What places are worth visiting in Paraguay and what tourists need to know
One of the most charming underrated countries on the South American continent is Paraguay.
The humble nation has in its wealth a number of directions that are still relatively unknown to the outside world. Boasting a unique blend of cultures compared to other nearby countries, these incredible places to visit in Paraguay are sure to stun everyone.
A real wonder is hidden from the gates of the world. Paraguay is truly a place worth visiting.
Best places to visit in Paraguay
Because of its geographic location, Paraguay is often referred to as the "Heart of South America". Here is a list of famous places to visit in Paraguay for first-timers:
- Asuncion is the capital of Paraguay. The central part of the city has a grid layout with the most interesting sights along the undeveloped waterfront.
- Ciudad del Este is the second largest city in Paraguay and is very different from Asuncion. It is known for its cheap shopping (quite often counterfeit goods). Located on a river north of the country, this city is actually quite interesting in its own right. It has a lively market scene and gives you a good insight into Paraguay's rural culture.
- Encarnación. The city is more useful as a city to explore the southeast of Paraguay. It's pretty close to a few places you might want to see or serves as a night stop for a break between trips. There are some good restaurants and hotels here, but nothing else special.
- Grania el Robile. Another small place to stay to experience the nature of Paraguay is Grania el Robile a farm near the town of Concepción. There is even a small private zoo run by German biologist Peter Gartner. Peter can offer day trips and other adventures to see the area.
- Itaipu Dam. This design isn't particularly well known but it's one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the World. Until China built a large one it was the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. It is possible to visit it and get a guided tour - it is quite close to Ciudad del Este.
Transport in Paraguay
The easiest way to get around Paraguay is by bus. The country has an extensive bus system but doesn't expect luxury. It's also designed for locals, not tourists so you'll have to ask a lot of questions to get on the right bus and get off in the right place.
Taxis are cheap and available in major cities. But it's also possible to find guys on motorcycles who can take you short distances in the countryside for a few dollars.
Medical insurance and vaccination
Vaccination is not usually required but is recommended for travelers visiting the Iguazu Falls. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers arriving from an affected region. Sometimes it is recommended to get vaccinated against tuberculosis and hepatitis B.
Food and drink
Tap water is usually chlorinated and although relatively safe it can cause mild stomach upset. Bottled water is available. Drinking water outside of major cities and towns can be contaminated so sterilization is considered necessary. Milk may be unpasteurized so it should be boiled. Avoid dairy products made from unboiled milk. Eat only well-done meat and fish preferably hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruits should be peeled.
Currency and money
The national currency of Paraguay is Guarani. American Express, MasterCard, and Visa cards are widely accepted while Diners Club has more limited use. When making a purchase with a credit card proof of identity such as a passport is required. ATMs are widespread; many accept Cirrus, Maestro, and Visa cards.
US dollar traveler checks are not widely used in Paraguay. There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency.
Paraguay has a free foreign exchange policy. US dollars are more easily circulated and are widely accepted throughout the country. Travelers are advised to use official exchange offices and not deal with people offering services on the street because counterfeit banknotes are common.
Visa and Passport Requirements
To enter Paraguay all citizens require a passport and a return ticket. And citizens of the USA, Canada, and Australia also require a visa. EU citizens can visit the country without a visa for up to 90 days. Citizens not mentioned are advised to contact their embassy to check the visa requirements for Paraguay.
- Single entry visa: £43; multiple entry visa: £67.
- Single entry visa on arrival: £93 for Australians, £52 for Canadians, and £110 for US citizens.
- Multiple entry visa on arrival: £93 for Australians, £103 for Canadians, and £110 for US citizens.
Paraguay boasts a mix of crumbling colonial cities, exotic natural wonders, and indigenous tribes. It is also a place of contradictions; expensive sports cars whistle through the streets, and traditional street vendors trade in the shadows of modern malls.
There is a saying in Paraguay that people who come to visit always cry twice: once when they arrive and once when they leave. Therefore, everyone should visit this country at least to check the effect of this saying.
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.
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