Tres Fronteras (Triple Frontier) – the Tripoint of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil

The tripoint of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina

photography by: Omri Westmark

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Probably the world’s most famous border triangle, the triple frontier between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay is notorious for its widespread criminal activity, and yet, thanks to its proximity to the Iguazu Falls and other natural gems, also serves as a popular tourist destination. Among the area’s major magnets for visitors is the actual tripoint, with each country having its own lookout and recreational complex. Despite its sheer dilapidation and lack of tourist facilities, the Paraguayan “Tres Fronteras” viewpoint offers a mind-boggling vista that encompasses Brazil, Argentina and two of the continent’s largest rivers.

Drug trafficking, money laundering and theft of intellectual property are only some of the vices which the border triangle of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay is negatively associated with. Despite its somewhat dubious reputation, this ethnically diverse region also attracts huddles of tourists, most of whom come with a sole purpose, visiting the globally-renowned Iguaçu Falls.


Away from the tourist-infested footpaths around the waterfall, lies the actual tripoint where all three countries meet. As the border between Argentina and Brazil straddles the Iguazu River whereas Paraguay’s border with its two neighbors lies in the middle of the Paraná River, the tripoint is located at the confluence of the two rivers.


During the last decades, the three cities along each side of the border erected a recreational complex, where visitors can have a glimpse of the neighboring countries. Whilst both Argentina’s Puerto Iguazú and Brazil’s Foz do Iguaçu boast a buzzy viewpoint with a glut of restaurants, bars and stores, Ciudad del Este in Paraguay is still lagging behind, with a rather derelict park. There are a couple of plans to face-lift the site, yet as of 2023, none of them have come to fruition yet.


But what Hito Tres Fronteras Park, as it is locally known, lacks in tourist infrastructure, it more than makes up for in with a 180° sweeping panorama of the area. Similar to its two counterparts in Brazil and Argentina, the Paraguayan side of the triple frontier is marked by an obelisk, embellished with the colors of the national flag. The red, blue and white marker is accompanied by another column, whose triangular tip accurately indicates the location of each country.

At the viewing platform, visitors can gaze at the nearby Brazilian and Argentinian landmasses, each of which is covered by a thick rainforest. Those who pay a close attention, might even catch the faint hubbub from across the border. Slightly south of the tripoint lies the newly constructed Puente de la Integración (the Integration Bridge). Inaugurated in 2022, the 760 meter long and 174-meter-tall bridge that connects Paraguay with Brazil was built as a measure to mitigate the perpetual congestion at the more upstream Friendship Bridge.


Intrepid visitors who wish to explore the surrounding area can take the narrow pathway that meanders down from the lower observation deck to the river’s shoreline. As you walk along the Ruta a la Marina y Aduana Paraguaya, you’ll come across the Paraguayan passport control, followed by the pier, from where a frequent ferry service links Ciudad del Este with Foz do Iguaçu and Puerto Iguazú.


The Hito Tres Fronteras complex is open every day from 8AM to 5PM, and is accessible through a large gate next to Gral. Bernardino Caballero Street. Take note that a 5000 guarani fee (equivalent to 70 US cents) is collected upon entry.