Visiting Ciudad Del Este, Paraguay
An Easy Day Trip From Brazil or Argentina by Iguazu Falls
Ciudad Del Este is a great taste of Paraguay and something different to do after visiting Iguazu Falls. There is much more than just shopping in Ciudad Del Este.
Ciudad Del Este has earned a reputation on the traveler’s track in South America as synonymous with cheap electronics, pick pockets and drug smuggling. In reality, there is much more to this city and it makes a great day trip from Argentina or Brazil after seeing Iguazu Falls.
Visas for Paraguay
Technically, no one needs a visa to visit Paraguay via Ciudad Del Este for one day. If one is coming from Argentina, they will be stamped out of the country, the bus will not stop for customs in Brazil and then one does not get off at customs in Paraguay. Returning, they will be stamped back into Argentina. From Brazil, there are no customs formalities.
Getting to Ciudad Del Este
Buses run every hour from Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. The price is 3 pesos (a little less than $1) each way and tickets are bought on the bus. From the Brazilian side, buses are even more frequent, or one can simply walk across the bridge.
Shopping in Ciudad Del Este
The city is rightly known as a haven for cheap electronics. It has any sort of shopping that one could imagine from Nike shoes to designer hats to laptop computers. If shopping is what a visitor wants to do, they should get off the bus right after crossing the bridge into Paraguay. This is where the huge market is: Bargaining is possible and prices are in U.S. dollars.
Items are cheaper in the outdoor stalls, but more reliable if purchased in one of the stores indoors. Some recommended stores are Shopping Americana and Casa China on the right hand side, just walking into the city, and Mona Lisa on the other side of the road and further past the bridge.
The City of Ciudad Del Este
There is much more to Ciudad Del Este than just shopping. There is a lot of green-space and well-maintained trails and paths throughout the city. Parque Verde has a great fountain and benches to relax in; There is a historical walk along a bike path, as well as clean public bathrooms and open-air cafes.
Not far from the park is a lake as well as a tranquil forested area: There are plenty of places to relax outdoors.
In the city are plenty of restaurants, stores and places to change money. A variety of hotels can be found in the city too. For those who are on a budget, there is street food in abundance and many cheap food stands on the street. There is also a well-connected bus station; to access other parts of Paraguay if one wishes to continue farther into the country.
Security in Ciudad Del Este
Though it is unlikely to encounter a problem, it pays to be careful in any country: Watch out for pick-pockets and avoid deserted streets. Security is more of an issue after dark, so use common sense.
Whether one needs a good shopping trip or just wants to experience something different, Ciudad Del Este is a great place to spend a day and get a little taste of Paraguay.2015-09-25