Surrounded by superstar neighbours, Paraguay has often overlooked thanks to its location off the well-worn gringo trail between Brazil and Argentina. But skip Paraguay and you’ll be missing out on an authentic slice of Latin America. After all, this is a country that lays claim to parts of stunning Iguazu Falls and throws a mean Carnaval come February. Paraguay is a land of extremes: you’ll find handmade artisanal stalls standing alongside mega shopping centres, the poor sharing fences with the wealthy, and horse-drawn carts clip-clopping through Asuncion’s modern streets. With a rich history and wealth of national parks to be discovered, all you have to do is decide where to begin.
Discover this riverside capital, the hub of Paraguay’s political, commercial, and cultural life. Founded in 1537, it’s one of the oldest cities in South America.
Keep your eyes peeled for jaguars in the largest tropical wetlands in the world.
Lounge at riverbank beaches before visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Jesus and Trinidad Jesuit Ruins on the edge of town.
Venture into the endless, empty wilderness of the Chaco. The grassy plains are thinly populated with ranchers, Amerindians, and German-speaking Mennonite colonies.
Stumble on hidden waterfalls while chasing colourful butterflies and looking for Howler monkeys in this sub-tropical rainforest.
Paraguay experiences two distinct seasons, hot and cool. Humid and rainy days are distributed fairly evenly between the two seasons although as a general rule, the east of the country gets substantial rainfall throughout the year while the semi-arid far west receives hardly any at all.
The hot season in the summer runs from October to April with average daily highs of around 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and typically muggy, cloudy weather. Northwestern Paraguay has a tropical climate with wetter, hotter summers than the rest of the country. January is usually the hottest month of the year.
The winter season is from May to September with cooler, changeable weather. Cold polar air blows in from Antarctica and lowers the air temperature to averages of between 6 and 21 degrees Celsius (42 - 71 degrees Fahrenheit). July is the coldest month of the year.
Since the heat in summer can be intense, the best time to visit is between May and September when the weather is more temperate and pleasant. Partygoers should also look at visiting in February when the country erupts into Carnival.
Canada: Yes, required in advance
New Zealand: Yes, required in advance
USA: Yes, required in advance
United Kingdom: Yes, required in advance
Australia: Yes, required in advance
France: Yes, required in advance
Citizens from the EU, Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Lichtenstein, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela do not need visas for stays of less than 90 days with valid passports.
Citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States can apply for a 90-day visa on arrival at Silvio Pettirossi International Airport. If arriving at a different airport, visas must be arranged in advance. A reciprocity fee applies and varies according to nationality.
Visitors from other countries must obtain a visa prior to travel.
Contact your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Paraguay to determine if you are eligible for a visa and for up-to-date visa information. To learn more about visas, visit the official website of the Paraguayan government at http://www.mre.gov.py
While tipping isn't mandatory in Paraguay, it's customary to add spare change or to round up your restaurant bills. Although some restaurants and bars may already include a 10% service charge within the bill, feel free to add more if the service is good. Taxi drivers generally don't expect tips.
Internet cafes can be found in large cities and towns frequented by tourists. Internet availability is less widespread in rural and remote areas, so be prepared to disconnect for a while when travelling out of the city.
You should be able to use your mobile phone in Paraguay's cities, but prepare for less coverage in remote or mountainous areas. Ensure you have global roaming enabled before leaving your home country.
Public toilets aren’t always readily available in Paraguay and, when they are, you will often be required to pay a fee to use them. Most bus terminals will charge around USD 0.25 for access and a small supply of paper. It’s advisable that you use the toilets in restaurants and hotels when you can. It’s important to remember that you do not flush the toilet paper as plumbing systems are still rather antiquated. There is a bin beside the toilet to dispose of paper. Most buses will have an on-board toilet, however budget services (or services in remote areas) may not. It's a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser, as these aren't always provided.
Hour ride on the bus = US 1.80
Hour of Internet use in a cyber café = US 0.50
1kg of laundry at a public Laundromat = US 2.15
Bottle of beer = US 0.89
Simple lunch = US 4.45
Drinking tap water in Paraguay is not recommended. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water ¬– ask your leader where this can be found. In rural areas where it’s not possible to buy bottled water, it is recommended that water be treated before drinking. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Credit cards are widely accepted in Paraguay’s large cities and towns, especially VISA and Mastercard, and can be used at most top-end hotels, restaurants, shops and other tourist establishments. Keep in mind that credit cards may not be accepted so readily in small towns and rural areas, so always have alternative payment methods available.
ATMs can be found in most of Paraguay's major cities and tourist areas. ATMs are far less common in rural areas and small villages so ensure you have enough cash to cover purchases when travelling away from the larger cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of healthcare around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
1 January: New Year's Day
1 March: Heroes' Day
13 April: Maundy Thursday
14 April: Good Friday
16 March: Easter Sunday
1 May: Labour Day
14 May: Independence Day
12 June: Chaco Armistice Day
15 August: Founding of Asunción
29 September: Boqueron Battel Victory Day
8 December: Immaculate Conception
25 December: Christmas Day
For a current list of public holidays in Paraguay go to:
It is generally advised that LGBTQI-travellers should exercise caution while travelling in Paraguay. While homosexuality is legal and LGBTQI recognition is growing, the country remains conservative and homosexuality is not yet widely accepted. The Paraguayan government has no plans to recognize same-sex marriage in the near future. There is a small gay bar scene in Asuncion.
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people and their culture, economies and environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress, and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
1. Be considerate of Paraguay’s customs, traditions, religion, and culture.
2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
4. Learn some local language, either Spanish or Guarani, and don't be afraid to use it – simple greetings will help break the ice.
5. Shop for locally made products wherever possible. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.
7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children. Be prepared to offer a tip in exchange for a photo.
8. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.