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Paraguay Travel Tips

Planning a trip to Paraguay? Our Paraguay Travel Tips will guide you through its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history for a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Why Visit Paraguay?

Nestled in the heart of South America, Paraguay is often overlooked by travelers in favor of its more touristy neighbors like Brazil and Argentina. However, this hidden gem offers a unique blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and untouched natural beauty. From the bustling streets of Asunción to the tranquil shores of Lake Ypacaraí, Paraguay promises an authentic South American experience away from the typical tourist crowds.

A Brief History

Paraguay’s history is as diverse as its landscapes. Once a hub of the Guarani civilization, it later became a Spanish colony in the 16th century. The country’s history is marked by the influence of Jesuit missions, the struggle for independence in 1811, and the devastating Paraguayan War of the 1860s. This complex past has shaped a resilient and culturally rich nation, offering travelers a deep dive into South American heritage.

Visa Requirements

Paraguay offers visa-free entry to many nationalities for stays up to 90 days. Citizens from countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and most of Europe typically do not need a visa for tourism purposes. However, it’s essential to check the latest requirements through the official Paraguayan consulate or embassy in your country before traveling. Extensions beyond 90 days may be possible but require prior approval.

Asuncion Paraguay aerial view

Currency and Money Matters

The official currency of Paraguay is the Guarani (PYG). It’s advisable to exchange currency upon arrival at authorized exchange offices or banks, as it might be challenging to find Guarani outside of Paraguay. Major credit cards are accepted in larger cities and tourist areas, but cash is often preferred for smaller purchases and in rural areas. ATMs are widely available in urban centers but may be limited in more remote locations, so plan accordingly.

Transportation Tips

1. Getting Around: In urban areas like Asunción and major cities, taxis and ride-sharing services are readily available. Make sure to use authorized taxi services to avoid scams. Public buses, known as “colectivos,” are affordable but may not be the most comfortable option for travelers with luggage. For a more flexible option, consider renting a car, but be aware of local driving customs and road conditions.

2. Inter-city Travel: Paraguay’s bus network is extensive and efficient for traveling between cities. Companies like Cootransmay offer routes to various destinations within Paraguay. Long-distance buses are generally reliable and comfortable, with options ranging from standard to premium services.

3. Renting a Car: Renting a car provides flexibility, especially for exploring rural areas and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Ensure you have the necessary documents such as your driver’s license and insurance. Roads in urban areas are generally well-maintained, but rural roads may vary in quality, so plan routes accordingly and drive cautiously.

Inside a bus in Paraguay

Safety Tips

1. General Safety: Paraguay is relatively safe for travelers, but exercise caution in crowded areas, especially in urban centers. Avoid displaying expensive items openly and be aware of your surroundings, particularly in tourist areas where petty theft can occur. It’s advisable to use hotel safes for valuables and avoid walking alone at night.

2. Health Concerns: Stay hydrated, especially during hot weather, and consider vaccinations for diseases like yellow fever depending on your travel plans. Medical facilities in major cities are adequate, but comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses and emergency evacuation is recommended for peace of mind.

3. Emergency Numbers: Familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers, including police, ambulance, and fire services. Keep a copy of your passport, travel insurance details, and emergency contacts in a secure location.

Top Attractions in Paraguay

1. Asunción: Paraguay’s capital city is a vibrant blend of old and new, offering historic landmarks, lively markets, and a thriving cultural scene. Visit the National Pantheon of the Heroes, stroll through the bustling Mercado 4, or relax in the serene Loma San Jerónimo neighborhood.

2. Encarnación: Known for its stunning Jesuit ruins, Encarnación also boasts beautiful beaches along the Paraná River. It’s a perfect spot for history buffs and beach lovers alike.

3. Iguazu Falls: While mostly located in Brazil and Argentina, the Paraguayan side of Iguazu Falls offers a unique and less crowded perspective of this natural wonder.

4. Itaipu Dam: One of the largest hydroelectric dams in the world, Itaipu Dam is a marvel of modern engineering and offers guided tours for visitors.

5. National Parks: Paraguay’s national parks, such as Ybycuí and Cerro Corá, are perfect for nature enthusiasts, offering hiking trails, wildlife viewing, and stunning scenery.

Cultural and Practical Tips

1. Language: Spanish and Guarani are the official languages of Paraguay. While many locals understand basic English, especially in tourist areas, learning a few phrases in Spanish can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

2. Cultural Sensitivity: Respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites and ask for permission before taking photos of people, particularly in indigenous communities.

3. Local Cuisine: Explore Paraguay’s diverse culinary scene, which includes dishes like sopa paraguaya (a cornbread-like dish) and chipa (cheese bread). Street food vendors offer tasty snacks, but ensure food is freshly prepared and hygienic. You can read more about Paraguayan food here, or drinks here.

Street food vendor in Asuncion Paraguay

4. Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers medical expenses and emergencies before your trip. This can provide peace of mind in case of unexpected situations.


Armed with these essential Paraguay Travel Tips, you’re well-prepared to explore with confidence. Whether you’re captivated by the vibrant markets of Asunción, the historical depth of Encarnación, or the tranquility of Paraguay’s countryside, your journey promises unforgettable experiences.

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