The two most visited places in Brazil by international visitors are Rio de Janeiro and Foz do Iguacu, and the latter people visit to see the Iguassu Waterfalls. Rio is located on the east coast of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, while Foz do Iguacu is located on the western side of the Parana state sharing its border with Argentina (Puerto Iguazu) and Paraguay (Cuidad del Este). You can take overnight buses from Rio de Janiero to Foz do Iguacu or use alternative routes where it is necessary to change buses.
Direct Bus from Rio de Janeiro to Foz do Iguacu
The only company servicing the direct route Pluma Internacional - http://www.pluma.com.br/.
They have two departures daily from the Rodoviaria Novo Rio (main bus terminal). One departs in the morning and the second departs early afternoon. From Rio to foz the bus journey time is between 22 - 23 hours if the road and traffic conditions are good. The bus arrives to the Rodoviaria Internacional de Foz do Iguacu (main bus terminal).
It is recommended to arrive at least 40 minutes before the scheduled departure of your bus and you will need to find the Pluma Ticket Desk on level 2 to collect your ticket and to find out which platform your bus will depart. Once the bus arrives to the platform you take your own check luggage to the attendant at the back of the bus who will give you a ticket for each bag stored beneath the bus. Remember to keep this ticket in a safe easy to find place because you will need it to collect your bag on arrival.
Before entering the bus your passport will be reviewed and your name checked against the passenger manifest and the name on your ticket. The bus itself will have 2 drivers taking turns at the wheel, but there will not be any onboard attendant. There is no food or drinks supplied on the bus but it stops every 2 to 4 hours at locations where you can grab a bite to eat, we recommend you take snacks and water. The bus has onboard W/C but also take advantage of the rest stops to use the facilities when you can. It is also recommended to take something warm with you in case the onboard air-conditioning is too strong.
To purchase a ticket online directly from Pluma you will need a CPF number which is like a Brazilian Tax File number. If not a Brazilian citizen you can purchase your ticket in advance from the Green Toad.
Alternative Routes from Rio to Foz by Bus
If you cannot get the direct bus from Rio to Foz do Iguacu then we would suggest you take one of these alternative routes:
Bus from Rio to Sao Paulo (approx 6hrs) then change for a Sao Paulo to Foz do Iguacu bus (approx. 16 Hrs)
Bus from Rio to Curitiba (13 Hrs) then change for a Curitiba to Foz do Iguacu bus (approx. 10 Hrs)