Where is Paraguay located?

What countries border Paraguay?

Paraguay Weather

What is the current weather in Paraguay?


Paraguay Facts and Culture

What is Paraguay famous for?

  • Food and Recipes: The national dish is sopa paraguaya which is a corn bread with cheese and onions. Maise (corn) and cassava are... More
  • Family: Paraguayan women work hard doing housework grinding corn cooking food, mending clothes, and taking care of their children. They... More
  • Fashion: In urban areas people wear Western or European style of clothing. Rural women wear a shawl called a rebozo and... More
  • Visiting: Drinking maté is a social pastime and an important ritual shared among friends. More
  • Recreation:  Futbol is the most popular sport and is played in every town, fields and at formal clubs. Basketball is the second... More
  • Cultural Attributes: Paraguayan culture has been heavily shaped by its Spanish Colonial past creating a modern culture this is a unique blend... More

Paraguay Facts

What is the capital of Paraguay?

Capital Asuncion
Government Type presidential republic
Currency Paraguayan Guarani (PYG)
Total Area 157,047 Square Miles
406,752 Square Kilometers
Location Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil
Language Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
GDP - real growth rate 3%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $8,800.00 (USD)

Paraguay Demographics

What is the population of Paraguay?

Ethnic Groups mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%
Nationality Adjective Paraguayan
Nationality Noun Paraguayan(s)
Population 7,191,685
Population Growth Rate 1.23%
Population in Major Urban Areas ASUNCION (capital) 2.139 million
Predominant Language Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
Urban Population 61.9%

Paraguay Government

What type of government does Paraguay have?

  • Executive Branch: chief of state: President Mario Abdo BENITEZ (since 15 August 2018); Vice President Hugo Adalberto VELAZQUEZ Moreno (since 15 August... More
  • Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 75 More
  • Citizenship: citizenship by birth: yes citizenship by descent: at least one parent must be a native-born citizen of Paraguay dual citizenship recognized: yes residency... More
  • National Holiday: Independence Day, 14 May 1811 (observed 15 May) More
  • Constitution: several previous; latest approved and promulgated 20 June 1992; amended 2011, 2014 More
  • Independence: 14 May 1811 (from Spain) More

Paraguay Geography

What environmental issues does Paraguay have?

  • Overview: Located in the heart of South America, Paraguay is a landlocked, agricultural country. The Parana-Paraguay River system is Paraguay’s commercial... More
  • Climate: Paraguay's climate is seasonal and subject to abrupt changes. It is subtropical, with summer and winter seasons opposite those in... More
  • Border Countries: Argentina 1,880 km, Bolivia 750 km, Brazil 1,290 km More
  • Environment - Current Issues: deforestation; water pollution; inadequate means for waste disposal present health risks for many urban residents; loss of wetlands More
  • Environment - International Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection,... More
  • Terrain: grassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain... More

Paraguay Economy

How big is the Paraguay economy?

Paraguay News & Current Events

What current events are happening in Paraguay?
Source: Google News

Interesting Paraguay Facts

What unique things can you discover about Paraguay?

  • The Guarani are one of the indigenous groups which inhabited Paraguay before the arrival of Europeans.
    In August 2004 over four hundred and twenty people died in a fire at a shopping center in Asuncion.

Paraguay Travel Information

What makes Paraguay a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Paraguay is a constitutional democracy with a developing economy. Tourist facilities are adequate in the capital city of Asuncion, but vary greatly in quality and prices. If you are planning to travel outside Asuncion, consider consulting with a travel agency, as adequate tourist facilities are limited in other cities and almost nonexistent in remote areas.

Crime

Crime has increased steadily over the past several years posing a challenge to the Paraguayan National Police. Although most crime is nonviolent, there has been an increase in the use of weapons, and there have been incidents where extreme violence has been used. U.S. citizens have on occasion been the victims of assault, robbery, and rape. Local authorities frequently lack the training and resources to solve these cases. Under these circumstances, U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Paraguay should be aware of their surroundings and security at all times. Travelers and residents alike should take common sense precautions including refraining from displaying expensive-looking cameras and jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items. Criminals often target those thought to be wealthy. Resistance to armed assailants has often aggravated the situation and therefore is not advised.

Armed robbery, car theft, and home invasions are a problem in both urban and rural areas. Street crime, including pick pocketing and mugging, is prevalent in cities. The number of pick pocketing incidents and armed assaults is also increasing on public buses and in the downtown area of Asuncion. A common tactic is the use of motorcycles by robbers to quickly approach their victims and then brandish a weapon and demand a wallet or purse. Please note that this method of operation – two men on a motorcycle – is something for which you should be attentive. As many incidents on public buses involve individuals snatching valuables, passengers should not wear expensive-looking jewelry or display other flashy items. There have been incidents of pilferage from checked baggage at both airports and bus terminals. Travelers have found it prudent to hide valuables on their person or in carry-on luggage. Unauthorized ticket vendors also reportedly operate at the Asuncion bus terminal, badgering travelers into buying tickets for substandard or non-existent services.

Despite concerted efforts by the Paraguayan government over the last several years to improve the quality of its police force, corruption continues to be a problem within the Paraguayan National Police. Police are frequently involved in various criminal activities and actively solicit bribes. Uniformed police often conduct roving checks of vehicles and passengers. All lawful police instructions should be adhered to. However, the Embassy does not support the payment of bribes under any circumstances and encourages U.S. citizens to contact the Embassy if they believe they are being treated improperly.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you will be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Paraguay, you are subject to its laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Paraguay, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.

