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Is Asuncion Paraguay Safe for Tourists?

Paraguay is one of the poorest countries in South America (Bolivia is the poorest) and poverty is usually associated with crime. I was in the capital city of Asuncion for two nights and three days where I took public transportation from the airport to downtown (and reverse). I also walked all over Centro Asuncion during the day and night time including taking a taxi.

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Asuncion lacks tourism in many ways and it’s well known that not many people in the world actually even travel to Paraguay. The streets of Asuncion are in complete disrepair with large potholes.

Some of the streets look pretty scary with graffiti laden abandoned buildings and uneven sidewalks littered with trash.

I highly suggest you stay out of these areas and stay closer to the center of town. I wouldn’t recommend going out at night time in Centro Asuncion as well. I felt safe walking all over downtown Asuncion during the day time and never felt threatened.

You should also avoid the poor rural shanty towns Northeast of Downtown Asuncion located next to the river Bahia de Asuncion and Playa de La Costanera.

You might have read online that Paraguayans are some of the nicest people and that’s definitely true. There are also reports that they love foreigners and sometimes invite them into their homes, but that never happened to me.

I also took public transportation from Asuncion International Airport to downtown towards Centro Asuncion. The bus was super packed with local Paraguayans headed to work and I was the only gringo onboard.

I felt pretty safe on the bus even though it was packed to the brim. This is what the bus looks like when it’s not packed.


One night, I took a bus at night time from downtown Asuncion to reach another neighborhood. Night time can be quite scary, but I wasn’t going too far and nothing happened to me. Many Paraguayans take the public bus after work at night to go home.

I also took an official taxi from a taxi stand in Centro Asuncion to the Sheraton hotel. You can find many authorized taxis hanging around the four main plazas in downtown Asuncion.

Since the Sheraton Asuncion hotel was really close to the airport, I decided to take the public bus because it didn’t make sense to pay $25 for a 10 minute ride. The bus was so packed that one person had to stand in the stairwell with the doors wide open. This creates a dangerous situation, but this is normal everyday life for a Paraguayan bus rider.


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