Iguazu Falls and the Triple Frontier: Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay

Triple Frontera / Triple Frontier Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay

Iguazu Falls is undoubtedly one of the most marvelous places in South America, an icon that any international traveler should visit when approaching the region. The wonderful waterfalls, recently declared one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, are also an attraction located in what is known as the Triple Frontier, which will give you the possibility to visit three countries in a very short period of time. Here we will try to explain a little more about this interesting option if you are one of those avid travelers who enjoy visiting and exploring many countries around the world.

IGUAZU FALLS: The triple frontier

 

First thing: what´is the famous Triple Frontier (or Triple Frontera in spanish). Well, the Triple Frontier is a well-known international tripoint located at the intersection of borders between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, near the famous Iguazú Falls. In the area, you’ll find the cities of Puerto Iguazú (Province of Misiones, Argentina), Foz do Iguaçu (State of Paraná, Brazil), and Presidente Franco and Ciudad del Este (Department of Alto Paraná, Paraguay).

The borders of these three countries follow the course of the Iguazú and Paraná rivers. The Tancredo Neves Bridge crosses the Iguazú River and connects the aforementioned Argentine and Brazilian cities. Over the Paraná River, the Friendship Bridge links Foz do Iguaçu with Ciudad del Este. Additionally, there are ferry transports over both rivers that connect Puerto Iguazú with Presidente Franco. In the area, there is an obelisk in each country with the colors of its respective national flag.

In Puerto Iguazú (Argentina), there is the Three Borders Landmark. It’s a tourist spot with a park where there is a monument featuring the coats of arms and flags of the three countries in the area. You also can find a landmark in Foz do Iguazu, and these icons are usually included during the city tours to visit the area.

Below, you can see the location of the sites we have mentioned on the map.

 

WHERE IS LOCATED IGUAZU FALLS AND THE TRIPLE FRONTIER?

As you can see below, the map locates the Triple Frontier, shared by Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, along with their main nearby cities, which are Puerto Iguazu, Foz do Iguaçu, and Ciudad del Este, respectively, with Iguazu Falls as the central and exclusive attraction of this entire area.

The triple frontier in Iguazu Falls

ABOUT PUERTO IGUAZU, FOZ DO IGUAZU AND CIUDAD DEL ESTE

The three most important cities in the well-known Triple Frontier are undoubtedly Puerto Iguazu in Argentina, Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, and Ciudad del Este in Paraguay.

Puerto Iguazú is a city in the province of Misiones, in the northeastern corner of Argentina. This town is located 14 km from the Iguazú Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Tourism, centered around these waterfalls, is its main economic driver, although international trade also stands out due to its connection with the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguaçu via the Tancredo Neves International Bridge, which links National Route 12 and BR-469. It is a city of 45,000 inhabitants.

Its counterpart is Foz do Iguaçu, a true metropolis. This town in Brazil is located in the westernmost part of the state of Paraná, bordering Argentina and Paraguay. Its estimated population in 2012 was 255,987 inhabitants, contrasting with its Argentine neighbor.

The main sources of income in Foz do Iguaçu are tourism and electricity production. The city is famous for its tourist attractions, which attract people from Brazil and around the world. Among them are the Iguazú Falls, as already explained, the Itaipú hydroelectric dam, and the place where the Iguazú River flows into the Paraná River. A significant portion of its income from commerce and tourism comes from cross-border trade with visitors from neighboring countries.

Foz do Iguaçu is also considered one of the most multicultural cities in Brazil. Various large ethnic groups can be found in the city. The main groups are Italians, Germans, Lebanese, Chinese, Ukrainians, Japanese, and people from neighboring countries (Argentines and Paraguayans).

Lastly, on the Paraguayan side, we find Ciudad del Este. This city is located at the eastern end of the Eastern Region of the Republic of Paraguay. It is the capital of Alto Paraná Department and is situated 327 km from the country’s capital, Asunción, connected by Route PY02. It is connected to Brazil through the Friendship International Bridge over the Paraná River.

The city, formerly known as Puerto Presidente Stroessner, is the largest within the region known as the Triple Frontier, with around 310,000 inhabitants.

Near the city are the Itaipú Dam, one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world, and the Iguazú Falls, one of the wonders of the natural world.

Due to its population and economic development, it is the second most important city in Paraguay, behind Greater Asunción. Its metropolitan area, called Greater Ciudad del Este, includes the cities of Hernandarias, Minga Guazú, and Presidente Franco, increasing the population to over half a million inhabitants. The city has a significant population of Lebanese, Bengali, and Taiwanese immigrants. It is also the regional seat of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este.

Ciudad del Este is characterized as a commercial and increasingly industrial city. It is the most important shopping tourism destination in the country. Many tourists, especially Brazilians and Argentines, cross the Friendship Bridge at the border to shop in Ciudad del Este. It has consulates of Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Syria, Turkey, and Taiwan.

 

THE THREE BORDER LANDMARKS

There are two, one located on the argentinian side, in Puerto Iguazu, and the other one in Foz do Iguaçu on the brazilian side. These landmarks can be visited during the excursions to discover the cities

 

Triple Frontera, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Triple Frontier in Iguazu Falls

 

THE THREE BORDER LANDMARK IN PUERTO IGUAZU, ARGENTINA

On the argentinian side, in Puerto Iguazu you can see three borders: Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. The cities of Puerto Iguazú, Ciudad del Este, and Foz do Iguaçu, respectively, greet each other from a distance at a unique point in the world, as at the Three Borders Landmark, three countries and two rivers (the Iguazú River and the Paraná River) meet in one place.