Persons violating Paraguayan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Paraguay are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. If you should find yourself in jail or legal trouble, you can contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy and consult the Embassy Website for a list of local attorneys.

Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Paraguay, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Adequate medical facilities, prescription and over-the-counter medications, supplies, and services are available in Asuncion. Elsewhere these are limited, and in rural areas may not exist.

Safety and Security

The U.S. Embassy is not aware of any specific terrorist threat to U.S. citizens in Paraguay. Nevertheless, you should remain vigilant at all times while travelling; U.S. citizens overseas may be targeted by extremist groups regardless of the country they are in. Individuals and organizations providing financial support to extremist groups operate in Ciudad del Este and along the tri-border area between Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. A small armed anti-government militant group known as the Ejercito del Pueblo Paraguayo (EPP) operates in the northern San Pedro and southern Concepcion Departments. Drug trafficking and associated violence remains a serious concern in Amambay Department. Because of concerns about the lack of security in border areas and certain departments, the U.S. Embassy in Asuncion requires U.S. government personnel and their family members to provide advance notice and a travel itinerary when traveling to Ciudad del Este, or to the San Pedro, Concepcion, Amambay, and Canindeyu Departments. As a general precaution, the Embassy also requests its employees to provide an itinerary and contact information whenever they travel outside the capital.

Over the past several years, there have been several high-profile kidnappings in the interior of the country – particularly in the Department of Concepcion. Members of the Paraguayan business community and their family members have been targeted. It is generally believed that the individuals responsible for the kidnappings are financially motivated and have selected their targets based on the victims’ wealth and perceived willingness to pay ransom.

Avoid large gatherings or other events where crowds have congregated to demonstrate or protest. Such activities have resulted in intermittent road closures including major routes traveled by tourists and residents. While generally nonviolent, demonstrations and/or roadblocks have turned violent in the past. If you encounter demonstrations and/or roadblocks, do not attempt to continue your travel and do not confront the crowd. Instead, turn around and find a different route or wait for the road to reopen.

Uniformed police often conduct roving checks of vehicles and passengers. All lawful police instructions should be adhered to.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Paraguay, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below is provided for general reference only. Road conditions may vary throughout Paraguay.

U.S. citizens have been injured and killed in traffic accidents. Only minimal standards must be met to obtain a Paraguayan driver's license, and driver education prior to licensing is not common. Drivers throughout Paraguay routinely ignore traffic regulations. No vehicle insurance is required, and many Paraguayans drive without any insurance coverage. Persons who drive in Paraguay should be prepared to drive defensively and with adequate insurance. There are a very high number of motorcycle accidents in Paraguay.

Public transportation is readily available for urban and inter-city travel. Buses vary in maintenance conditions and may not meet U.S. safety standards. Armed robberies and pick-pocketing occur on buses in cities and rural areas, sometimes with the apparent collusion of the bus driver. Taxis are available and may be called using telephone numbers listed in the newspapers. No passenger train service exists. Bicycle travel may not be safe because of traffic and other road hazards.

Most urban streets consist of rough cobblestones over dirt. Some roads in Asuncion and other large cities are paved. However, these roads frequently develop potholes that often remain unrepaired. Besides some main highways, nearly all rural roads are unpaved, and during rainy periods and the rainy season (November-March/April), they may be impassable. Major paved roads in Asuncion are prone to flooding and extreme caution should be used during rain storms. Road signs indicating hazards, such as sharp curves or major intersections, are lacking in many areas.

Driving or traveling at night is not advisable outside Asuncion because pedestrians, animals, or vehicles without proper lights are often found on the roads. In addition, assaults and other crimes against motorists traveling at night have occurred. Extra precautions should be exercised along infrequently traveled portions of rural roads.

Intercity highway maintenance is not equal to U.S. standards. The privately maintained toll road between Caaguazu and Ciudad del Este and the routes between Asuncion and Encarnacion and Asuncion and Pedro Juan Caballero are in good condition. Most other intercity routes are in good to fair condition with brief stretches in poor condition. The Trans-Chaco route is in fair condition except for the portion between Mariscal Estigarribia and the Bolivian border, which is unpaved and at times impassable.

The Touring and Automobile Club provides some roadside assistance to its members. The Club may be contacted in Asuncion by visiting its offices at 25 de Mayo near Brazil, First Floor, or telephoning 210-550, 210-551, 210-552, 210-553, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon, except for Paraguayan holidays. The Touring Club has offices in Ciudad del Este (tel. 061-512-340), Coronel Oviedo (tel. 0521-203-350), Encarnación (tel. 071-202-203), San Ignacio Misiones (tel. 0782-232-080), Santani (cell phone: 0981-534-272), Pozo Colorado (cell phone: 0981-939-611 – 0982-590-037), Villa Florida (tel. 083-240-205), and Yby Yau (0985-846-308). Towing services are scarce outside urban areas. Twenty-four-hour tow truck services from Asuncion may be contacted by telephoning (021) 224-366, (021) 208-400, (cellular service provider) Tigo by dialing *822 or 0971-951-930. For an extra fee, these companies may provide service outside Asuncion, but they typically demand immediate payment and may not accept credit cards.

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