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  • Writer's pictureBianca

Crossing the Argentina Paraguay Border: Everything You Need to Know

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Argentina and Paraguay share several border checkpoints, with the most popular probably being Puerto Iguazú (Argentinian side)/Presidente Franco (Paraguayan side) given that Iguazu falls is such a hot tourist destination (on both the Argentina side and Brazilian side). However, even though I was planning on visiting Iguazu falls, I decided to enter via a different border crossing - from Posadas (Argentina side) to Encarnacion (Paraguay side). 


What is it like self driving this Argentina Paraguay border crossing? I did this crossing myself in March of 2024 and will cover the process in depth so you can be prepared and know what to expect!


However, if you find yourself with a few days in the northwest of Argentina, you have to try this Salta 4-day itinerary before heading east into Paraguay!

Methods of Crossing the Border

Drive/Take a Taxi

I chose to drive myself from the Argentine border to Paraguay, but you can also opt for a taxi/private transfer. This is the best option in my opinion as you won't be pressed for time and can relax while going through passport control, knowing that you aren't in a hurry. If you hire private transfer, your driver will be familiar with the way, so all you have to do is get out at Argentine immigration and then again at Paraguayan immigration on the other side.

Driving yourself isn't much more complicated than going with a taxi - there's plenty of space available for you to park your car while going through customs. Plus you won't have to get a new taxi on the other side, you can just continue driving to your final destination!


Public Transport

If you plan ahead, taking public transport can also be a good idea. There are two options - the bus and the train. 

Train

Taking the train might be the cheapest and the easiest way to get from Argentina to Paraguay. At the Aduana on the Posadas side, you can board the train to Encarnacion and it only takes about 10 minutes between the two points. The total cost will run you around $0.50 USD, so not breaking the bank by any means.


Bus

Local buses are another option you can use for the Argentina Paraguay border crossing. Buses run fairly frequently and you can buy a ticket at the bus terminal for roughly $1.50 USD. While taking the bus is quite convenient and affordable, there is one major downside - your bus driver will not necessarily wait for you to finish up at the customs office (which might take a couple of hours depending on what time of year and day of the week you go). This means you might wind up having to take the next bus if you're unlucky. Don't worry though - you can use your ticket on the next bus, so make sure you hang on to it and present it when you go back to the bus station!

What Do You Need to Cross the Argentinian-Paraguay Border?

Truthfully, all I needed to cross the border was my passport. However, depending on the officer you get working the land border on the day you cross, they may ask for more documents. For example, they might want to see that you have proof of onward travel before allowing you to cross into Paraguay. Another thing that you can keep on hand just in case is your proof of accommodation booking. They did not ask me for this, but depending on the officer, they may choose to deny you passage to cross the border if you don't have it readily available to present.

Now it's important to note that I am a United States citizen and do note need a visa to enter either Argentina or Paraguay, but if you are not an American citizen (and really, even if you are), you need to make sure that you have the appropriate visas for both countries.

What is it Like Crossing the Argentine-Paraguayan Border?

It's actually quite a simple process getting through customs (or aduana, in Spanish) on both sides. Once you enter border control, the first thing you do is talk to the aduana guy (or gal) on the Argentine side and they will ask you a couple of questions. I was asked how long I stayed in Argentina, how long I planned on being in Paraguay, and then told that they hope I come back. I honestly had a really pleasant experience on the Argentinian side and everyone was super friendly. 


If you plan on taking the train, you'll be able to access the train platform after you're done at the aduana. If you are driving yourself, they will let you go back out the way that you entered so you can grab your car and head over the long bridge to the other side.


​For me, the Paraguay aduana was a bit more stressful. I found that the immigration control on this side was much stricter and a lot less friendly. They asked me a lot of questions including where I was planning on going during my time in Paraguay, details about my car, my phone number, and a bunch of other questions that they repeated over and over to try to get me to change my answer - which of course wasn't changing. Just try not to get too rattled and you'll be able to cross over no problem, as long as your documents are in order.


Sometimes the border agents don't stamp your passport which can cause trouble when you try to exit the next country. Make sure to ask for an exit stamp upon leaving Argentina as well as an entry stamp as you enter Paraguay. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to ask and do not have a passport stamp for either country. I got lucky and it hasn't been a problem for me, but if you wind up with strict border agents, they might ask you for a bribe. If you find yourself in this situation, don't let on that you have much cash even if you do.

Where Should You Stay?

Of course it's easiest to stay in the border towns on both sides of the border. However, I chose to stay in Corrientes on the Argentina side which is a couple hours away from the border, instead of Posadas which is just a short drive away. Staying in the border towns will make crossing borders a much quicker ordeal, however, I found Corrientes to be such a lovely stay and if I had to do it all over again, I'd still choose it as my place to rest before heading to the border.


I stayed at this awesome accommodation. The host, Matias, was such a kind person and helped me out with any questions I had. My car was having issues, and he even went out of his way to personally drive me to a mechanic who could help. He was also very knowledgeable about the are and had great recommendations, which contributed to my wonderful stay! I cannot recommend this accommodation enough and actually wound up extending my time there by a couple of days.


As for the Paraguay side, I stayed in Encarnacion for because I didn't want to drive very far once I entered the country. In Encarnacion, I chose to stay at Hospedaje Encarnacion, which I also loved! It was such a cute spot that only cost around $15 USD/night and included a nice lil breakfast too! I mean the breakfast was nothing crazy, just some coffee and pound cake, but I wasn't expecting anything at that price, so it was a welcome bonus.

 

At the end of the day, crossing the Argentina-Paraguay border is a mostly simple process and you have many options for how to do it. Allot yourself some extra time for going through, especially if you plan on doing the border crossing in reverse, from Paraguay to Argentina as the line going this way is MUCH longer and can take up to 6+ hours to get through during high season.

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