Our Tam flight from Rio was 40 minutes late so we had no time to check into our Foz B&B before heading to Paraguay.....
As promised our driver was patiently waiting when we arrived at the airport and we were happy he spoke good English. He explained there was a van waiting with some others to take us across the bridge to the border town.
As it turns out we are the only English speaking in our group.We hoped for the best when we headed across the Friendship Bridge with no Visa.
The van ,as promised,headed right across stopping at neither border check. I didn't see anyone else stopping either. Whew!!
We really enjoyed our afternoon in Ciudad del Este. It would have been such a shame to miss out when we were so close.
I am however ,concerned about not get an exit stamp when we leave Brazil...so as we are sitting in the van at the end of the day waiting for the others I'm hoping for the best.
We wait almost an hour past our planned return time for the other shopppers to return . We saw people with huge TV's , computers ...everything. I'm surprised as the prices really didn't seem that cheap to me.
Also no problem...once again we drive right across the borders!!
Members of the indigenous people of Paraguay are known as the Guaraní. Although they would refer to themselves as Abá, the early European missionaries placed the name Guaraní on those that chose to become "civilized". Today, it is estimated that the two primary ethnicities of Paraguay are European decent and the Guaraní.
During our travels to Ciudad del Este, we met this Guaraní woman who was selling arts and crafts on the side of the road. It is amazing that the art of selling can stretch across multiple language barriers, as I spoke zero Guaraní and she spoke zero English. A transaction however was made based on hand signals!
If you are planning to cross the border from Brazil into Ciudad del Este, here is the information that I was able to pick up from our driver. For US citizens there is a visa requirement to enter Paraguay. However, if you are only going on a day trip to Ciudad del Este, you can most likely avoid this by taking public transportation and not asking to get your passport stamped. The bridge between the two countries allows for steady flow without interruption, and it is on your own honus to stop in and "migrate" if you are coming into the country for an extended period of time. No one will stop you, but you should stop if you are going on deeper into Paraguay.
Coming the opposite way is even more important. If you are leaving Paraguay for Brazil, and you fail to stop and check into Brazil, you can be assigned a hefty fine. For Americans in particular, you will be assessed a $100USD visa fee, plus a $85USD departure tax if you do not have the proper entry paperwork. Again though, if you are just making a day trip from Paraguay into the Foz do Iguacu region, you most likely will not even be checked.
the Mission Ruins..south from Ciudad del Este, through Encarnation.
this site could not be completed by the Jesuits who had set up other Missions in Paraguay, Argentina and Brasil.
those reduciones= missions, in the early 17th century, with its main incentiv to educate and convert the native Indians. for the spanish and portugues conquerer the trend was to capture the natives and kill them or as the
Bandeirantes from Sao Paulo / Brazil capturing the people for slavery.
It's a real Eyeopener, what white people done to native people
Fondest memory: just deeply touched and quite rattled
never seen anything quite like it. the tree that stores water, the camel in the floral world
for the botanical friend out there
look it up, very interesting read
Fondest memory: the Bottle Tree, its name comes from the bottle shaped stem's, can grow over 20m high and 4m in diagram and
withstands even extreme conditions by the moddy Gran Chaco
the ruins of the Jesuit Mission, 2 of them are situated near Encarnacion. the Buildings are an excellent work of western Architecture, but with the stigma of taken advantage of native people, who where promised salvation and education. the Jesuits meant well, but could not stop slavery in those days. Bandeirantes coming from Brazil captured the Natives for forced labour. western diseases done the rest. not resistand to the flu or small pox they Indians surcumed fast.
one get's a different perpective seeing the place and thinking of western culture,some projects have gone horrible wrong
more information on my Sao Migel page through the link below
Fondest memory: I like the native people in Paraguay
This is a map of Asuncion that may become handy. I put it here just because I had no idea where to put it.
The map shows only a section of Zona Centro (Downtown). For a larger and more detailed map try these links
BUY BUY BUY!!!
Be carefull with the stores tough!
I personally recommend theses ones: La Petisquera, Monalisa, Casa China, Via Brasil and Americana.
The stores hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00pm (sometimes earlier). On sundays most of them r closed. Saturday is the fullest day, where people from all over brazil go there to shop!
Fondest memory: Shopping there is so guuddddd!!! :)
Visit the Itaip? Hydroelectric Power Plant. The project is the world's largest hydroelectric project, developed by Brazil and Paraguay jointly, and it began in 1974. It is located in the River Paran?, along the frontier between Brazil and Paraguay. The Visitor Centre (on the Brazilian side) provides a video show
and a guided tour. Buses from Foz do Igua?u on the Brazilian side or Ciudad del Este in Paraguay via the Friendship Bridge between the countries.
