It is very easy to cross the border between Pedro Juan Caballero and Ponta Pora. All you have to do is simply walk across the Avenida Dr. Francia. However getting official immigration stamps for either country at this border is notoriously inconvenient as the Paraguayan and Brazilian immigration check points are located on opposite ends of Pedro Juan Caballero and Ponta Pora respectively and have different office hours. The easiest way to get both stamps is to hire a taxi to take you to both immigration offices. Some tourists who plan to enter Brazil but return to Paraguay simply choose not to bother getting stamps from either country. Though this is simpler in the short run, you do run the risk of being fined should irregularities be noticed by immigration agents at a later border crossing. The key to pulling this off is to avoid getting stamps as you cross into Brazil as well as when you cross back to Paraguay.
Immigration Pedro Juan Caballero Tel: 03431 6312, Naciones Unidas 144, Mon-Fri 7am-12pm, 1:30pm-9pm, Sat 8am-12pm, 1:30pm-9pm, Sun 7pm-9pm
Immigration Ponta Pora The immigration office is located within the federal police station one block past the border near the Paraguayan consulate. Tel: 3431 1428, Avenida Presidente Vargas, Mon-Fri 9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm
With the exception of its capital, Salto del Guaira, the department of Canindeyu is rarely visited by tourists. The department is home to the mountain ranges of Mbaracayu, Amambay and San Joaquin, all of which are habitats for the much threatened Atlantic Forest ecosystem. Salto del Guaira is often visited by Brazilian tourists looking to shop for inexpensive goods. However, Salto del Guaira has a reputation for being more family friendly than the chaotic Ciudad del Este.
Reserva de la Biosfera del Bosque Mbaracayu (Mbaracayu Reserve)
Covering approximately 64,500 hectares the Reserva de la Biosfera del Bosque de Mbaracayu (Mbaracayu Biosphere Reserve) protects both the Cerrado ecosystem as well as the one of the few existing remnants of Atlantic Forest (Bosque Atlantico del Alto Parana) in Paraguay. The park’s varied landscapes are home to several endangered species including jaguars, tapirs, and giant anteaters. This is also one of the few remaining habitats of Paraguay’s national bird, the pajaro Campana (bare throated Bell bird), whose exotic song inspired the famous harp composition of the same name. Members of the Ache indigenous community live within the park and are allowed to carry out traditional hunting and gathering rituals. The park is administered by Fundacion Moises Bertoni which also runs the Centro Educativo Mbaracayu, an educational center for girls living within the park, in conjunction with Fundacion Paraguay. Visitors can walk, bike or canoe around the park alone or with a park guide. There are also guided tours to the forty-meter tall Salto Carapa and to communities within the park. Visitors can camp or stay at the park’s hotel which provides meals at a reasonable price. Given the park’s rich biodiversity and varied terrain it is an excellent option for nature enthusiasts. Tel: 021 608 740, 0347 20147, to arrive by car head east from San Estanislao/Santan on Route 10 approximately ninety-one kilometers to the town of San Isidro de Curuguaty there take the left-hand turn off heading north continuing approximately forty-five kilometers to the town of Villa Ygatimi From here the reserve entrance is twenty kilometers to the east. While most visitors to the park arrive in private transportation with guided tours it is possible take public transportation from Asuncion. Empresa Canindeyu (021 555 991) has an 11am and 11:30pm buses to Villa Ygatim. However the ride is rough and you will have to arrange a pick-up from Villa Ygatim, www.mbertoni.org.py, Single: Gs. 75,000 shared bath, Gs. 85,000 private bath, Double: Gs. 100,000 shared bath, Gs. 120,000 private bath, Triple: Gs. 130,000, camping Gs. 30,000, Advanced reservations are recommended.
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