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Driving or busing between Iguazu and Esteros del Ibera?

Portland, Oregon
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23 posts
11 reviews
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Driving or busing between Iguazu and Esteros del Ibera?

My family (2 young kids, 2 adults) will be visiting Misiones in March, and want to visit Iguazu (falls and jungle), San Ignacio and maybe Trinidad (ruins), and Esteros del Ibera (wildlife). I was looking at flying from BA to Ciudad del Este, simply because it's the least expensive option.

My question is if I should then rent a car to get around, or take buses? I was thinking we'd go:

* Ciudad del Este to San Ignacio

* San Ignacio to Galarza (in the wetlands)

* Galarza back up to Iguazu

* Iguazu to Ciudad del Este

Having a car would certainly be more convenient, especially since we have pre-school age kids. But is it safe, both in terms of road condition and other risks? Is it economical? Is it easy to take buses (or taxis) between each of these places?

Thanks for any help!

Mendoza, Argentina
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452 posts
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1. Re: Driving or busing between Iguazu and Esteros del Ibera?

Galarza is a really difficult place to get to. You cannot bus there from Posadas, the direct route to iguazu. If the weather is at all bad, you need a 4 X 4.

The buses between Mercedes, Posadas via Paseo de Los Libres and Iguazu are straight forward and plentifull. All on good roads. From Iguazu to Posadas buses are about every hour.

From Posadas to Carlos Pellegrini the direct way is a bit more difficult. If there is any rain it doesn't happen.

Also the bus from Mercedes to Carlos Pellegrini only runs when the road is good. It is supposed to happen (as of last month) at 12.30 pm.

The alternative is 4WD from the bus station. Theoretically 100 pesos a seat if you can find someone to share or 600 per vehicle each way if you can't. The 4WD's leave early. The bus or a 4WD from Mercedes you can organise when you get to Mercedes.

I don't think it is possible to leave Iguazu and get to Carlos Pelligrini on the same day if you are travelling via Mercedes. It may be possible via Posadas and Gobernador Virasor.

The bus from Iguazu you can organize in Iguazu without much notice,

Esteros del Ibera is one of those places where you need a patient attitude and a spare day maybe.

It is worth the trouble.

Report from a friend who did it by remis and 4 x 4 by driver from Posadas:

"Trip report of sorts

Having tried to get from Iguazu to Esteros in bad weather I thought i might log the story for others.

The plan was, as most information says, bus from Iguazu to Posadas then 4WD to Esteros.

It is not completely straight forward in Posadas but in the end the local taxi mafia at the bus stop organised a remis to Gobernador Virasor to be met by the 4WD.

As had been happening for a few days it poured while we were in the remis. The 4WD never showed up but I know now that the road would have never been good enough.

We waited for a few hours before chatting to a few locals. They all said the only chance was via Mercedes.

We stayed in Virasor overnight. Probably wouldn't recommend Virasor but locals helpful and friendly.

Next morning a long bus run to Mercedes via Paseo de los Libros to Mercedes.

All of these roads are very good and use the big comfy Argentine Buses.

We were in Mercedes a bit to late to find a driver so we had another night there and a driver found us for the next day.

The next morning was another big storm which made the 4WD drive (private transfer ARS$600 per vehicle each way) an absolute white knuckle ride. about one third of the road is sealed, one third is good gravel and the last third is being rebuilt and that day was just huge piles of mud.

The bus mentioned in the LP and elsewhere does not run when the road is wet.

There is no guarantee that you will be able to find 100 peso remis seat.

The end of the story is that Esteros is absolutely worth it. I loved it.

We stayed at Santa Anna lodge who went out of their way to helpful."

Portland, Oregon
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23 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: Driving or busing between Iguazu and Esteros del Ibera?

That is great info, thanks so much! We are planned to stay at Estancia San Lorenzo, which is in Galarza, but they have said they can offer transport from Gobernador Virasor, or maybe even from Posadas. So perhaps we should just take buses to those locales, and lean on them to organize the rougher portion of the journey. Good to hear that the buses are so frequent, that eases my concern about convenience.

IIRC, March will be a rainy time, is that right? Which means we could be in for some adventure. With a 4 & 2 year-old. Whee!

3. Re: Driving or busing between Iguazu and Esteros del Ibera?

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