Travel Facts

City Codes:
ASU: Asuncion
AGT: Cuidad del Este
Entry requirements: WARNING!!!! Paraguay has recently (2003) instituted a most ill-advised visa requirement for U.S. citizens. A visa is required for entry, and the problem is there are very few Paraguayan embassies or consulates abroad that can complete the requirement. The fee is approx. US$35 for a one time, 30-day entry. Until Paraguay's new government can sort out the procedure for visas it's best to forget Paraguay on a leisure trip. To visit Iguassu Falls go to the Brazilian or Argentina side, and avoid entry into Paraguay. Hopefully the Paraguayans will follow Chile's most sensible procedure, and sell visas upon arrival at the airport. In any even one will need valid passport for entry.
Taxes: International departure tax: $18 payable in $USD or local currency.
Hotel tax and service charges: 4% hotel tax; 10% service charge.
Tipping: Normally service charge is not added to restaurant bills, leave 10-15% depending upon service. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip.
Currency: The Guarani - The U.S. dollar goes a long way in Paraguay. Prices for deluxe accommodations are often half what they'd be in many other countries. Fine food and drink, sightseeing and shopping are real bargains. ATMs readily accessible. Credit cards widely accepted. Currency exchange at hotels and/or banks. Banking hours: 7:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m, Monday -Friday.
Shopping: Paraguay is a shopper's paradise! In fact, knowledgeable travelers compare Asunción favorably with Hong Kong for electronic bargains. Main shopping streets are Calle Palma and Estrella, Calle Colon and La Recoba del Puerto. Several new, modern malls are located throughout the city. Perfumes, embroidered Aho-Poi shirts, jewelry, textiles, leather goods, souvenirs, and tapes of Paraguay's unique harp music and are bargain priced. The unique ñanduti (spider-web) lace weavings can be found in malls markets throughout the country. Shopping hours: 7:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon Saturday.
Food & Drink: The most popular local restaurants in Asuncion are parrilladas where large open-air courtyards often form the main dining areas. Beef is the popular choice. Also try surubi, an exceptionally fine flavored river fish. Don't be surprised when you discover Sopa Paraguaya is not a soup but rather a very popular type of cornbread made of mashed corn, milk, eggs, onion and cheese. Also very popular is cheese made in the Chaco Mennonite colonies. A delicious first course in Paraguay begins with a heart of palm salad. Paraguay's national drink is caña, a light but potent rum made from sugar cane or honey. Local beer is excellent. Best brands include Pilsen, Bremen and Munich. Try yerba mate, the tea-like national drink that’s very refreshing hot or cold.
Telephone Area Codes: (595) country code: Asuncion (21), Ciudad del Este (61), Encarnacion (71) and Pedro Juan Caballero (36).

Country Overview Region by Region