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Is Paraguay Safe?

Paraguay is generally safe for travelers, though petty crime like pickpocketing and bag snatching is common in cities. Violent crime rates are relatively low, but disputes can escalate quickly. Scams targeting tourists occur, so remain vigilant. The country is politically stable, but occasional protests may disrupt travel plans. Taking basic precautions like avoiding isolated areas and not carrying valuables can mitigate risks.

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Safety & Security

Paraguay is generally considered a safe travel destination, but visitors should exercise caution and take necessary precautions. Here are some key points regarding safety in Paraguay:

  • Petty Crime: Petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching are common, especially in crowded areas and on public transportation. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secure.

  • Violent Crime: While violent crime rates are relatively low compared to some neighboring countries, armed robberies and carjackings do occur, particularly in border areas and major cities like Asunci贸n. Avoid isolated areas, especially at night.

  • Scams: Be wary of common scams targeting tourists, such as taxi overcharging, fake tour guides, and street vendors selling counterfeit goods.

  • Civil Unrest: Protests and demonstrations can occur, sometimes leading to road blockades and disruptions. Monitor local news and avoid large gatherings.

  • Terrorism: The risk of terrorist attacks is low, but travelers should remain vigilant, especially in crowded public areas.

  • Disputes: Disputes over land ownership and resource extraction have led to occasional clashes between indigenous groups, farmers, and authorities. Avoid getting involved in such conflicts.

  • Border Areas: Exercise increased caution in border regions with Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay due to higher risks of criminal activities like drug trafficking and smuggling.

While most visits to Paraguay are trouble-free, it's advisable to research your destination, stay alert, and follow common-sense safety precautions to minimize risks and ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Health & Medical

Travelers to Paraguay should be aware of certain health risks and take necessary precautions. While the country has decent medical facilities in major cities, rural areas may lack adequate healthcare services.

  • Insect-Borne Diseases: Diseases like dengue fever, Zika virus, and malaria are present in some regions. Use insect repellent and wear protective clothing.

  • Vaccinations: Ensure routine vaccinations are up-to-date. Hepatitis A, typhoid, and yellow fever vaccines may be recommended depending on your travel plans.

  • Water and Food Safety: Drink only bottled or purified water and avoid undercooked meat, seafood, and unpasteurized dairy products to prevent foodborne illnesses.

  • Air Pollution: Major cities like Asunci贸n can experience high levels of air pollution, which may exacerbate respiratory conditions.

  • Medical Facilities: Private hospitals and clinics in Asunci贸n and other major cities generally provide good care, but facilities in rural areas may be limited. Comprehensive travel insurance is advisable.

Natural Disasters

Paraguay is generally not prone to major natural disasters, but there are some weather-related risks that travelers should be aware of.

  • Flooding: Heavy rainfall during the rainy season (November to April) can cause flooding, particularly in low-lying areas and near rivers. Flash floods can occur and disrupt transportation.

  • Thunderstorms: Severe thunderstorms are common during the rainy season, sometimes accompanied by strong winds, hail, and lightning strikes. These can pose risks to outdoor activities and travel plans.

  • Droughts: Prolonged dry periods can lead to droughts, which can affect water supplies and increase the risk of wildfires in some areas.

While the risk of major earthquakes or volcanic eruptions is relatively low, travelers should still exercise caution and follow local advisories and instructions during any natural events. It's also advisable to have travel insurance that covers natural disasters and to stay informed about weather forecasts and potential disruptions.


Transportation in Paraguay is generally safe but requires caution. Public transportation options like buses are affordable but can be overcrowded and prone to petty crime. Taxis should be from official companies or booked through apps to avoid unlicensed operators. Ride-sharing services like Uber operate in major cities.

  • Road safety is a concern due to poorly maintained roads, aggressive driving, and lack of enforcement of traffic laws. Driving at night outside cities is not recommended.

  • Rental cars are available but roads can be challenging to navigate, especially in rural areas. Ensure you have a good map or GPS.

  • Domestic flights are a convenient option for longer distances but can be subject to delays and cancellations, especially during the rainy season.

  • When using public transportation, remain vigilant against pickpockets and keep valuables secured. Avoid traveling alone at night if possible.

