Ciudad del Este is the second-largest town in Paraguay and the current capital of the Alto Paraná Department, located on the Paraná River.
Formerly called Puerto Presidente Stroessner after the previous dictator, the ‘City of the East’ is a distinguished center for contraband goods, earning it the name ‘the Supermarket of South America.’ The part near the hectic Brazilian border is disorganized, and it can be a heavy shock to the system if it’s your first encunted of Paraguay, but trust me, there is nowhere else in the nation quite like this. Please don’t forget to give Ciudad del Este a chance and you’ll find the rest of it is pleasant, with some exciting attractions nearby. Of course, if you’re here to shop, then dive headfirst into the turmoil, and you will be in your form.
Top Attractions in Ciudad del Este
A family of Swiss settlers led by Moisés, the Bertoni’s had the concept of developing a community of scientists in the Paraguayan jungle at the turn of the 20th century CE. With each kid given a branch of the sciences to study, they significantly affected the (admittedly limited) Paraguayan scientific community. The building is the family home, holding a museum narrating the family’s achievements, hiking trails in the neighboring forest on the Río Paraná banks, and Moises’ peaceful resting place.
Flora and Fauna Itaipú Binacional
The dam company was required to set up eight private reserves that now protect the last pieces of the Alto Paraná Atlantic Forest. Three of the most exciting are Refugio Tati Yupi, Limoy, and Reserva Itabó. To explore this beautiful forest, you’ll need your own car and permission (permits take a while to be accepted). Basic accommodations are free at some reserves, but you’ll have to bring your own food and bedclothes.
Salto del Monday
This striking 80m-high waterfall, situated 10km south of Ciudad del Este, suffers from its proximity to Iguazú Falls on the other side of the border. If you have time, don’t forget to explore it, mainly as dusk falls and tens of thousands of swifts gather before zipping in to roost on the wet rocks behind the waterfalls.
Things to do in Ciudad del Este
- Stroll: Above the Parana River between Paraguay and Brazil, you can stroll and explore the most exciting borders of South America. The Friendship Bridge commemorates good relations between both nations and connects Foz do Iguacu, in Brazil, with Ciudad del Este, in Paraguay. Customs are on both sides of the road at both edges of the bridge, Brazil in one and Paraguay in the other. It is a lovely place to stroll.
- Shopping: Shopping is the principal love of the travelers here. The central shopping streets are Camilo Recalde and San Blas, where you can purchase about everything and anything at excellent prices; it is not without reason that so many South Americans walk in hordes to buy there and often resell the stuff back home at a decent profit. Many people come for computer parts, electronics, and accessories, perfume, liquor, and other goods. Counterfeit products are standard, so you should prefer more significant, better-structured, and more reputed stores, even if you find more competitive deals elsewhere.
Now You Know