Ferry Paraguay to Argentina

Oct 17th, 2008, 11:58 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Ferry Paraguay to Argentina

I have just read about a ferry that goes between Argentina, and Paraguay in the area of the Iguazu falls? It avoids the need to go into and to have a Brasilian visa. Does anyone know about this. From where does it go, how often and how much? Thanks. Again sorry for the questions, but the guide books are useless.
kmkrnn is offline  
Jul 29th, 2011, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Yes, I recently did this exact route to Argentina to save money. We flew in to Asuncion (cheaper than flying into Buenos Aires, AND you avoid the $130 reciprocity fee in Argentinian airports) and bused across Paraguay for $20/person to Ciudad del Este (it's important to take a RAPIDO bus like NSA or Rysa, as they are cleaner and faster than the others, and at twice the price of the others, they are still only $20 US, and they take 5 hours to Ciudad). Immediately, we got a taxi from the bus station to the ferry in Presidente Franco (a small town just south of Ciudad). We just said "Vamos a la balsa en Presidente Franco" and the taxi driver knew exactly what we meant. It took 15 minutes to drive to the ferry.

Customs at the ferry station are quick and easy. They just check for your Paraguayan visa and stamp your passport. Then, we walked down the hill and discovered they have 2 options - the large ferry (which holds cars) or a small blue boat (that holds about 15 people). It is ridiculously cheap (7,000 guarani = about $1.75 US), and it takes off every hour Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:15pm. We took the blue boat because it was ready to leave earlier than the large car ferry was. They wait until it has enough people or if you're REALLY in a hurry, the boat can take just you across for 73,000 guarani (about $11).

The only minor problem we had was we didn't have a ride waiting for us when we got to Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. We didn't try to call for a cab, although we probably could have, as they had some sort of small customs office at the port. My mother-in-law was coming to get us but was still in Brazil (at Iguazu Falls) when we called. She took so long that eventually, we gave up and started walking up the hill. We lucked out and a local (who was probably running his own unofficial cab service) offered to give us a lift. He helped us find our hotel, and we gave him money even though he didn't ask for it. We probably saved over $1000 by flying in to Paraguay, avoiding getting a Brazilian visa, and taking the ferry!

All in all, we had great success with this route. I was nervous about the safety of Asuncion and Ciudad, but as we were barely there, we had zero issues. But the areas of Asuncion that we drove through were certifiable DUMPS, and we were happy to get on a bus outta there. There were nice parts of Asuncion, as we discovered upon our return there, but we did not see them on the way from the airport to the bus station. Ciudad is also rather sketchy, and we had no desire to spend much time there. Puerto Iguazu was nice, however. So if you're looking to save money and don't mind going in through the back door, I highly recommend entering Argentina through Paraguay, via the ferry ("balsa")!

And speaking of guidebooks, I did find an online Paraguay guidebook that DOES mention the ferry! I guess it's gaining cred in the travel world!
Look for Google Book online called Paraguay By Margaret Hebblethwaite
Here is the link:

KafooMcNoo is offline  
Jul 29th, 2011, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
Thanks for responding to that ancient question ... you have given me an interesting adventure to think of adding to our March Argentina/Chile trip.....
NoFlyZone is offline  
Jul 29th, 2011, 09:33 PM
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If you go that route, NoFlyZone, make sure you get a visa in advance to enter Paraguay. It's $65 for a single-entry visa; $100 for a multiple-entry one. The embassy in Washington is reasonably quick about processing them. It takes a few days.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jul 30th, 2011, 05:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
For better response might consider posting on SA not CA

since that is where your countries are actually located but

saexplorers.org good info on this

good advice above good cheap way to go to save

have done it in the past via CDE

there are still visa issues for Paraguay

travel.state.gov for entry issues on all countries

CDE pretty dodgy insuremytrip.com always wise

Have fun,
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 30th, 2011, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
Well, this opportunity is out. My preferred airline does not fly to Paraguay and the best savings I can find on OAL is only about $125 savings. With visa, transport and loss of time, it is not worth the effort so as of now the original plan, to EZE, is still on.
NoFlyZone is offline  
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