Paraguay - A 3 day stopover in Asuncion

Unfortunately, I will not have that much time in Paraguay. With only three days there is no big itinerary possible, except visiting Asuncion. 

After these couple of days in Paraguay, I will take the 7-hour bus ride from Asuncion city center to Brazil. Right across the border in Brasil is Foz do Iguazu with the famous Iguazu Falls. 

But first Paraguay.

Arriving in Paraguay

I arrived in Asuncion in the late afternoon, by flying from Bolivia.

It's a comfortable taxi ride from the airport to the outskirts of the center (Villa Morra Area), which is probably the best area to stay. The city center in downtown is a place no foreigner wants to be when the shops are closing. Right beside the city center (downtown) is the slum area and in the evenings they arise up and walk around the city to rob and find food.

Outside the center, it's a good and nice area with all the residential houses. Tomorrow I will be visiting the outskirts and the center by daylight.

Day 2 - What to do in Asuncion?

It's not as easy to get a sim card as in other Latin American countries. But it was worth the effort as with Uber it's great to get around in Asuncion. Especially when only knowing the places to see according to google maps, which is often slightly but several different from the naming the locals use, it's good to avoid long complicated discussions with Paraguayan taxi drivers. 

Unfortunately, I already made the first uber driver upset.

I entered a destination that was the worst place to be in Asuncion, as I put the pin on the uber map directly into the edge of the slums. But how should I know that? 

Qué demonios quieres hacer ahí? (What the hell do you wanna do there)

The Uber driver saw the destination while driving and became upset, and gestured with hands and feet. Even though I made him clear within seconds that I totally agree with him and that he please drop me off somewhere in the city where it's safe. I was grateful for that!

It's not such a big city center business district and it was easy to walk the whole area within a short amount of time. I figured out one day in Asuncion is enough time.

The city center is not very nice, but unique. Its Asuncion.

There is a museum called "Casa de la Independencia" with free entry.

It was on right along the road and so I took a glimpse. It's a lot about the history of Paraguay.

Quick historical Paraguayan review, short and simple but one learns plenty about the Paraguayan independence!

Outside the center, the road leads down to the shore with the boulevard along the beach at the Paraguayan River. Its called "Costanera de Asunción". Great place and the beach is nice. 

Lots of police to keep everything safe but, once the crowds have left I wouldn't stay around as it can de a bit dangerous later on, liked it very much, a must-do thing in Asuncion.

Just between the boulevard and the city center are the slums. Police tried several times in the last decades to remove the ugly place, but failed. Within this area is anarchy and several cartels operating. Police told me to under no circumstance go there.

The "Palacio de López" is the house of the state government. It's heavily guarded and now in 2022 currently under construction.

Towards the other side of the Paraguayan River is "Loma San Jeronimo". 

There are some cool little streets with narrow staircases. Although not much to see apart from the recently decorated buildings and stairs.

My last place to see was "Mirador Ita Pyta Punta".

It was my favorite spot in Asuncion. The view from the lookout is fantastic. There are benches and it's quiet, with only birds singing in the background from the trees and some boats floating along the river.

Day 3 - Through Paraguay towards Brazil

The bus from NSA bus departed from Asuncion directly to Brazil.

Within a 7-hour trip, it drove directly all across Paraguay and across the border into Brazil. The drop-off was at 8am at the NSA bus station in Foz do Iguazu (Brazil).

Also, the bus ride itself was one of the most comfortable long-distance bus rides I've ever had. Almost fully reclinable seats and good air conditioning (not too cold, as it is normally on South American long-distance bus rides).

All was very smooth, including the border crossing. No hassle at all to exit Paraguay and the same on the Brazil side to enter. 

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