived at IGR airport a big line of people formed at the Four Tourists counter and it seemed like that was the only option for getting a bus into the city but that’s not the public bus…
The company that runs the regular city buses for half the price is called Rio Uruguay. You can wait for a Rio Uruguay bus just outside of the airport terminal without going to a ticket counter.
When exiting the baggage claim into the main hall turn left while still inside, go past the Four Tourists counter which will now be on on your right, go through the big doors to the outside, and keep walking straight ahead to the end of the bus/van loading area. Look for a very small sign that says “Transporte Publico” or just wait there until you see a regular looking city bus pull up that says Rio Uruguay on the side.
Then just go to the front door of the Rio Uruguay bus and pay the driver as you board. Rio Uruguay’s buses have nice tall seats for about fifty people. There is also a separate luggage storage area down below for suitcases and bags. Just leave your luggage outside next to the front door of the bus as you board and the driver will load all the bags into the luggage area before departing.
This is the bus that the airport employees and locals use to get to the airport. It runs to the Terminal de Omnibus in the center of Puerto Iguazu which takes about 40 minutes from the airport. It also stops at various points on the highway so if you’re staying at a place along the main road between the airport and the city you can get dropped off along the way and the driver will retrieve your luggage for you.
Once you get to the Terminal de Onmibus you’re right in the middle of the city. There are ticket counters at the terminal for buses to Iguazu Falls which are also run by Rio Uraguay for a lot less than the tourist vans, and for buses run by various companies that cross the border to Brazil, go directly to the Brazil side of the waterfalls, go to Paraguay, and run intercity routes to other destinations in all three countries.
One thing to know is going from one side of the terminal to the other is accomplished by a wide pedestrian bridge at one end so you don’t have to walk through the potentially dangerous bus loading area — and won’t be allowed to judging by the security guards who stop anyone trying to walk out there!
A note on prices… Since Argentina always has constant inflation it’s impossible to accurately give a specific price here. But I can tell you that the Rio Uruguay bus will be about half the price of the Four Tourists bus — in 2023 it was 600 pesos versus 1300 pesos but by the time you read this the actual number will be different. Luckily for travelers in Argentina the exchange rates change along with the Argentina currency so regardless of the actual amount in Argentinian pesos it should be a generally constant price in dollars or euros.
Puerto Iguazu is a tourist city with the usual somewhat higher prices and schlock shops but it’s not too over priced and I think it’s pretty charming overall.
Have a nice time in Puerto Iguazu and at Iguazu Falls!