Fondest memory: The currency in Paraguay is called the Guarani and the denominations can can get quite large. These are the most valuable bills at 100 000 each. 100 000 as of 2003 was roughly worth around $22 Canadian. It was nice to finally be a millionaire in a country!!! I now have to work on becoming a millionaire with a slightly more valuable currency!
If you want to experience something truly Paraguayan, every year on December 8th there a a massive Pilgramage to this church in the city of Caacupe. The cobblestone plaza of the church can accommodate
300 000 people. This church is viewed as the most important in all of Paraguay.
All the nature arround, this could be the perfect place to hide, if you are thinking about, some time out for meditacion, fresh air, and something new.
When, Antoine De Saint-Exupery who wrote the little prince came to paraguay he wonder about the marvelous work of the ants and their "Tacuru" and the red land, and all the green is such beautiful portrait. Something else that nobody cant forget would be the paraguayan Harp, loved all arround the world, and the guaranias, those beutiful songs about love; Lago Ypacarai is a must see, and also Asuncion with its buildings that can be modern but also from colonial time, and Ciudad Del Este, a Duty Free, where you can buy almost everything for a good price, there is also the Itapu Dam , one of the marvelous things of the modern world, not to forget, Monday Fall, and Bertoni's Museum, the Chaco.
Also Ruinas Jesuiticas, Trinidad, Paraguari,Lago Ypoa.
if you want to buy something
* ciudad del este :
shopping del sol (this is a mall, you will also find free internet, and foof court)
Mariscal Lopez Shopping (another mall)
Mall Excelsior (also a mall)
Calle palma( here you will find lots of stores, it's the most traditional street of asuncion)
Unicentro(on calle palma , you will find clothes, perfumes, make up, sometimes cheaper than in the mall, not all of them!)
Mariscal Lopez is another street that has good restaurants and stuff
Brasilia ( you may find some night activity)
España(also some things to do)
Fondest memory: nature, animals, rivers
Stay at the Ambassador hotel down by the waterfront. It's a definite South American low-life dive but it's a hoot. I wouldn't send a 60 year old investment banker there on a business trip but among 'packers it is famous. There are excellent local restaurants close at hand, street vendors and the redlight district is only a block away.
Fondest memory: The food and the people. Paraguay is the absolute land of being left alone. If anyone wants to go somewhere and be another person for a while then Paraguay is the place.
They have a manioca pan bread made with cheese that is just to DIE for good.
Drink cold mate (terrere) in la plaza uruguaya in downtown Asuncion; Visit a rural area and enjoy the Paraguayan hospitality; visit the foz de yguazu on the Paraguayan, Argentinian, Brazilian tri-border!
Fondest memory: Riding on a cattle round-up with Kai Mendez in my Peace Corps site, Calle Primero de Marzo!! Yee Haw
You have to visit Iguazu Falls. Technically between Brazil and Argentina, the falls are just a short 15-20 min ride across the Paraguayan border. The sight of 275 different falls is a breathtaking experience. You can also rent a chopper and view the falls from the air. However, if yor physical condition is not horrible, you should walk the road to the bottom of the 'Garganta del Diablo' ('Devil's Throat'). And bring dry clothes!! The mist from the falls will soak you to the bone!!! (which could be a blessing if the temperatures are up). You could stay at very nice hotels by the falls either on the brazillian or argentinian side. I heard they charge around $150-200 a night.
Fondest memory: Well, first of all, my girlfriend, duh!! More seriously, the very best thing about the country is the easy, slow pace of living. If you need to find a place just to relax and take it reeeeally easy, this is the place for you. Even the excitement of nightlife ghostly pales to Europe or North America but you could definitively have fun there. A big plus is the exchange rate. You could have dinner for two at a local above average restaurant, dancing at a local club and a couple of drinks for about $25. Or pitchers of local beer (which is wonderful since there's a big german mennonite minority and, of course, your occassional hidden Nazi. And they know about beer!!!)
We found it difficult to find budget or cheap accommodation in Asuncion. There didn't seem to be any...more
11 de Setiembre y Luis Ma. Argana, Ciudad Del Este, 7000, Paraguay
Good for: Solo
Ruta 1 Kilometre 361, Barrio Quiteria , Encarnacion, 6000, Paraguay
Good for: Families
More Regions in Paraguay