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Ciudad del Este, Paraguay - Bring Lots Of Money And Go Shopping

Paraguay experiences and stories by a backpacker - May 2009 April 2016   » View Photoset (62 Photos)

2016 Nothing had changed in the 7yrs between my first and second visits to Ciudad del Este, it's still all about shoppers shopping in shops! It's the sort of place you may well be tempted to leave soon after arriving if shopping aint your thing. I arrived in Ciudad del Este this time from the west. I had spent the previous night in Villarrica, travelled 40mins north to Coronel Oviedo and had taken another bus for 3hrs to get here. A taxi brought me to a well-priced and comfortable central hotel. I was interested this time in seeing what I could discover around the city that wasn't shopping related! I headed in the direction of San Blas Cathedral which the sign outside says was built in 1966. It's made of stone and built in the form of a ship with round portholes. On the inside of these portholes are beautiful and exotic stained glass windows with bright colors. It was worth a quick look. Next, using my offline GPS map on my smartphone I could see a large patch of green a few blocks away. I headed in that direction and discovered Parque Chino (China Park). This is a nice space indeed and was completely empty, it's well maintained and kept clean. It was very relaxing compared to the hustle, the bustle, the hardsell, the hecticness and the crowdedness of the main city streets. From Parque Chino it is just a short walk to the lake - Lago de la Republica and the surrounding park. It's OK for a quick look but definitely not a place you would want to be walking around after dark! I now found myself back at the main walkway in the middle of the road that leads up then down to all the shopping malls and craziness, it's called Paseo Monseñor Rodriguez. At this end of the walkway are many clothes stalls, mainly womens items. As you get over the ridge and start heading down you will see people carrying boxes large and small upon their shoulders, it's a circus of shopping and activity, sensory overload. Paseo Monseñor Rodriguez does have some fantastic sculptured murals, high quality artworks depicting historical battles, indigenous figures and democratic ties. As you walk around the sidestreets off of Paseo Monseñor Rodriguez, amongst the madness you get glimpses of Foz do Iguacu, the city across the border in Brazil. This is where I was going, to see Iguacu Falls for the 3rd time, but my 1st time on the Brazilian side. I was ready to get there and get out of Ciudad del Este, it takes about 30mins to cross this border.

2009 I arrived in Ciudad del Este from Puerto Iguazu in Argentina. I had to pay $50USD for a visa and was given 5 days to be there. Not a long time, but long enough to have a look around some of the country. The aim of my travel in Paraguay was to head west across to Asuncion via a detour south to see the national park in Ybycui. After going through the Paraguayan immigration control you are hit by a busy shopping mall bonanza with lots of billboards advertising products and a very busy road with cars, taxis and many motorbikes. It's not easy to cross. I arrived at the end of the day and took a taxi to find a hotel near the center. I found a very European place to stay and it had some nice views of Ciudad del Este from the 3rd floor balcony in the morning. The main feature being that there were a lot of trees for as far as the eye could see. I wanted to go for a walk and have a look around the city center. The hotel manager told me to keep my eyes open and valuables hidden. It was a short 5 minute walk down the road, a turn right and then I came to the markets and a busy pedestrian and shopping area. It was Saturday morning so there were taxis and motorbikes everywhere and much street action. People were carrying bags and boxes of all shapes and sizes, it was a very colorful scene. It's a real shoppers paradise - electronic goods, toys, soccer balls and t-shirts, clothing, perfume, watches, suitcases and packs, hardware, sports equipment and guns. There were quite a few police and security guards in the area. 3 men came up to me at separate times and gave me a card for a stereo or camera shop then offered me something white, for which I said 'no gracias' (salt or sugar masquerading as coke). After getting back to the hotel I got a taxi to the bus terminal and bought a ticket west to La Colmena, which as far as I could tell was somewhere on the way to Ybycui.

