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Ask Fodor’s: How Can I Save Money on Getting to Iguazu Falls?

Iguazu Falls

Our column this week features a questions submitted by @OfficialJenDano via Twitter:

Any tips for quickly & (relatively) cheaply getting to Iguazu Falls from Cordoba, Argentina?!

It's possible to travel from Córdoba to Iguazú Falls quickly, and it's also possible to do so relatively cheaply, but it's difficult to pull off both. There are no direct flights from Córdoba to Puerto Iguazú, and the distance between the destinations is immense. As a result, you will have to choose what you value more: time or money.

If on a tight budget, your best bet is to book a bus ticket from the main bus station in Córdoba to Puerto Iguazú. Just be prepared for a long ride: it will take 20–22 hours total. Andesmar, a leading bus line in Argentina, offers economical overnight service, departing Córdoba at noon and arriving in Puerto Iguazú at 10 the next morning. It is worthwhile to pay extra for the coche cama service, which comes with large, reclining seats and ample leg room.

If 20+ hours on a bus sounds extreme, book an overnight bus instead from Córdoba to the Terminal de Retiro in Buenos Aires. Andesmar has buses that leave Córdoba at 11 at night and arrive the next morning at 8. From there, it's a short taxi ride to Jorge Newbery Airport, the main hub for domestic flights in Argentina and a short distance from downtown Buenos Aires. Once there, take a late-morning flight to Puerto Iguazú, a mere hour and forty-five minutes to the north. With any luck, you'll make it in time to gawk at the waterfalls for an hour or two before dinner.

If you have more money to spend—and would rather not spend the night on a bus—make things simple and just fly to Puerto Iguazú. There are two airlines that offer multiple daily flights from Córdoba to Puerto Iguazú, with a layover in Buenos Aires. Aerolineas Argentinas offers inexpensive flights, but has a reputation for delays; LAN is more reliable, but also slightly more expensive. It's an hour and fifteen minutes from Córdoba to Buenos Aires, and then another hour and forty-five minutes up to Iguazú. In the best-case scenario, you could start your morning in Córdoba and still have time to marvel at one of the world's most awe-inspiring natural wonders by late afternoon. —Luke Epplin, Associate Editor, Countryside and Adventure

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