Transportation in Paraguay

Traveling South America's Hidden Gem.

Reviewed

on: 01/04/22

by: Alice Silva, Staff

Paraguay offers different transportation types according to the traveler's budget.

Paraguay Transportation

Traveling to Paraguay means connecting with one of the most beautiful countries in South America, famous for its incredible natural landscapes. Thanks to AndesTransit’s reach into a variety of land transportation services, you can discover all Paraguay has to offer in a way that is comfortable, safe, and economical.

During your land-based trip, you will get to feast on Paraguay’s cuisine, including its fantastic empanadas, lomito (a steak sandwich), or the cooling tereré tea. Paraguay’s culture is a mixture of European and Guarani, and since at least 70% of the population speaks Yopará (Spanish and Guarani), you will find bilingualism is one of the country’s main characteristics.

The capital, Asunción, known as the Mother of Cities, was founded in 1537 and is the country’s most populous city. In it, you can visit the Museum of the Central Railway Station, where the first locomotive arrived in the country in 1861, a locomotive built in England (London). You can also go to the popular and colorful neighborhood, Ricardo Brugada or Chacarita, where you can walk along the bay of the Paraguay River.

Visiting some nearby cities, such as Nanawa, Lambaré, San Lorenzo, Fernando de la Mora, are all worthwhile excursions because you can easily get to them by bus, which is the most affordable transportation option to get around the country. Stretch your bus plans a little further and go to Caaguazú, anointed 'the capital of wood', which is located in the mountain range of the same name. Among its range of tourist attractions is the Techapyrã ecological park, where you can enjoy hot springs pools, camping areas, hiking, and the dinosaur exhibit that allows you to get a better understanding of the variety of prehistoric species that once inhabited the earth.

Visiting some nearby cities, such as Nanawa, Lambaré, San Lorenzo, Fernando de la Mora, are all worthwhile excursions because you can easily get to them by bus, which is the most affordable transportation option to get around the country. Stretch your bus plans a little further and go to Caaguazú, anointed 'the capital of wood', which is located in the mountain range of the same name. Among its range of tourist attractions is the Techapyrã ecological park, where you can enjoy hot springs pools, camping areas, hiking, and the dinosaur exhibit that allows you to get a better understanding of the variety of prehistoric species that once inhabited the earth.

Tourists who are looking for a more personalized tour can also travel in private transportation, thanks to the network of providers in the country that are part of AndesTransit But plan ahead so you can make the most of your time and explore every inch of Paraguay, by utilizing andestransit.com to research all the destinations that intrigue you, as it and the team will help you with consideration of budgets of time and money needed.

Types of transportation in Paraguay

At present, Paraguay has adequate roads for the circulation of all types of vehicles, from motorcycles to buses. In the past, the railroad was the favorite means of transportation, but it is now used for short trips from the capital to Areguá for tourism purposes only, making it an excellent option to get to know new destinations but not necessarily to experience local people and culture (tourists, after all, are not local people).

The land transportation network in Paraguay is quite extensive, so traveling by land is not a problem. In Asunción, the main bus terminal is where passengers arrive from nearby countries and from where they then connect to trips to other provinces. The frequency of the buses varies, ranging anywhere from early in the morning to late in the afternoon. Some tourists prefer to travel at night to arrive early to their destinations and make the most of the attractions.

While it’s possible to get a ticket at the terminal, many travelers find their plans ruined because the bus is sold out, so it’s better to buy a ticket online at andestransit.com in advance to secure your reservation.

There are also executive vans for those who wish to tour the larger cities more comfortably, but if your intention is to save money, we recommend the colectivos, which are more affordable small buses that travel throughout the metropolitan areas.

You can also use the river to take short trips on ferries. For example, in January 2020, a ferry company started offering transfers service between Asuncion and Villa Hayes by sailing on the Paraguay river for about an hour and a half. There are 3 schedules per day from Asuncion to Villa Hayes and other 3 for the return trip. There are 2 services in the morning, so arrive early to get the best seats as they usually fill up quickly, especially in the first service. On the first level of the boat, there is a space for the vehicles, on the second level the seating for the passengers, as well as the restrooms and a bar, and finally, on the upper level, the wheelhouse.

Navigating the waters of the Paraguay River by these means of fluvial transport connect the Argentinean Port Iguazú with that of the city of President Franco (that’s a city name, not a city belonging to a president). Among the other fluvial routes are those originating from Puerto Pilcomayo (Argentina), Puerto Suarez (Bolivia), Porto da Manga (Brazil), Asunción, just to name a few. Be it any of these routes, it is something you should do at least once in your life. Thanks to this, you get closer to places like the incredible Saltos del Monday or the natural reserve of the Mbaracayú Forest. The first level of the boat, there is a space for parking vehicles and the second level has seats for travelers, bathrooms and even a small restaurant. There are three services from Villa Hayes, two in the morning and one in the afternoon.

How to get to Paraguay from other countries

Paraguay is located in the heart of the South American continent, so it is possible to reach its cities from different countries to the south, east, north, and west. Most, however, will come directly from origin cities in Brazil and Argentina.

