Paraguay is the third country in the country triangle. Tours are mainly offered for shopping. Buses go from Argentina directly to the shopping center in Paraguay, where the prices are said to be quite good.
But doesn’t Paraguay have more to offer? Of course, for example the Itaipu dam, the largest energy producer worldwide. However, Paraguay unfortunately doesn’t understand how to advertise itself and how to adapt to tourism. Without Spanish, it’s not easy in Argentina but even more difficult there.
Paraguay is connected to Brazil by a bridge. From Argentina you cross Brazil if you take the buses from the bus terminal in Argentina that goes directly to Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. The alternative is the ferry from Puerto Iguazu to Franco Presidente in Paraguay.
If you travel to Paraguay you have to stamp your passport at the control in Argentina and get your entry stamp in Paraguay. Respectively reversed on the way back.
If you are not interested in shopping, but still want to stamp into Paraguay, a ferry ride is recommended. Its just a few minutes boat ride for small money from the little port in Puerto Iguazu to Paraguay. A small staircase directly opposite the passport control leads up to the boundary stone. The sign next to it only means that unloading garbage is prohibited, not that you are not allowed to use the path. However, you will have the feeling it not an official way. Although it is only very short, it went through the middle of a field and the last few meters had unsettled dirt.
Not only the way seemed abandoned, but also the landmark itself. I had the feeling that very few people go here. This is also shown by the fact, that there were no souvenir stands or small shops. At least there are toilets
While you can reach the landmark in Argentina 24/7, it has opening times in Paraguay. If you come by car from the main street, you would first have to pass a security guard. On the way from the stairs you don’t meet anyone and could theoretically enter 24/7. However, the ferry times are even more limited than the opening times for the stone, so you are there for regular opening anyway.
Probably the biggest highlight in Paraguay is the Itaipu dam. The dam is a joint project between Brazil and Paraguay and the largest green energy producer in the world. Only the 3 Gorges Dam in China has the potential to create more electricity, but has not yet run at full capacity. This dam can be visited as part of normal or technical tours. While there are tours that go directly from Argentina to the dam on the Brazilian side and there is also a bus connection in Brazil from the city to the dam, you will find almost nothing about the side of Paraguay.
Tours are also offered on the Paraguay side. And these are even free as of Jan 2020. And since I wanted to go to Paraguay once anyway, why not go for a tour there.
You can find more information here: https://cti.itaipu.gov.py/en/central_hidroelectrica
I didn’t find out how to get there easyly and cheap by bus. So I can only describe how I went there. Since I don’t speak Spanish, to ask around in the city was not an option. I didn’t have Paraguayan money and I didn’t really want to get it just for the few hours. But there is Uber in Paraguay. I took the ferry to Paraguay with the idea to at least visit the landmark. And if the Argentine cell phone network reaches over there, I order an Uber and go to the Itaipu dam. It worked and so I visited the Itaipu dam north of Ciudad del Este.
The tour started with a 20min film in Spanish with English subtitles and was very interesting. It described how it came from the idea to the construction and how big and powerful the dam is. 90% of Paraguay’s electricity supply and over 10% of the Brazilian demand are supplied by the dam.
Then we took a bus to a lookout point next to the Itaipu dam. Unfortunately, at that time no water was flowing, which would have made it even more impressive. Even so, it was a great sight because it is so huge. Then the bus continued along the turbines in front of the dam and then back on top of the dam. During the tour, you are theoretically in Brazil by bus, but can do it without passport control here. The guide only spoke in Spanish. Anyway the sight was great and the tour was free.
So how to get back? I had gone there with out a plan but with ideas. And I was lucky and there was wifi at the visitor center of the dam. So I ordered another Uber and went back to the ferry. For me, who cannot communicate there, it was a good option to get to the Itaipu Dam and spent a day in Paraguay.