Ciudad del Este

Ciudad del Este is a city in Paraguay. It is mainly a shopping destination for Brazilians and Argentinians.

Get in

By plane

The Guaraní International Airport (IATA: AGT) has direct connections to São Paulo and Asunción operated by TAM Airlines. It is located in the neighbouring city of Minga Guazú, 32 km (20 mi) from Ciudad del Este and 40 km from Foz do Iguaçu. To get from the airport to the city center you can take a taxi for about 140,000 Gs. or the Minga Guazú bus, which leaves from the airport toward CDE once a day at 1PM. The bus fare is 3,000 Gs.

By bus

The bus terminal is located around a kilometer south of the city center, a bit hidden behind the large sports stadium on Bernardino Caballero.

From nearby Brazil and Argentina

The Friendship Bridge

Border Paperwork / Scams

Crossing the two borders (ARG-BRA and BRA-PAR) is a bit tricky and if you don't do it correctly, there is a significant risk of being asked for substantial bribes:

Locals can cross the border and stay for up to 24h on either side without reporting to immigration or even carrying a passport (and ID card is sufficient). This is however not the case for citizens from elsewhere. To visit Ciuduad del Este from Puerto Iguazu proceed as following:

So - just spend the extra 5-10 minutes to get all the proper paperwork and everything will be fine!

Get around

By car

If you arrive with your own car, make sure you find a parking lot. Usually the local touts will lead you to one. However, if you do not feel comfortable with the situation you still can research a parking lot in advance as some of them have websites on the Internet.

By bus

There are many local city buses available, typically charging 2500 Gs. It is common and advisable to sit down without paying due to the number of people boarding and disembarking as well as the fast pace of traffic. The driver's assistant will come by eventually to collect your payment and make change.

By taxi

Taxis are available, but are unmetered. Always agree on a price before getting inside. If possible, contact your hotel in advance to find out what the normal fares should be (20000-30000 Gs from the bus station to Hotel Austria or Hotel Munich for example). Taxi drivers commonly attempt to overcharge foreigners either by quoting an unreasonable fare up front, or claiming they had quoted a higher fare at the end of the trip. Paying with exact change or close to it will provide leverage in case the driver attempts to increase the fare at the end of the trip. At the bus station, there is a sign that lists prices to typical destinations.

For the adventurous, motorcycles taxis are common and a fast way to move through the heavy traffic near the Puente de la Amistad (bridge). Drivers are generally easy to spot due to their reflective shirts and should provide you with a helmet.

See

Night view of the Itaipú Dam

Do

The Lago de la República

Buy

Street scene

Shopping is the main business of the visitors. The main shopping streets are San Blas and Camilo Recalde, where you can buy almost anything. Many people come for electronics. If you want to buy electronics such as cellphones or cameras, always ask to test the device to make sure that it works. Never give it back to the shopkeeper/assistant as that person might exchange the device with faulty versions or hand the box back filled with paper but not with what you just bought.

When walking close to the Paraguay border or around shopping malls, ignore people holding printed images of electronic brands inviting you to buy from them. If they insist, politely say No, gracias and carry on.

Eat

Due to the premium placed on street-front property, Ciudad del Este's eateries and dining establishments are commonly found inside multi-leveled shopping malls and are relatively scarce on the main street of San Blas.

As a consequence of considerable immigrant populations, Ciudad del Este has a diverse variety of ethnic food options that one can take advantage of. Arab food can be found off the main streets and in many shopping centers and typically serve good Shawarma/kebab to go. Chinese and Korean food restaurants can also be found. Your best bet is to ask a local to direct you to the nearest restaurant or eatery. Additionally, because of the large influx of Brazilian nationals that enter Ciudad del Este every day, the most popular restaurants are those which serve typical Brazilian fare and are easy to find.

For some of the better-looking Asian restaurants, try exploring the areas around the corner of Adrian Jara and Av. Boquerón. Not far from the same area are some US style burger houses. Above the "Area Iris" supermarket (corner of Av. Pioneros del Este and Adrian Jara) is a good but relatively expensive Japanese restaurant. In the supermarket various foods and other supplies can be had. Outside the supermarket, cheap hotdogs are available (but ensure that the hotdogs are heated well and not merely warmed - and this heating advice is recommended for foods from all street vendors).

Many street vendors grill delicious and cheap asado at night on Cap. Miranda just north of the main route through town. A plate of asado with manioc is 10,000 Gs, and salad, bread, and a liter of beer can be had for an additional 10,000 Gs.

Vegetarians will have to ask around, but outside the city center there are a few vegetarian Chinese restaurants. Friends have reported that an Indian vegetarian restaurant called Gourangas is located behind the Municipalidad, not far from the city centre.

Like most businesses in Ciudad del Este, you can pay for food with Argentine, US, Paraguayan, or Brazilian currency and expect to receive change in the same currency used for payment.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-Range

Go next

To leave Ciudad del Este back across the Friendship bridge, one has three options: 1) Walk back across the bridge and wait in line at Brazilian immigration along with scores of people returning from Shopping. 2) Take a bus from the bus terminal that goes into Brazil or directly to Puerto Iguazú and wait in the long line of cars. 3) Hire a motorcycle to take you across the bridge through the line specifically for motorcycles that is rarely ever stopped by immigration officials. This can be rather dangerous as the driver will weave in and out of incoming traffic. This option is by far the quickest and took the Author 3 minutes to get from one end of the Friendship Bridge on the Paraguayan side, to the other end of the bridge on the Brazilian side - Past immigration. Cost = 10 Argentine Pesos

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, October 12, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.