In the bus to Iguazu Falls… For many international travelers the word bus might not bring back the best memories. Especially when you mention the 18 hours it takes from Buenos Aires to take a bus to Iguazu Falls. Knowing that your other option is a 2 hour flight, might not help either. You can almost feel it coming, but I’m going to make the case for taking the bus in this article.
If you are not restricted to a very tight schedule, and you can afford to take 18 hours out of your schedule to travel, the bus is actually a great option. The falls are one of Argentina’s absolute must-see attractions, so they will definitely make up for how horrible the bus to Iguazu Falls could possibly be. However, the bus ride is far from horrible, it is actually very pleasant. Though the ride is quite pleasant it is highly recommended you make sure to get a 1st class seat, a cama ejecutiva as Argentines call it. This is a seat, or rather a recliner, that goes almost all the way flat.
There’s a wide array of buslines that offer trips to Iguazu, all of which depart from the Retiro Buenos Aires Bus Station. You can load the baggage in the storage part of the bus while taking smaller items with you to your seat. The buses are ordinarily double-deckers, with enough personal space per seat. Not only is personal space no problem, the seats are huge, plush and comfortable, and a pillow and blanket are waiting for you atop your seat. You can put all your stuff under your seat or in the overhead compartment. Another nice touch of the buses in Argentina is when you buy the 1st class seat you will have food and drinks included in the price of your ticket.
Since this is a 18 hour drive, your bus to Iguazu can get boring some times. But, not to worry, the Argentine buses have also taken care of this, playing 3 movies before the clock strikes 12, you always have something to look at. It’s still recommended to bring your own entertainment, just in case you might not like the movies. Furthermore you can always talk to your friends, or the person next to you. The bus personal is very easygoing and tolerate a lot of chattering. Some buses even offer in-bus WiFi, so you can make sure people back home stay up to date of your traveling experiences. If you’re one of those people who can’t sit still for such a long period of time, and who can really? You can walk around freely in the bus, and I know what you’re thinking, yes there is an on board toilet.
Dinner gets served at regular Argentine times, around 9 or 9:30. The staff seems to have years experience as they easily hover through the aisles. The food is more or less the same as you’d get served on flights. The food is of reasonable quality and there’s more than enough of it. Water and Coke is always available on the bus to Iguazu Falls, and after dinner you’re offered tea and coffee. There are even free bottles of wine, and just in case the wine wasn’t enough, the personnel comes around after the lights go off to offer free whiskey or champagne to everyone on board. As you want to make the most of your money you won’t let this opportunity pass you by. Everyone has a handy fold-out drink holder next to his/her seat which is perfect for holding you cup. You don’t even have to worry about falling asleep, your cup will not fall! When it is time for bed, you can recline your seat, if you haven’t already, and you can close your curtains until you’re in your own little dark cocoon. The pillow and blanket are the final touch, once you’ve found your comfortable sleeping position, you’re guaranteed to fall asleep within minutes.
The bus ride to Iguazu Falls is very smooth. When you wake up it feels like you’ve been floating on a cloud. Only when you open your eyes you realize where you are. If you’re lucky you’ve slept away most of your trip, and you’re about to arrive at the final destination. In the morning breakfast will be ready for you before you arrive, and hopefully you arrive well rested in Puerto de Iguazu.
In general people are very content about the buses in Argentina, and are willing to do it again. This is exactly why we can recommend going in bus for such a long time, the ride is comfortable and people always end up telling positive stories about it.
Written by Marcel Hulleman