Paraguay is a relatively little-known landlocked country that is trying to combat its geographic and political isolation from the world through various measures and is presenting itself as increasingly accessible and hospitable internationally. The capital, Asuncion, is a clean, compact, pretty, and—by Latin American standards—relatively safe colonial city. Paraguayans are extremely polite to tourists, and being invited home for dinner is not uncommon – especially when football is involved. Outside the capital lie grassy plains and the untamed wilderness of swamps, lagoons. See other countries in South America on ehealthfacts.
Arriving by plane
Paraguay’s national airline is called TAM Airlines Paraguay (PZ). There are no direct flights to Paraguay from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Lufthansa (LH) flies from Frankfurt/M. in cooperation with TAM Airlines Paraguay (PZ) and with Gol Linhas Aéreas (G3) via São Paulo (Brazil) to Asunción. Swiss (LX) offers flight connections between Zurich and Asunción in cooperation with TAM Airlines Paraguay (PZ) via São Paulo; Feeder flights to Zurich are operated by Austrian Airlines (OS) from Vienna.
Frankfurt/M. – Asuncion: 16 hours 20 minutes; Zurich – Asuncion: 15 hours 45 minutes; Vienna – Asuncion: 18 hours 20 minutes
Silvio Pettriossi (ASU): approx. €28 (US$31); usually already included in the flight ticket. Guarani (AGT): about €14 (US$16); usually already included in the flight ticket. Transit travelers are exempt from this.
Arrival by car
The roads from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (Brazil) to Asunción (past the Iguazú Falls) are paved. Good roads also lead from Argentina to Paraguay, from Buenos Aires to Asunción or across the San Roque González de Santa Cruz Bridge in Encarnación on the Panraná River. Long-distance buses: Bus companies such as Pluma, Crucero del Norte and EGA offer regular bus services from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Montevideo (Uruguay) to Asunción, among others. Tolls: Some major routes are subject to tolls, such as National Road 9 (Ruta Transchaco). Documents: The national driver’s license is valid for 90 days in conjunction with the international driver’s license.
Arrival by train
The railway line between the Argentine border town of Posada and Encarnación operates daily from 7 am to 7 pm every 15 minutes (journey time: 8 minutes). The border formalities are handled at the departure station. In Posada there are connections to Concordia and Buenos Aires.
Arrival by ship
Paraguay has approximately 3,100km of navigable rivers with ferry services to and from Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. Travelers taking the ferry from Posadas (Argentina) to Encarnación (Paraguay) shorten the traditional route from Buenos Aires by 321 km. There is also a ferry connection between Corumba (Brazil) and Asunción.
Traveling by plane
Domestic flights are operated by LATAM Airlines Paraguay. Air taxis are ideal for the hard-to-reach Gran Chaco.
Air Travel Note
Airport taxes: Asunción: Silvio Pettriossi (ASU): approx. €3.60 (US$4). Ciudad del Este: Guarani (AGT): approx. €1.80 (US$2).
Traveling by car/bus
The entire road network has a length of approx. 29,500 km. Asunción is connected by paved roads to Ciudad del Este and the Iguazú Falls, as well as to the cities of Encarnación and Filadelfia. There is also good road communication between Encarnación and Ciudad del Este. Overland journeys at night should be avoided if possible. Tolls: Some major routes have tolls, such as National Route 9 (Ruta Transchaco), which crosses Paraguay northwest of Asuncion. The tollbooths are at Puente Remanso, Cerrito and Pozo Colorado. Gas stations: There are enough gas stations in larger cities and on the motorways.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Only about half of the road network is paved. When it rains, country roads are often only passable with all-wheel drive vehicles or not at all.
Rental cars are available at airports and in cities. The minimum age for drivers is 25 years.
Taxis are available from taxi ranks in the cities, but can also be hailed on the street. In Asunción it is also possible to order a taxi over the phone.
The Paraguayan bus network is well developed. The air-conditioned buses are inexpensive. Express connections exist between the larger cities. For longer distances, we recommend booking in advance, which can be done directly at the bus terminal or often at the hotel. The largest bus companies in Paraguay are NSA and La Encarnacena; Tickets can also be booked online with both companies.
Traffic regulations: – Even during the day, the lights must be switched on. – Fire extinguishers and two warning triangles must be carried. Speed limits: – urban: 40-50 km/h; – out of town (also on motorways): 80 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company must always be informed first.
The national driver’s license is valid for 90 days in conjunction with the international driver’s license. After that, travelers need a Paraguayan driving license.
Traveling in the city
Buses are readily available almost everywhere in Asunción. Almost all major lines stop on Oliva street in front of the Supercentro Asunción. Buses can also be stopped by hand signals on the street.
Locally on the way by train
Regular rail traffic in Paraguay is limited to the route between the Argentine border town of Posadas and Encarnación. On weekends, the tourist steam train Tren del Lago runs between the botanical gardens in Asunción and Areguá.
Traveling by ship
River cruises are offered on the Paraguay River between Asunción and the Chaco.