For a Good Time in Paraguay: Christine’s Travel Tips

Lodging: Hotel Asunción Palace.
On Colón and Palma in the Centro. This runs between $25-30 a night and in a past life served as the mansion of one of the Lopez brothers before turning into a hospital during the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance.

Guaraní Classes: Idelguap/Falevi
On Eusebio Ayala and 2 de Mayo. You can also study Spanish here, if that’s your thing.

Modern, Contemporary, Indigenous Art: Museo del Barro.
Open Thursday – Sunday only and it’s a place I’ll keep re-visiting.

Pastel Mandi’o: Ña Eustaquia
Filled with carne (so’o), chicken, choclo (fresh corn and cheese), and other yummies. These can be found in all the shoppings (the annoying loan word from English which means “mall” in Latin America and causes great trouble when they try to learn English and don’t realize that it’s not a noun… sometimes a gerund, but never ever a synonym for “mall”).

Chipa: Doña Chipa
These can be found throughout the city. The stuffed ones are amazing. There’s one in the Centro on Palma.

Internet Café: hmm.
The Ciber on Palma next to the Plaza Independencia is most consistent on speed and porn-free-ness of the machines. They also serve coffee, should you ask, and have computers where you can use a USB drive. However, take heed when you’re at computer 3… it’s got the computer equivalent of a self-destruct button. If consistent speed and porn-free-ness is not your bag, or if you want to check email any time of the day, there’s a 24 hour Ciber King a few blocks away, right next to Playboy Cabaret. You get the idea.

Havanna café on Mariscal Lopez and Republica Argentina if you’re using your own laptop.

Cultural Events for Free: Centro Juan de Salazar.
This also has the Cervantes library. I’d suggest checking out events on a weekly basis: the art, concerts, lectures, poetry readings, book launches are fabulous.

Literary Cafe: El Cafe Literario
Across from El Chaco Hotel on México near the Plaza Uruguaya. It’s closed on weekends, but it’s important. It’s the first of its kind in Asunción.

Tourist Traps: None
Paraguay doesn’t get many tourists and so there really isn’t an economy oriented on gouging them with bright shiny wastes of time.

Market: Mercado 4
This is where you can get corn, ratchets, sneakers, and your cell phone unlocked. You can also find nice work in clay and an over-abundance of clay frogs. When I asked why, they said frogs are for good luck.

Silver: Luque
This is the town next to Asunción and you can get there on colectivo (the buses that cost 2000 G, or, about $.40). Here they sell filigree earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets beautiful enough to arouse envy and wonder even on the jaded subways of New York. However, when I asked where the silver originally comes from, the response I got was, “That is the question.”

Asado: the guy on the street.
The best grilled food can be found for 3000 G on the streets of Asunción. They’ll serve it to you with boiled yuca (what they call mandioca o mandi’o) that you eat with your hands.

British Embassy: gone, with no explanation.
They closed up shop last year or the year prior and everyone is wondering why they left.

Craft Market: Plaza Independencia.
These stalls are open every day and here you’ll be able to buy studs for your various piercings as well as finely worked tablecloths and handmade coconut jewelry.

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