Welcome to Paraguay
Paraguay is a country located in the heart of South America, landlocked by Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina with which it shares borders. It is a beautiful country full of green landscapes, big rivers, unique folklore, and indigenous culture.
Compared to its neighbors, Paraguay receives relatively few tourists, meaning that visitors have its many attractions mostly to themselves. In this ultimate Paraguay travel guide we offer practical tips and recommendations to make your planning easier and more enjoyable.
Document checklist for Paraguay
- Visa (use our Visa Checker Tool to find out if you need a visa to enter Paraguay)
- Valid passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of arrival)
- Sufficient funds
- Return ticket
Essential Paraguay travel information
Currency - Paraguayan guaraní (₲ or Gs). USD 1 is equivalent to approx. ₲ 7.306.
Daily budget for 1 person - Allow a daily budget of ₲ 448.341 (USD 62).
Languages - Paraguayan Guaraní 95% and Spanish 87%.
Number of travelers per year - Paraguay recorded about one million tourists in 2020, ranking 94th in the world. Compared to most countries, it receives few tourists.
Socket type - Type C. Paraguay operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Time zone - GMT-3.
Top 3 cities to visit - Asunción, Ciudad del Este, and Encarnacion.
Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue, National Pantheon of The Heroes, and the Itaipú Dam.
Visa information for Paraguay
Please note that iVisa does not currently process visa applications for Paraguay. If you need a visa, please contact your nearest Paraguay consulate or embassy.
There are 59 nationalities that are exempt from visa entry requirements for Paraguay, including most nationals from the European Union, and Central and South America. All nationals from other countries would need to refer to their nearest Paraguayan embassy and apply for a visa.
Typical costs and budget for Paraguay
The following is a basic guide to what you could spend on a mid-range budget on a daily basis.
Daily spending per person - Around ₲ 448.341 (USD 62) per day, per person on a budget vacation, which includes:
Meals - ₲ 101.324 (USD 14)
Transport - ₲ 51.861 (USD 7)
Hotel - ₲ 263.295 (USD 36) per night for a double room.
A budget vacation for one week can cost up to ₲ 3.138.388 (USD 428) per person.
Transport and best ways to travel around Paraguay
There are many ways to get to and around Paraguay. Here are some tips for navigating the country in a safe and efficient way.
How to get to Paraguay
Some airlines that fly to Paraguay are TAM and LATAM, via Brazil or other South American Nations. From London, flying takes about 16 hours (including stopovers) and from New York about 13 hours (including stopovers).
Most people enter Paraguay by long-distance bus from Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, or São Paulo, for example. Another easy way to get to Paraguay is by taking a ferry from Iguazú Falls in Argentina.
Arrival and immigration tips for Paraguay
The airport in Asunción is open 24 hours and is small and secure. However, if you enter by land or boat, make sure to keep your luggage secure, as illegal border trafficking is prevalent and can attract crime.
Always check the stamps in your visa after going through customs, it can happen that a mistake is made and you do not get the expected expiration date.
Bus network in Paraguay
The main means of transport in Paraguay are buses (called colectivos by the locals), for which tickets are cheap and service relatively efficient. Some of the most popular intercity bus companies leaving from Asunción bus station are Nuestra Señora de la Asunción and La Encarnacena.
Taxis in Paraguay
Taxi rides are generally expensive compared to other services. In Asunción, the cost of the ride is determined by the meter but in other cities and areas is different, where you will need to bargain and agree on the price beforehand in order to avoid overpaying. A good recommendation is to ask your hotel concierge to guide you regarding the real and fair costs of the fare.
Driving in Paraguay
There are some major roads that connect the cities of Asunción, Encarnación, and Ciudad del Este. However, it is not recommended to self-drive. Traffic laws are generally not respected by drivers, and road signs are often absent. Rural roads are generally unpaved and driving can be dangerous in the rainy season.
Safety in Paraguay
Paraguay is overall a safe country, however, there are some risks mainly related to petty crime, smuggling, and corrupt police, therefore applying some basic precaution and safety measures is advised.
Pickpockets - Street crime is common, especially in the major cities, so keep your belongings in a safe spot and try not to carry valuables while sightseeing.
Public transport and taxis - There have been reports of thefts taking place on buses and taxis. Take precautions when on buses and try not to stop taxis in the street but via phone call with a registered company.
Terrorism - There is a low risk of terrorism in Paraguay.
Scams - Scams are common in Paraguay so always be careful with suspicious individuals like unauthorized bus ticket vendors in the Asunción bus terminal, or people offering to play card games with you to make some easy money.
Weather in Paraguay
There are two very distinct seasons in Paraguay, hot and cold.
The hot season runs from October to April with an average temperature of 35°C (95°F), but the hottest months are November to February when temperatures can hit 45°C (110°F), mostly in Northwestern Paraguay which has a tropical climate.
During the cold season, which runs from May to Septembercold air from Antarctica blows and lowers the temperature to between 6°C (42°F) and 21°C (70°F) on average. The coldest month is July with a minimum of 9°C (48°F).
There is no specific rainy season in Paraguay, but storms are more frequent in October and November which can make traveling more difficult. The best time to visit Paraguay is from May to September when there is a more temperate and pleasant climate.
Must do and see in Paraguay
Asunción - The capital and main city of the country, and one of the oldest South American cities. In downtown Asunción, you will find the most interesting historical sites such as Casa de la Independencia Museum (which is Paraguay's oldest building), the Panteon de Los Heroes, Palacio de Los Lopez, Asunción Cathedral, and the National Congress building.
Ciudad del Este - The second-largest city and popular gateway to the country from Iguazú Falls. It is very famous for cheap shopping, therefore the border is usually frequented by Argentinians and Brazilians chasing after good deals.
Encarnación - At the border with Argentina and a good spot to start exploring the Southeast of the country since it is close to some beautiful small towns.
*Chaco Lodge - A forest reserve, home to a salt lake that is famous for its flamingos and a great place for camping.
Concepción - Located by the Paraguay River in the center of the country, used as a gateway to the beaches of the river.
Trinidad Jesuit Ruins - This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers striking views of the red-sandstone structure in ruins that were inhabited by the Guaraní people after the expulsion of the Jesuits. It lasted until the fall of the church's dome, which was interpreted as a sign from God to abandon the site.
Typical Paraguayan food to try
Paraguayan "Soup" - Sopa Paraguaya is actually a solid soup made out of cornbread, probably the only solid soup in the world but very worth trying.
Payagua Mascada - This means chewing gum for dogs in the local language, but it is better than it sounds. It is a tortilla made out of cassava and beef.
Empanadas - A very famous street food, also in other South American countries. The Paraguayan empanada is a fried and breaded pastry stuffed with meat or egg.
Vaccine information for Paraguay
Even though the following vaccines are not mandatory to enter Paraguay, the government recommends travelers are vaccinated against hepatitis, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, and COVID-19.
In spite of your vaccination status, there are no longer any specific entry requirements for COVID-19.
Exploring Paraguay's UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Discover Paraguay’s history at the UNESCO-listed Jesuit ruins of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue. Spanish invaders established Jesuit missions to 'civilize' the indigenous tribes in the 17th century, creating entire towns within their red stone walls.
'Natives House' rooms have eight arches facing the plaza. The stone galleries remind us of impressive Roman bridges or aqueducts. You can visit this archeological site from the Iguazú Falls in Argentina, by taking a bus directly to Trinidad.
The site is accessible from the nearby city of Encarnacion by any number of buses traveling frequently on the highway to Ciudad del Este. From the highway it's about a 10-minute walk. Entrance is less than USD 0.50.
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