Tourist information for Paraguay is rather limited, particularly in English. However what strides are being made are being done so by the local tourist board (SENATUR).
The website is obviously available 24/7, but it sometimes lacks the specific details that help make a detailed itinerary possible. It will however give you a much better idea of what there is to do and what current events/festivals are happening.
There is a tourist information at the airport, however if you are like me, it will do very little benefit. The four times that I was in the airport, the information desk was closed.
BUT thankfully there is a live office, staffed by helpful people but even it was not well publicized. Open 7am ~ 7pm, the Dirección de Turismo is a big help.
They have maps, brochures and helpful people. They even have free internet connection (time limits enforced if people are waiting).
C/ Palma 468, Centro, Asuncion
tel +595 (021) 494-110
The Bolivian Embassy and Consulate are in the same compound(a former private home) at 6421 Campos Cervera Street at the intersection of Ytororo Street in the residential Villa Morra neighborhood. Telephone (021) 601-999 / 660-620. Take any bus from the historic center that indicates "Lopez" Avenue for Guarani 2,100(US$.45) and get off a few blocks past the Pizza Hut restaurant you will see on the right.
Do not go to 2002 Eligio Ayala Street, 200 America Street, or Aca Caraya Street as indicated on Google Maps. All the website addresses are out of date, trust me I went to all three old addresses just mentioned and spent the entire morning walking like a mad dog in the heat asking all kinds of people who sent me in all kinds of wrong directions.
When I got to the compound the guard asked me to fill out a form and then sent me to the consulate which is a small house past the pool behind the main house(embassy) . The lady in the consulate gave me a list(Spanish only amigos) of 10 requirements:
1. Completed Visa Form
2. Photocopy of passport page
3. Photocopy of roundtrip tickets or onward travel.
4. Photocopy of credit card or bank statement to prove sufficient funds.
5. Personal References
6. Reason for travel(if visiting relatives a family certificate).
7. Hotel Reservation or Official Invitation
8. Passport sized photo on red background without glasses if you wear them.
9. Yellow Fever Vacination
10. Criminal Background Clearance Certificate from Asuncion Police
I don't know how strict they are about the requiremnts because I didn't bother and will pay an extra $35 and get the visa at the border since it is supposed to be less of a hassel.
Fondest memory: Cheap, friendly, and worth a few days.
Main cell line companies are:
1. Vox: www.vox.com.py 3. Porthable: www.porthable.com.py/index.php
2. Tigo www.tigo.com.py 4. Personal: www.personal.com.py
Internet: To access internet, I’m told Tigo is the best provider offering a 128kbit/sec connection with unlimited traffic for US$50/month - you must buy US$15 in calls per month. Porthable does not provide internet access. Vox does, but I know little about it. Personal offers a 64kbit/sec connection. The plan is US$50 for 200MB of traffic and you must buy US$15 in calling. Using internet via cell-phone requires a high-end phone. Recommended models: Nokia 6230 & Nokia 6620, cost about US$300 & US$350.
Language School: idipar—idiomas en Paraguay: Classes in Spanish and Guaraní.
Module of 30 or 60 hours, Monday-Friday, 7am-8pm. Private or group classes of up to 6 students. Possible accommodation with local family. Good way to meet other foreigners.
→ Manduvirá 979/963 c/ Colón (021 447 896).
Tourist Office: located on Palma between Alberdi and 14 de Mayo. Doesn’t have much in the way of tourist info, but then again Paraguay’s tourism infrastructure is rather underdeveloped. However, within this building is an array of local handicrafts and other products (hand made wood products, woven cloth, and other locally made goods). For other local products, visit the outdoor market along calle Chile on the edge of Plaza de los Héroes. Saturday mornings are the time to walk along Palma, or watch people play chess in the park.
Fondest memory: On-line Resources
www.mca.gov.py/inicio.html -Municipality website
www.neike.com.py -Independent Paraguayan Newspaper
www.abc.com.py/paraguay -General Country Information
www.yagua.com.py -Paraguay Internet Guide
www.paraguayglobal.com -Virtual Cyber Market and Economic Information
www.asuguia.com/index.htm -Asunción en la web
www.oei.es/cultura/pdf/Paraguay.pdf -Very thorough information on most cultural centers,
government offices, and universities in the country
For local events—concerts, movies, theater, art shows, opera, etc.—look in the
´espectaculos´ section of the papers, and in Ultima hora look under ´cultura´.
Ultima hora: www.ultimahora.com.py
La Nación: www.lanacion.com.py
Diario Noticias: www.diarionoticias.com.py
El Yacaré—periódico seminal gratuito:
Free weekly paper of local events and left left of center commentary produced by a group of local youth. This can be obtained at some bars (i.e. La Viola), café’s, the occasional news stand
vender may also have it, as well as some university campuses, and shopping centers. It is a good resource. I recommend finding it. They now provide a home delivery service
→ office location: Ayolas 696 esq. Haedo (021 222 456).
** www.asuguia.com → Really good source of local events