We’ve arrived in Iguazu. We’re about to take our first steps in Argentina, and the sight of the plane made us want to.
Smooth exit, but it takes us a while to find the information point. A very sympathetic lady explains to us that to go to Puerto Iguazu airport In Brazil, all we have to do is take the 120 bus towards the center, stop in front of the Carima hotel, walk to the border (100m which turns out to be 800m), do all our checks and wait for the bus. 6.40 Reals later, we arrived at the border, which was very simple and inexpensive (around €1.50 for two).
Crossing the border into Brazil was easy, as we hadn’t lost our exit papers. Then we waited for the bus to Argentina, which arrived after a few minutes’ wait (a bus about every 20 minutes ). We pay the 8Reals (€2 ) we have left and off we go.We went to all the banks in town (3), one was closed, the other wouldn’t allow us to withdraw more than 500 pesos (€30) and the other 2000 with charges (note also that only one ATM out of 4 accepted our card).
In the end, the driver asks us to get off with all our stuff, we understand that we have to cross the border and that he’ll pick us up afterwards, but we have to hurry because we’ d read in the backpacker ‘s guide that he could leave without us. We pass through customs almost unhindered. In our haste, we almost missed the X-ray check of our bags. Fortunately, the customs officers called us to order.:) In the end, it took us 5 minutes to get back on the bus.
We’re finally in Argentina, we stop at the terminus so there’s no stress and our hostel is right next door. We take a break at the hostel, and do a quick Internet search to find nearby banks. We need to change money or withdraw cash, as we don’t have a single Argentine peso…
The city tour is quick and disappointing, but then again, you come here for the falls, not for the city’s architecture. The bank is full of people and the info point is closed until 4pm. We settle on a small guide restaurant with wifi and air conditioning (yes, it’s super hot outside). When it’s time to pay: ” ah no, we only take the visa “Flo, forced to go to the bank while I waited in the restaurant. After waiting at least 45 minutes, she returns with the money needed to pay for the meal. It was our first contact with the Argentine banking system, and certainly not our last.
We went to all the banks in town (3), one was closed, the other wouldn’t allow us to withdraw more than 500 pesos (€30) and the other 2000 with charges (note also that only one ATM out of 4 accepted our card). You couldn’t withdraw more than 2,000 at a time, but you could take a total of 10,000. It’s a good way to charge 5 times the fee. It was our first contact with the Argentine banking system, and certainly not our last. We took off the minimum to last until Buenos Aires, hoping to find something better.
Before heading home, we stop off at the bus terminal to buy our tickets for Buenos Aires (20 hours by bus) andIguazu Falls. We try our first negotiations, but it’s not easy to find the best price.
Finally, we headed back to the hostel to rest and prepare for tomorrow.