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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Ciudad del Este, Paraguay:

Caribeno Hotel, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay - Large Photo
Caribeno Hotel, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay (April 2016 - 2 nights) - Really comfortable room at a cost of $21USD per night. A great breakfast is included each morning. Friendly staff and a good location near the city's shopping district. A good alternative to other more expensive hotels nearby. Rooms with tv, wifi, private bathroom, aircon and a good bed. Recommended!
Hotel Austria, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay - Large Photo
Hotel Austria, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay (May 2009 - 1 night) - Good room and nice bathroom on the 3rd floor, restaurant downstairs, fantastic complimentary breakfast, nice views over the city. It has an extremely European feel to it for obvious reasons. The reception told us to keep our eyes open when walking in the area outside, so we did.

Distances & times (if available) from Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) to:
 A : Foz do Iguaçu - Brazil 19 kms 19 kms straight distance | 23mins 23mins by car (21 kms) | 27mins 27mins by bus (21 kms) (21 kms)
 B : Puerto Iguazu & Iguazu Waterfalls - Argentina 25 kms 25 kms straight distance | 1hr 7mins 1hr 7mins by car (40 kms) | 1hr 20mins 1hr 20mins by bus (40 kms) (40 kms)
 C : Ciudad del Este to La Colmena to Ybycui - Paraguay 124 kms 124 kms straight distance | 1hr 55mins 1hr 55mins by car (132 kms) | 2hrs 18mins 2hrs 18mins by bus (132 kms) (132 kms)
 D : Oviedo to Villarrica - Paraguay 165 kms 165 kms straight distance | 2hrs 41mins 2hrs 41mins by car (191 kms) | 3hrs 13mins 3hrs 13mins by bus (191 kms) (191 kms)
 E : Villarrica - Paraguay 173 kms 173 kms straight distance | 3hrs 18mins 3hrs 18mins by car (210 kms) | 3hrs 57mins 3hrs 57mins by bus (210 kms) (210 kms)
 F : San Bernardino & Caacupe - Paraguay 247 kms 247 kms straight distance | 3hrs 58mins 3hrs 58mins by car (268 kms) | 4hrs 45mins 4hrs 45mins by bus (268 kms) (268 kms)
 G : Encarnacion & the Jesuit Ruins - Paraguay 234 kms 234 kms straight distance | 4hrs 5mins 4hrs 5mins by car (280 kms) | 4hrs 54mins 4hrs 54mins by bus (280 kms) (280 kms)
 H : Posadas - Argentina 242 kms 242 kms straight distance | 4hrs 12mins 4hrs 12mins by car (281 kms) | 5hrs 2mins 5hrs 2mins by bus (281 kms) (281 kms)
 I : Aregua & Itaugua - Paraguay 264 kms 264 kms straight distance | 4hrs 28mins 4hrs 28mins by car (292 kms) | 5hrs 21mins 5hrs 21mins by bus (292 kms) (292 kms)
 J : Paraguari - Paraguay 232 kms 232 kms straight distance | 4hrs 20mins 4hrs 20mins by car (300 kms) | 5hrs 12mins 5hrs 12mins by bus (300 kms) (300 kms)
 K : Ybycui & Ybycui National Park - Paraguay 230 kms 230 kms straight distance | 4hrs 23mins 4hrs 23mins by car (305 kms) | 5hrs 15mins 5hrs 15mins by bus (305 kms) (305 kms)
 L : Asuncion - Paraguay 287 kms 287 kms straight distance | 5hrs 23mins 5hrs 23mins by car (321 kms) | 6hrs 27mins 6hrs 27mins by bus (321 kms) (321 kms)
 M : Encarnacion to Paraguari - Paraguay 268 kms 268 kms straight distance | 5hrs 42mins 5hrs 42mins by car (429 kms) | 6hrs 50mins 6hrs 50mins by bus (429 kms) (429 kms)
 N : Campo Grande to Foz - Brazil 362 kms 362 kms straight distance | 6hrs 55mins 6hrs 55mins by car (507 kms) | 8hrs 18mins 8hrs 18mins by bus (507 kms) (507 kms)
 O : Concepcion - Paraguay 353 kms 353 kms straight distance | 7hrs 37mins 7hrs 37mins by car (577 kms) | 9hrs 8mins 9hrs 8mins by bus (577 kms) (577 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.
Videos from Ciudad del Este, Paraguay:
The Busy Streets of Ciudad del Este Video
The Busy Streets of Ciudad del Este Video
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