Life is a journey that have a lot different paths, but any path you choose use it as your destiny.

Ryan Leonard


From Bolivia to Paraguay

From Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia I could have taken a plane to Asunción. If you don’t like long bus rides, this would be the way to go. Instead, I decided to go on a 24 hours bus ride leaving Santa Cruz in the evening. The bus crossed Bolivia during the night, we reached the border in the morning. After the border crossing and another Aduana (luggage check) in Paraguay, we crossed a huge part of Paraguay. Only after sunset, we reached Asunción.


Honestly, the landscape didn’t change. Flat, green, little dumps filled with water occasionally, some cows, cattle, and goat grassing. The “green” was a mix of grass and bush, closer to Asunción there were less bush but far more palm trees. While driving, we did pass almost no village. Sometimes, there were dirt roads pointing somewhere into nowhere, so there could have been individual houses far away.


Germany within Paraguay

During the long bus ride, we stopped at a gas station for lunch. This gas station served both as station, as restaurant and as supermarket for the neighboring villages. I was super surprised when I read all the big explanations of the supermarket: as they were in German. After checking maps I figured that the villages around (literally one street = one village, next street = another village) mostly have German names. Also, the people running around looked very central European.


Why I don’t like Paraguay

Honestly, I had the impression that people denying Corona or following other conspiracies or alternative approaches moved to Paraguay. I didn’t discuss this topic, but why would you move to a country of 8 mio inhabitants with 2 mio living in extreme poverty. The country is very corrupt and has extreme and anti-modern tendencies. In my opinion it is quite problematic that abortion is completely prohibited while girls – especially on the countryside – are often abused at an early age. So you will see 10-year-old mothers…

I would never want to move to a poor and corrupt country, no matter how much green area / nature is remaining, in which the extreme tendencies of the US or other states try out their power and influence. I have read that these extremist tendencies and the extreme-right tendencies of denying abortion are not (only) self-constructed but mainly influenced and enforced by “priests” or other influencers from the States and other countries. What is even worse, kids don’t get any sexual education, so how would they know when or how they can get pregnant or what abortion is.



No clue what I should think about the capital of Paraguay. The closer we approached Asunción by bus, the thicker the villages close to the roads. Nevertheless, lacking of any proper streetlights, you don’t see much. When I went to the toilet which has its little window open, I recognized that the smell of wood fire is quite present. Maybe that’s the way of preparing dinner.

In Asunción, we kept driving through a huge industrial area. It looked like as if at maximum only half of it is currently in use, if even. Buildings are standing around, locked, like as if not taken care of for years. In the center of Asunción, when walking around, it was actually similar. I was wondering whether the houses I was passing are occupied by people or just standing there waiting for nature to take over control. Summing up, the sights within the center of Asunción are very limited. Some houses look nice and taken care of, especially office buildings. Many others look rather like locked and not used.


What to visit

I visited Asunción on the second of their two days of independence. I didn’t plan it like this but when I heard about it, I was surprised. However, I expected more things to be going on. While walking through the center, I realized that the majority of people visits the national museums or important places. I am not sure whether you have to pay an entrance fee on other days. On this day I could get in for free into everything that was open to visitors.


National Pantheon of Heroes

A type of war monument displaying the graves of the “heroes of Paraguay”.


Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

I couldn’t enter the cathedral but passed it walking. There is a big parking area in front of it. However, there were also many rather homeless-looking people. So, I didn’t stay for long.


Independence House Museum

A small museum representing some old and (for them) significant things. To me, it looked rather small compared to other independence halls that I have visited such as in Tucumán.


Congreso Nacional

You can walk next to the national congress but not enter. There is a huge presence of security, don’t worry about the many policemen having weapons. It’s just normal (maybe necessary), similar to other towns across South America.


Palacio de López

This palace is pink, and I enjoyed looking at something maintained and well-prepared. It is outstanding compared to the huge majority of other buildings.


Paseo Repúplica del Paraguay & Costanera de Asunción

Asunción is located at the Bahia de Asunción. From the many walkways close to the water, you realize how green Asunción is. You don’t see accumulations of houses but rather a mix of houses and trees. This is nice but also easier since there are not as many people needing a place to live and work. Asunción also has a little beach and some boats for little touristy cruises. I didn’t go to the beach, the views from the walkway were sufficient for me.


From Paraguay to Brazil

Different routes to different destinations

It depends on where in Brazil you want to go to. If you consider going to Porto Alegre, you would cross the border to Argentina directly (as Asunción is almost directly at the border) and take a bus towards Corientes. From there, there are buses towards Porto Alegre.

If you consider going to the Iguazú waterfalls and/or Florianópolis, you take a bus to Ciudad del Este, the border town in Paraguay. Some buses even continue until Foz do Iguazu, the border town on Brazilian side. And from there you may continue to other locations.

There are also connections towards Rio or São Paulo if I remember correctly. However, I would rather take a flight because this is a huge distance to cover.

From Asunción to the Iguazú Waterfalls

Paraguay to Brazil

My destination were the Iguazú Waterfalls. I decided to stay on the Argentinean side in Puerto Iguazú, since it is more touristy and better equipped to visit both the Argentinean and Brazilian side than the town Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil. To have the least amount of different buses, I picked a bus connecting Asunción with Foz. Like this, the border crossing from Paraguay to Brazil was included.


In Asunción, the bus was almost completely full, while more and more people got off until we were only approximately 10 people left going to Brazil. I am quite happy that I decided to continue until Brazil. The Paraguayan border town Ciudad del Este is less than beautiful. You see many very poor people on the streets and I have been told there are a lot of robberies as well. Ciudad del Este looks more busy than Asunción which is most likely due to its location. There are multiple shopping centers in Ciudad del Este and buses from both Argentina and Brazil heading to Ciudad del Este for shopping. Cheap shopping is what Ciudad del Este is known for.


In Brazil and Argentina

From Foz there is a bus connecting to Puerto Iguazú every hour. In order to get a ticket, you have to pay in cash. In Foz, they only accept Brazilian currency, but in the bus you should also be able to pay in Argentinean pesos. Especially because it’s an Argentinean company and many people from Argentina don’t get out cash for one day. I just waited for the next bus and continued to Argentina.

The whole trip consists of two border crossings. From Paraguay to Brazil, you have one stop at each side of the border. From Brazil to Argentina, the bus doesn’t stop on the side of Brazil. Thus, if you need the stamp about leaving Brazil, you might have to either let the driver know (I’m not sure if it works) or take an Uber from border to border to center.

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