If you're looking to make your way from Encarnación, Paraguay to Posadas, Argentina with public transport, then this is the post for you.
Here's our overview on the costs, the transport options and the typical journey times.
It is worth noting that on our border crossing, we trusted the word of our hostel who said it would only take around 20 minutes to reach the bus terminal in Argentina. This was a wild underestimation however, which resulted in us missing a long-distance bus to Tucuman. So, trust us when we tell you to bargain at least 1.5 hours of travel time from pick-up in Paraguay to drop-off in Argentina.
#1 catch the bus in Encarnacion
To make it to the border, take the local white bus marked 'Internacional' for 7 guarani per person. It's a frequent international service between Paraguay and Argentina, with multiple departures in the hour. We caught it on Juan Leon Mallorquin street, but your best option is to wait for it outside the main bus terminal at one of the little shelters (don't try and catch it IN the terminal, it only passes by the outside).
cost: 7000G / $1.25 / £0.88 per person | time: 30 minutes, depending on traffic.
#2 disembark at paraguayan migration
You will need to remind your driver that you want to get dropped off at 'migracion' or 'la frontera' when you get on the bus but, additionally, you might need to remind him again once you're actually approaching the migration check-point.
Get off at Paraguayan migration and collect your exit stamp - there are no exit fees. The bus will not wait for you, so you'll need to wait for the next one to pass by (again, they arrive fairly frequently).
Show your original ticket to the driver and you should not have to pay again.
cost: same ticket | time: 15 minutes (5 minutes at immigration, 10 minutes to border due to traffic)
#3 arrive at Argentinian migration
After a short drive, the bus will stop at the Argentinian border control and everyone will get off. It's a very busy crossing, so there may be queues, but thankfully it's pretty well-staffed.
Once you've got your Argentina entry stamp (be sure to check your nationality's specific entry requirements beforehand and make any necessary payment or visa arrangements), then you should find the same bus which dropped you off waiting at the other side of the offices.
If it has already left then, again, just get on the next one running the same route and show your original ticket.
cost: free for British passport holders | time: 10 - 30 minutes at immigration (depending on queue)
**Due to the fact that our hostel had given us bad information regarding the travel time, we checked with taxi drivers at this part of the border about the cost of a taxi to the bus station - the best offer was $100 Argentinian Pesos, and that was with good Spanish and a lot of arguing. We'd therefore strongly recommend against this option.
#4 travel on to posadas bus station
The bus ride from the border to Posadas bus station should take around half an hour depending on how many people get on/off along the way, and whilst the driver should announce your arrival at the station, he may, again, not be that helpful. It is therefore advisable to do like we did, and ask a local to give you a heads up when you're near - the station is not the final stop on this route so make sure you're paying attention as it would be easy to miss it.
cost: same bus ticket | time: 30 minutes to bus station
#5 onward travel to resistencia, tucaman and other argentine cities
The bus station is pretty big and set across two floors. The night before making this border run, it makes sense for you to check the departure times and connections from Posadas to other destinations in Argentina. Platforma Diez and Omnilineas are the best options, although they don't list every single service available.
If you face a long wait for your connection, there are are a few cafes in the terminal for you to grab a meal and kill some time.
1 - Bus from Encarnacion to Paraguay immigration | cost: 7000G | 20 minutes
2 - Immigration at both borders | free for British citizens | 25 - 45 minutes
3 - Bus from Argentinian border to Posadas bus station | cost: same bus ticket | 30 minutes
total cost per person: 7000G / $1.25 / £0.89 | travel time: 75 mins - 95 mins