If you take the bus from Argentina, the shortest and cheapest route is from the city of Resistencia, Argentina, which will get you to Asunción in about seven hours. It is also possible to travel from Brazil, specifically from the city of Foz do Iguazú, also about a six to seven-hour journey to Asunción. You can arrange reservations for either of these trips on the AndesTransit ticket platform.

However, routes to Asunción are served from other major starting points, including Buenos Aires and Cordoba, Argentina; São Paolo, Brazil; and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

Buses are largely safe and inexpensive, but the level of comfort provided depends on your budget and tastes. You will find ample options, for example, traveling in sleeper buses designed for longer trips, which is always worth the few extra dollars spent. There are also semi-camas, which allow the traveler to recline the seats halfway into a flat bed and these are not quite as expensive as full sleeper buses.

Great experiences in Paraguay on a budget

The best place to start any trip into the rest of Paraguay is from the capital, where you can take a bus or private transport to destinations in Paraguay. For example, Ciudad del Este, the shopping paradise where it is common to find tourists from around the world in different shopping centers finding incredible bargains. However, this is not its only attraction as you also have the option of taking an excursion to the Paraguay portion of the immense Iguazú Falls, or visiting lake La República, going to the Chinese park, and seeing the Chiang Kai Shek memorial.

Your itinerary in Paraguay should also include the Western region, mostly known as Chaco Paraguayo, which you can visit by taking a bus along Route 9 and admire its exotic landscapes from your window, including lagoons, swamps, and perhaps some of the wild animals in danger of extinction. Of course, you can get out at any time and place you wish if you want to do some deeper hiking through the area’s natural parks and reserves. You can also reach the small town of Yaguarón, located in the northwest of the department of Paraguaní (only 48 km from Asunción), which is a magnet for hearing the myths and legends of the region, particularly at the Ramón Elías Mythological Museum. Don’t pass up on the fun wagon rides in this town as well.

Another spot not to miss is the colorful carnival that takes place in the city of Encarnación five nights a year, between the months of January and February. A centuries-old tradition that attracts the attention of not only Paraguayans but also foreigners, it is held at the Municipal Civic Center (also known as the sambódromo) with a capacity of approximately 12 thousand people and is a celebration that serves as a competition between clubs and floats from the neighborhoods that participate in the activity. Compared to other competing Carnaval events around the world, this one in Encarnación is regarded as the more affordable and authentic version, reflecting the traditions of the country but without neglecting the iconic spray of foam that floats launch as they pass by.

You can't miss these places in Paraguay

The best time to travel around the country is during the winter months since rains are unlikely, however, you can travel in any season of the year. AndesTransit offers booking bus tickets and private transportation to discover any of the following destinations and more.

No trip to Paraguay can be marked as complete without visiting one of its biggest attractions, the Hito Tres Fronteras, the point where the Argentine, Brazilian and Paraguayan borders all intersect with the Paraná River, forming the immense falls of Iguazu.

Only 155 km from the capital is located the town of San Estanislao (or Santaníen Guaraní in the second language of the Republic of Paraguay), whose foundation was made by Jesuits in 1749 and is important to understand the history of colonization of not just Paraguay but of the entire region, made famous by the epic movie The Mission.

Within the department of San Pedro is one of the oldest cathedrals in the country, San Pedro Apostle, which holds a festival during the month of June in honor of its patron saint. Connect with Paraguayan traditions like that surrounding the story of the Virgin of Caacupé, a symbol of the Franciscan mission.

Those who enjoy outdoor activities should not hesitate to visit the Mbatovi Eco Reserve in Paraguaní, where you will have the opportunity to walk on hanging bridges, jump from a zip line, rappel on a natural wall with the support of specialized instructors.

Six hours away from the capital, Itapúa is one of the 17 departments of the Republic of Paraguay, and there you will encounter the seventeenth-century Jesuit Mission of Jesús de Tavarangüe, one of the best-preserved Jesuit sites in South America, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993. To make the Jesuit route, you can opt for private vehicles, which offer a more personalized service to and from the place where you stay. If that would be more than your budget can afford, buses can still be relied upon to get you to towns near the Jesuit sites, and then you can take taxis or colectivos the remainder of the way.

Sustainable tourism in Paraguay

The country recently made a large investment in sustainable tourism to help its local communities, making it one of the few Latin American countries that makes a great effort to combine tourist trips with environmental practices.

To preserve the environment, make sure to respect the delicate biodiversity balance where you visit. Paraguay tourism authorities suggest throwing waste in differentiated containers, avoid smoking, and refraining from using combustible material in green areas that may pose a fire threat.

Enjoy the incredible natural views in the Ñacunday National Park in Paraná, a perfect way to not only see the incredible Ñancunday waterfall, whose waters come from the Paraná River but to observe firsthand how local foresting initiatives are preserving the flora and fauna.

The Cerro Corá will also allow you to get closer than ever before to its bioregion, after having one of the largest nature reserves given protection by a presidential decree. This wonderful place served as the scene of the last battle of the War against the Triple Alliance.

AndesTransit brings you to all the places of interest within Paraguay, maximizing your stay within the country and enjoying everything it has to offer. From the carnivals in Encarnación to the Jesuit missions of Tavarangüe, travel the cheapest and safest way!

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Paraguay Transportation Orientation Map

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