Carmelitas/Shopping del Sol
The upscale restaurants and shopping areas along Avenida Espana (the largest being Paseo Carmelitas) are a popular hangout for Asuncion’s elite. Further down Avenida Espana is the ritzy Shopping del Sol located near the Sheraton and another hub of hotels. This area is ritzier than Villa Morra and less frequented by buses.
Satellite cities Luque
East of Asuncion and accessible primarily by Avenida Aviadores del Chaco/Avenida Silvio Petirossi, Luque is home to the large Nu Guazu recreational area, Paraguay’s primary airport, the Aeropuerto Internacional Silvio Pettirossi, and the headquarters for the South American Football Association (known as the Conmebol). Luque is also the access point for the road to Aregua and Ypacarai which connects to Route 2. Luque is well known for silver filigree work, and there are several workshops and stores selling the delicate jewelry around the town plaza.
Sidebar: Luque’s soccer team’s mascot is a pig, which earned the city its Jopara nickname Kure Luque(kure being pig in Guarani).
To the south of downtown Asuncion, built in part along the banks of the Paraguay River, Lambare is home to Cerro Lambare and the upscale Yacht Club. It also has the dubious distinction of being nicknamed the Ciudad del Amor (city of love) due to the prevalence of by-the-hour motels (see Love Hotels).
San Lorenzo, located to the southeast is the access point for Route 1 (heading south) and Route 2 (heading east) as well as the headquarters for the National University of Asuncion (UNA). The city is home to the excellent indigenous museum, Museo Guido Boggiani.
Fernando de la Mora
Southeast of Asuncion and south of San Lorenzo, Fernando de la Mora is home to one of the few small African populations in Paraguay – descendents of 400 African slaves who followed Uruguayan General Jose Artigas into exile in the 1820’s. Every January 6th, the Kamba Kua community holds an afro-dance festival in honor of their patron saint San Baltasar (contact Jose Medina at 0981 131 549 for information about additional dance recitals by the group). Fernando de la Mora is also home to the Mercado de Abasto, a large, open-air market which draws farmers and buyers from all over the country.
Mariano Roque Alonzo
This satellite city is the starting point of the Trans Chaco highway and the Puente Remanso bridge crossing the Paraguay River to the Chaco – before the construction of the bridge the only way to access the Paraguayan Chaco was by ferry. This rapidly growing area is home to Shopping Mariano, Paraguay’s largest mall, and the La Rural fairgrounds where the Expo is held every year (see La Expo).