Paraguay Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Paraguay
How safe is Paraguay?
Threat level: Low-Medium
The current travel safety advice for visiting Paraguay is to remain cautious when using transport links, due to car jackings and similar violent offences. Be aware of natural weather disasters (the recommended time of year to visit the country is throughout its winter period) and be cautious of domestic terrorism.
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There are anticipated protests and have been recent demonstrations in the Asuncion areas; it is best to avoid the governmental buildings in the downtown area. In addition, please also avoid these areas: Ciudad del Este and Pedro Juan Caballero, particularly in the evenings due to the higher risk of danger.
The general level of crime in Paraguay is very high. Gang-related gun and knife crimes are a major issue, as is organised crime against tourists. Car-jacking and hi-jacking incidents have seen an increase over the past ten years, the same with robberies at ATMs. Visitors to the country are asked to be on guard at all times and be aware of their surroundings.
Although many trips to Paraguay are without trouble, it may be best to keep a low profile in demonstrations of wealth with regards to jewellery and watches or items which are valuable.
Please be aware that the general standard of health and safety is low, and previously there have been mass fires in built-up areas, such as supermarkets. During one event, 400 persons were killed in 2004.
There is a risk of terrorist activity in Paraguay. Paraguay is part of the Triple Frontier, a tri-border area along the junction of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. While it is known that the area is hugely important in the production and trafficking of drugs, it is a concern of the US Government that activities in the area are a source of funding for terror groups within the Middle East such as Egypt's al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda.
There are two small terror groups waging a guerrilla-style war in Paraguay. At present, neither groups have targeted foreign interests, only police, military and prominent landowners. The Ejercito del Pueblo Paraguayo (EPP) active areas are the northern part of the Department of San Pedro and southern part of the Department of Concepción. The other is a breakaway faction of the EPP called Asociación Campesina Armada (ACA). Both groups are involved in kidnapping, drug trafficking and general organised crime. Care should be taken if you travel to these areas, although the likelihood of them involving themselves or targeting foreigners is very small at this stage.
Paraguay's International Relations
Since the Paraguay Coup of 2012, there have been tensions in the areas with surrounding countries. Although recently negotiations and diplomatic arrangements have moved forward in settling the regions hostilities.
Paraguay has a particularly close relationship with China and is a member of several global organisations and is a member of the United Nations.
Travelling around Paraguay
The U.S. State Department have reported a number of cases in Paraguay where citizens have had issues with “unofficial” taxis and been robbed or felt pressured into paying/giving more money. While this is common in many cities across the world, it is advised that visitors are careful when using taxis. Best practice is to use only official taxis or cars booked via hotels. If you can use the same trusted driver throughout your visit all the better.
Regional weather events can be adverse and as such the Asuncion and neighbouring cities can experience heavy flooding. There have been previous evacuations.
There are Police checkpoints across the country, make sure that you have your passport with you at all times and a copy of your driving license and insurance if you are driving. Failure to do so could lead to detention, fines or both.
Emergency services in Paraguay:
Tourist Police: +595 21 446 608 or +595 21 449 020 (Asunción)
Tourist Police: +595 61 502 715 (Ciudad del Este)
Tourist Police: +595 71 204 102 (Encarnacionn)
Tourist Police: +595 46 243 575 (Salto del Guaira)
Fire emergency: 131
Medical emergency: 132
Religion: Christianity (Roman Catholic)
Currency: Paraguayan Guaraní
Time now in Asunci:
Consular information for Paraguay
U.S. Embassy Asunción
1776 Mariscal Lopez Avenue,
Telephone: +595 21 213 715
Telephone: +595 21 248 3000
Telephone: +595 21 213 715 Press "2105" (Out of hours)
British Embassy Asunción
Edificio Citicenter, Piso 5,
Av. Mariscal López y Cruz del Chaco,
Telephone: +595 21 614 588
Visa requirements for Paraguay
Visitors to Paraguay from the UK do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days. Visitors from the U.S. can obtain a visa on arrival. Further advice can be found here: Visa advice Paraguay
Healthcare and Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Paraguay are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers get Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Yellow Fever vaccinations, as there is a risk of infection in some areas of the country. If you are planning to only stay within the capital city, Asunción, the vaccination is generally not recommended. You should check with your local health professional prior to your departure as the yellow fever vaccine is not suitable for all travellers.
The Zika virus has been noted within the region. It is advised that all visitors to Paraguay take precautions against Malaria, including the use of Malaria mosquito nets and anti-Malaria medications.
The viral illness Dengue Fever and Chikungunya virus both transmitted to humans by mosquito bites is an issue in Paraguay. There is no vaccine and prevention is through avoidance of mosquito bites.
Personal hygiene must be paramount, the local water supply avoided at all costs and bottled water inspected prior to consumption. There have been a number of cases of bottled water being refilled with tap water and re-sold.