Border crossing Dreiländereck - crossing Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay

Border crossing Dreiländereck: some practical tips for driving from Brazil to Paraguay and for driving from Brazil to Argentina. The region around Iguazu is known as the triangle because three countries border each other here: Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

It is very easy to switch back and forth between these countries as a European with a valid passport. However, there are differences that we would like to share here today.

Border crossing border triangle - from Brazil to Paraguay

This border crossing can be described as easy. Actually there is no passport control unless you want it. But more on that later.

We live in the center of Foz do Iguazu, the Brazilian part of the city. Opposite the entrance to the bus station on the street is a bus stop. This is where you will find the public bus that runs from Foz do Iguazu to Ciutad del Este, the first border town in Paraguay.

There is no schedule at the bus stop. When we ask when the bus leaves, we are told: "always". And that's actually how it is. The right bus also clearly has “Ciutad del Este” in front of it. So you can't miss it.

You can simply buy the ticket from the bus driver, a sticker on the bus shows the prices. It costs 6.5 BR or 2 USD. Other currencies are affected, you can apparently pay with everything. Converted, the trip to the next town costs about 1.75 EUR.

It takes a while by bus until you see the border, about 30 minutes depending on traffic. Immediately after realizing that there is a border here, you are already on the bridge to Paraguay. As I said – there is no passport control here on the bus. Directly after the bridge are the Paraguayan border buildings. You get off the bus and you are there. Quite simply, without any formality. And that is not as self-evident here in these countries as we are used to in the EU! The procedure relates only to this border crossing. In other places it is seen much more strictly.

Now, as a geocacher, you can first walk to the Tradi in a side street. This bears – imaginatively – the name Ciutad del Este,, and is easy to find at any time. On the way you are often approached by traders. Ciutad del Este is anything but beautiful…. And it should also be an unsafe patch. We can't report now that anything happened to anyone. Nevertheless, you should exercise caution and never walk alone.

After you have found the Tradi, you can also make your way back. Neither shops nor restaurants, cafes invite you to linger.

For the way back, one of the groups of cachers laid out a reverse where-I-go: The final can be found on the bridge.

Border crossing border triangle

Yes, the Friendship Bridge is a road bridge that crosses the Rio Paraná River and connects the city of Ciutad del Este in Paraguay to Foz do Iguazu in Brazil. In 1956, the two countries agreed to build the bridge, which was built between 1957 and 1965. It was one of the largest concrete arch bridges of its time. Today it offers a beautiful view of the river and Foz de Iguazu on the way back.

We really recommend trying the public bus for the outward journey. It's also an experience. It is just as nice to walk across the Friendship Bridge. If you were to drive again, or even use a taxi, you would miss the view and not be able to lift the Where-I-Go. Both would be a shame.

Some geocachers would like to have a stamp in their passport as proof of the country point. This is not recommended at the Brazil – Paraguay border crossing. One should simply enjoy being able to get the Paraguay country point without any formalities. For a stamp in your passport you have to exit the bus on the Brazilian side. The bus driver must be informed of this in good time (if possible in Portuguese), since no stop is planned here. Then you go to the office of the border officials on the Brazilian side. This is not in the border house, they only wave you through and the main task of the officials there is to regulate traffic. The border guards office is a few houses before the border on the left side of the road. If you can make yourself understood, you will receive an exit stamp from Brazil. Then you can wait for the next bus or walk across the bridge. On the other hand, you can get an entry stamp for Paraguay in an office on the right side of the road. Later you have to go here again to exit and after crossing the bridge you get the entry stamp for Brazil. All in all, this procedure should take around 1.5 hours. This didn't seem worth the effort and we preferred to use the time for the Brazilian side of the falls, which we had planned for the afternoon.

Border crossing border triangle

From the border crossing to the border crossing, a good hour is enough time for planning. You don't want to stay longer in this part of Paraguay.

Border crossing border triangle - from Brazil to Argentina

At the border from Brazil to Argentina it doesn't look quite so easy anymore. If you arrive by public transport or taxi, you have to disembark, cross the border on foot and board a local transport on the Argentine side. A rental car can only be taken across the border under certain (expensive) conditions. We always use a transfer that also takes care of the border formalities for us. For this purpose, the passport numbers are sent to the border beforehand and it is known that a European group is coming. We can only recommend this route if you arrive with several people.

The guide disappears with all passports in the border house, first from the Brazilian side. It takes a while and you're glad that you don't have to do the border formalities yourself in Portuguese (English is mostly not available to the locals). The group stays comfortably seated on the bus. Then it goes a little further to the Argentine border control. Again the guide disappears into the house with all the passports and after some time (this can take half an hour) he reappears. Passports are distributed on the bus and everyone has an exit stamp from Brazil and an entry stamp from Argentina. Nothing stands in the way of a brilliant stay on the Argentine side of the falls. The national park is good for hiking, it is ideal for the family and should definitely be visited on a holiday in South America.

On the way back you experience the same procedure, only before the Argentine border control the sum of 50 Argentine pesos has to be paid to the tourism authority. No wonder, again a little house into which the guide disappears. After all, he brings a receipt for the approximately EUR 1.10 for everyone. Then there is an exit stamp from the Argentine side and an entry stamp from the Brazilian side. Very comfortable with a guide, without it could be linguistically more difficult, but it can certainly be done.

Have we whetted your appetite for these three special countries? In 2020 we will again be driving from Cacher-Reisen to Intervales Park to APE-Cache Brazil and to this border triangle. If you want to be there, register on our waiting list and don't miss any more information! Click here for the waiting list: Newsletter

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