Ciudad del Este is a city in Paraguay. It is mainly a shopping destination for Brazilians and Argentinians. Apart from that the city is not very attractive.
The bus terminal is located in the southern part of the city, a bit hidden behind the stadium.
International Border Crossing
- The most common way to arrive is through "Ponte da Amizade" (Friendship Bridge) which connects Ciudad del Este in Paraguay and Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil. There are frequent bus connections, also to and from Puerto Iguazu in Argentina. Taxis sometimes do the trans-border trip as well.
- A couple of kilometers south of Ciudad del Este, where Rio Paraná and Rio Iguaçu join, is a ferry crossing to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina without crossing Brazilian territory. The ferry runs hourly during daylight hours. There´s a bus passing close-by.
If you are transiting Paraguay (i.e. not coming back across the same border the same day), you will have to go to the Paraguayan customs office just past the bridge. Citizens of Mercosul are granted entry just with their ID, others need a passport. The stories of bribings and scams in the Paraguayan customs offices are frequent. Make sure you get everything you're supposed to get when they check your passport and/or ID. Those that handle them the ID should receive back, along with the ID, a formulary with the arrival stamp in it. If you're with the passport, you'll only receive the usual stamp on the page.
A common trick is not handing the stamped paper back with the ID; that way you cannot prove having legally entered the country. If so you'll certainly be asked for money for the exit to be granted.
If you arrive with your own car make sure you find a parking lot (usually the local touts will lead you to one. However, if you do not feel comfortable with the situation you still can research a parking lot in advance as some of them have websites on the Internet.
- Itapú Binacional Hydrodam, (The visitor centre is on the road to Hernandarias. Any bus to Hernandarias can drop you off there.), ☎ (061) 599-8040, . Visits only on guided tours at 8 am, 9:30 am, 2 pm, 3 pm; Sundays morning tours only. On Friday and Saturday evening there's an audio-visual show (reservation required). Passports necessary for all visits. Free.
- Museo de la Tierra Guaraní and Zoológico Regional, (About 2 km from the visitor centre on the way back to Ciudad del Este), ☎ (5561) 599-8040. Tuesdays to Saturday 8am to 12pm and 2:30pm to 5pm; Sundays morning only, Mondays afternoon only.. A small museum mainly on the Guarani culture and the local wildlife. Descriptions in English and Spanish. Free.
Shopping is the main business of the visitors. The main shopping streets are Av. San Blas and Camilo Recalde, where you can buy about anything and everything. Many people come for electronics.
A WARNING: If you want to buy electronics such as cellphones or cameras, the procedure shall be as follows:
Ask to test the device, if it works DO NOT give it back to the shopkeeper/assistant as some of them exchange them with faulty versions or hand the box back filled with paper or other but certainly not with what you just bought.
Due to the premium placed on street-front property, Ciudad del Este's eateries and dining establishments are commonly found inside multi-leveled shopping malls and are relatively scarce on the main street of San Blas.
As a consequence of considerable immigrant populations, Ciudad del Este has a diverse variety of ethnic food options that one can take advantage of. Arab food can be found off the main streets in many shopping centers and typically serve good Shawarma to go. Chinese and Korean food restaurants can also be found. Your best bet is to ask a local to direct you to the nearest restaurant or eatery. Additionally, because of the large influx of Brazilian nationals that enter Ciudad del Este every day, the most popular restaurants are those which serve typical Brazilian fare and are easy to find.
Like most businesses in Ciudad del Este, you can pay for food with Argentine, US, Paraguayan, or Brazilian currency and expect to receive change in the same currency used for payment.
- Caribe, on Emiliano R. Fernández between Cap. Miranda and Mongelos. A cheap place to stay and not far from the main shopping streets. from 17.5 US$ (aircon).
- Hotel Munich, on Emiliano R. Fernández between Cap. Miranda and Mongelos. from 40 US$ for a double with aircon.
- Hotel Austrai, Emiliano R. Fernández 165 (between Cap. Miranda and Mongelos). from 40 US$ for a double with aircon.
- Hotel San Rafael, Av.adrian Jara y Avay (downtown Ciudad del Este), ☎ 595-61-500804. checkin: 3:00 pm.; checkout: 12:00 pm. Good hotel located in downtown. Room with tv-cable, air-conditioning,private bath and telephone with direct calls. 30 US$.