Cultural Norms

Paraguay is a culturally diverse country with a rich blend of indigenous and Spanish influences. As a traveler, it's essential to respect local customs and traditions. Here are some tips for cultural sensitivity:

  • Greetings: Paraguayans value courtesy and warmth in greetings. A handshake and a friendly "buenos d铆as/tardes" (good morning/afternoon) is appreciated. Maintain eye contact and a pleasant demeanor.

  • Dress Code: While casual attire is generally acceptable, it's advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas. Avoid revealing clothing that could be seen as disrespectful.

  • Language: Spanish and Guaran铆 are the official languages. Learning a few basic phrases in Spanish or Guaran铆 can go a long way in showing respect and facilitating communication.

  • Gestures: Be mindful of gestures and body language. For example, pointing with the index finger is considered rude. Use an open hand or nod instead.

  • Punctuality: Paraguayans have a more relaxed approach to time. Avoid appearing impatient or frustrated if events or appointments don't start precisely on time.

  • Religious Observances: Paraguay is predominantly Catholic, and religious festivals and celebrations are widely observed. Respect local customs and traditions during these events.

  • Indigenous Communities: If visiting indigenous communities, seek guidance from local authorities or tour guides on appropriate behavior and customs to follow.

  • Photography: When taking photographs of people, especially in rural areas or indigenous communities, always ask for permission first.

Embracing and respecting the local culture will not only enhance your travel experience but also foster positive interactions with the warm and welcoming Paraguayan people.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in Paraguay are generally limited, especially outside major cities. While ambulance services exist, response times can be slow and the quality of care may vary. Private hospitals and clinics in Asunci贸n tend to have better emergency facilities compared to public ones.

  • Ambulance Services: Ambulances are available through emergency numbers, but response times can be lengthy, especially in rural areas. Private ambulance services may offer quicker response times.

  • Hospital Emergency Rooms: Major private hospitals in Asunci贸n, such as Hospital del R铆o and Hospital Bautista, have reasonably equipped emergency rooms. However, public hospital emergency rooms often lack resources and can be overwhelmed.

  • Tourist Police: The Tourist Police (Policia de Turismo) in major cities can assist travelers in emergencies, though their resources are limited. They may help coordinate emergency services or provide translation assistance.

  • Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation is highly recommended, as the quality of emergency medical care can be inadequate, especially outside Asunci贸n.

  • Embassy/Consular Services: Travelers should register with their embassy or consulate upon arrival in case emergency assistance is needed while in Paraguay.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is Paraguay safe for tourists?

Paraguay is generally safe for tourists, but caution is advised in certain areas. Petty crime and bag snatching can occur in cities like Asunci贸n. Avoid walking alone at night and keep valuables out of sight. It's also recommended to use authorized taxis and tour guides.

Is Paraguay safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers should exercise caution in Paraguay. While not overly dangerous, incidents of harassment and catcalling can occur, especially in larger cities. It's advisable to dress conservatively, avoid walking alone at night, and be aware of your surroundings.

Is Paraguay safe for families?

Paraguay is a family-friendly destination with a rich culture and natural attractions. However, parents should be cautious with children in crowded areas due to the risk of petty crime. Ensure children are supervised at all times and avoid isolated areas, especially at night.

Is Paraguay LGBTQ+ friendly?

While same-sex relationships are legal in Paraguay, LGBTQ+ individuals may face discrimination and social stigma. Public displays of affection should be avoided, and caution is advised in rural areas. Same-sex marriage is not legally recognized.

Do you need a visa to go to Paraguay?

Citizens of most Western countries, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union, do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days in Paraguay. However, a valid passport is mandatory for all visitors.

Can you drink tap water in Paraguay?

It's generally not recommended to drink tap water in Paraguay due to potential contamination. Bottled or purified water is widely available and should be used for drinking and brushing teeth. Avoid ice cubes made from tap water and peel fruits and vegetables before consuming.

What is the currency in Paraguay?

The official currency in Paraguay is the Paraguayan Guaran铆 (PYG). While credit cards are accepted in major cities and tourist areas, cash is still widely used, especially in rural areas. It's advisable to carry a mix of cash and cards.

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