At each border, an obelisk represents its country. They were built in 1903 and are painted with the colors of their respective flags. From the viewpoint, and if you have good eyesight, it is possible to see them from afar, although the green landscape and sunsets usually steal all the attention.

This point is strategic as it connects the three countries, allowing visitors to cross from one side to the other in a few minutes. From Brazil, Foz and Puerto Iguazú are connected through the Tancredo Neves International Bridge. On the Argentine side, over the Paraná River, is the Friendship Bridge, which connects with Ciudad del Este. Finally, from Presidente Franco, in Paraguay, it connects with the Argentine port. This union is represented in the most photographed monument: three flagpoles whose flags flutter to the wind.

In the surroundings, there is a craft fair where you can buy crafts and regional products such as yerba mate, t-shirts, and leather backpacks, among others. It’s a perfect place to find souvenirs, mementos, or gifts.

In the area, there is also a café, resting areas, hammocks, and children’s playgrounds. Additionally, there is the Water Plaza where, every afternoon, water jets shoot up, becoming favorites of children who run and soak, filling the atmosphere with laughter. If you go with children, we recommend bringing an extra change of clothes and a towel. If you have a mate set, we recommend bringing it as it is a good place to enjoy the afternoon and the scenery. The panoramic view of the orange sun is captured in photos but also in memory!

After sunset, the Dancing Waters Show begins. This light and sound spectacle is projected onto the waters, forming images. With lights, music, and the water fountain, you can see figures of people dancing the three characteristic dances of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. It lasts approximately 20 minutes and happens every day.

To visit the Three Borders Landmark, it is ideal to do so early in the morning or before sunset. You can start the journey from the city, from the “7 corners” (where the main bars and restaurants are located), pass through San Martín Square, and then take Eduardo Arrabal Avenue, which runs along the river until you reach the Three Borders Landmark with a unique view throughout the journey.

Walking there along the coast is an experience in itself, but if you don’t want to, you can also take a bus from the bus terminal, both for the outbound and return trips. To walk back, you can take Tres Fronteras Avenue, which ends at San Martín Square and leads back to the 7 corners.

Visiting the Three Borders Landmark requires half a day and is an ideal activity to do with children. It is also perfect for those who want a more relaxed day or simply enjoy a sunset stroll. History, culture, fun, and relaxation all in one place!

 

 

Triple Frontier Landmark in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil

 

 

THE THREE BORDER LANDMARK IN FOZ DO IGUACU, BRAZIL

The new Three Borders Landmark can now be considered one of the most beautiful and significant places in the city of Foz do Iguaçu. Revitalized with a new proposal that integrates technology and history in a unique way in the city.

Inaugurated in 1903, the Three Borders Landmark consists of three structures, one in Foz do Iguaçu, one in Ciudad del Este, and the other in Puerto Iguazú, characterized by the colors of each country’s flag. After being long forgotten in Brazil, it was completely renovated in 2015, and the second phase of revitalization was completed in December 2016, with the implementation of a new tourism project.

The Three Borders Landmark was already one of the main historical sites in the city of Foz do Iguaçu, where the Iguazú and Paraná rivers meet, but more than that, it marks the encounter of three great nations of South America: Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The landmark symbolizes something of the reality of the region where borders are so close and present that sometimes they seem not to exist.

The new tour is a different experience for tourists. The new buildings honoring the Jesuit Missions, and the entire visual and auditory environment of the tour, draw visitors’ attention to the history of the exploration of the Foz do Iguaçu region, including a beautiful 12-minute projection about Cabeza de Vaca, the first white man to discover Iguazu Falls in 1542 and in the political and social formation of the city.

There is also a restaurant and a playground on-site that offer additional options for visitors. The new proposed project is that the tourist spot is an option for tourists in the evenings and nights, integrating the culture and history of the most beautiful sunset in Foz do Iguaçu.

 

CAN I VISIT ARGENTINA; BRAZIL AND PARAGUAY FROM IGUAZU FALLS?

Absolutely. In fact, Iguazu Falls, shared by Argentina and Brazil, is the main attraction. You can choose to stay on the Argentine side, in Puerto Iguazu or within the national park, or alternatively, you can also opt to stay on the Brazilian side, either in the city of Foz do Iguaçu or within the Brazilian park. Additionally, you can make visits from there to some of the attractions in Paraguay to complete the visit to the three countries. And what to visit in Paraguay? Monday Falls is an interesting attraction, a waterfall on the Paraguayan side that is worth visiting. There is also Ciudad del Este, a city where many people go for shopping.

 

BOOK A TOUR TO VISIT ARGENTINA, BRAZIL AND PARAGUAY WHEN YOU ARRIVE TO IGUAZU FALLS

Our sales team is ready to help you and prepare a customized tour to visit the Triple Frontier, and enjoy Igauzu Falls visiting Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. But, you can find a proposal below, by clicking in the image you can see here:

 

Book tour to Iguazu Falls and the triple frontier

Ramiro Rodriguez

Ramiro Rodriguez

25 years working in the travel industry, as Sales & Marketing Manager at RipioTurismo. Marketing Manager at Nuevas Ideas Travel Consulting Group. Writer and travel lover.

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