There are only a couple souvenir stores in Asuncion outside of the bus station or airport. Most of these are found around the city center. The two areas with the largest selection that I found were both close to Plaza de los Heroes:
- first is the outdoor street vendors on Palma St between Iturbi and 14 de Mayo streets.
- second is on the southwest corner of Plaza de la Democracia.
They are open air stores that typically open ~9am and close around ~6pm but also depend on the weather. Prices are reasonable but most of them are marked so there is not typically any negotiating.
What to buy: These kiosks and vendors have everything from key chains and refrigerator magnets, to clothing, to things made out of the popular lace, the ubiquitous tereré thermos, etc. They also have post cards, mate cups, as well as other various local artisan products.
Aho po'i, fine cloth, embroidered shirts. They are good for the hot and humid weather.
Nanduti (spider web) is Paraguayan lace, good for tables or even to frame and hang on the wall.
What to pay: Key chains and magnets from 5,000PYG.
Shirts and clothes starting at 15,000PYG and higher
Typically cheaper prices than finding in shops.
La Recova has several shops on the outside corridor as well as inside in the larger warehouse style building. The outside walkway has a series of large white arches, so it is a very recognizable building.
During the day hours, the shops will be open. None have posted hours, so it is rather hit-or-miss if they will all be open. After ~6pm they are closed. And honestly speaking, after this time, it may not be altogether recommended to be in this neighborhood.
What to buy: The small stores here have a little of everything. They have souvenirs, local crafts with things like lace work, sculptures, leather goods, terere paraphernalia, etc.
What to pay: Prices are low, mostly due to the lack of high demand since tourists are less common in Asuncion.
When going into the Chaco or other inlands, it's important you bring some supplies of water and fuel.
So plastic cans come in handy and there are many small businesses along the roads from Asuncion selling them.
What to buy: A can.
Paraguay, especially the border cities of Ciudad del Este and Encarnacion, are places for contraband and you can find almost anything you want. The same is true for Asuncion which has a series of modern shopping malls where you can buy the latest electronics, clothes and perfumes.
More interesting, however, are the Nanduti, the woven colorful spiderwebs that come in different sizes and patterns, They make a great gift, take up no space in your luggage, and you are contributing to the local economy rather than to contraband.
Sometimes you are in need of the quality stuff like a glue, grease or whatever.
This shop is cramped with that.