Gifts for Host Families & Friends
During your time in Paraguay, you will find that friendships with locals, long or short term, will greatly enrich your visit and help you better absorb the culture. Consider bringing along small gifts from home to show your appreciation. The following should work regardless of whether the families are in the countryside or city:
Calendars with photos of your home town.
A nice tablecloth – a very useful gift likely to be reserved for special occasions like Sunday lunches.
Reusable tote bags.
Head lamps and pocket knives – male friends in rural areas will find these especialy useful.
Asuncion & Satellite Cities
Asuncion is quite possibly the most laid back capital city in South America. This city of approximately 600,000 people still retains a small town feel in many areas. Amidst the dense foliage of flowering trees, the country’s richest and poorest families live side by side one another. During the day Asuncion’s historic center is a chaotic jumble of buses, government workers, school kids, and street vendors selling everything from finely crafted handicrafts to pirated DVDs. At night and on the weekends, things quiet down as the majority of the center’s daytime population returns to residential neighborhoods and satellite cities. For such a small city, Asuncion has a surprisingly active cultural scene, with many plays, gallery openings, and concerts. Living up to its reputation as one of the most affordable cities in the world, nightlife offerings are varied and accessible even to those on the tightest budgets.
Sidebar: Though underdeveloped in comparison to other Latin American capital cities, Asuncion’s modernity stands out in great contrast to the rural nature of the rest of the country.
Top Asuncion Experiences
Enjoying the highly affordable nightlife.
Jostling for counter space and eating caldo de pescado (fish soup) at Lido Bar.
Checking out the Museo del Barro, the country’s best museum.
Hearing a concert at the Teatro Municipal or one of the city’s many cultural centers.
Going on a boat ride and bird watching trip across the Bay of Asuncion to Chaco’i, the southernmost tip of the Paraguayan Chaco.
Enjoying the afternoon breeze and a drink at Casa Clari (within Manzana de la Riviera) with a great view of the Presidential Palace.
Seeing the cornucopia of Paraguay’s produce in the bustling Mercado Cuatro or the weekly upscale Agroshopping farmers market.
A trip to Cerro Lambare to see the city from upon high.