Paraguay — Shopping and Leisure
Paraguay has a good range of products due to the import market. In particular, Ciudad del Este is known for its bargain electronic products due to its status as one of the world’s greatest free trade zones. Traditional products include hand-crafted lace and loosely weaved cotton garments. Another great souvenir item is the cup used to drink national beverage terere, which is called a guampa. You can readily buy these items in many open-air markets and shops, along with the raw yerba mate tea itself.
The main market in Asuncion is located in Plaza de los Heros. Here, you will find a range of handicraft products, including ao po’i or lienzo, which are loose weave cotton textiles. You will also find other indigenous crafts and guampa cups. A good shop is Folklore (Mariscal Estigarribia), which sells a range of items, including ñandutí, traditional lace products. Also to be found here are traditionally styled leather goods.
Ciudad del Este hosts several indoor shopping malls, each specializing in slightly different products. They are mainly located along the two-mile stretch called Avenida San Blas. Among the main malls are King Fong, Mina India, Santo Domingo, Americana, Galeria Rahal, Casa China, and Galeria La Paloma. Of all these malls, Americana is the best for electronic items.
Tips on Buying Electronics in Ciudad del Este
While low taxes and booming trade can be advantageous to the consumer, lack of regulation in Ciudad del Este means the city is rife with counterfeit goods. If purchasing an electronic item, always check the validity of any warranty, as well as the quality of the product itself. The city is also known for smuggling since it is positioned at the hub of the tri-nation area between Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. As a tourist in the area, you may be approached by people selling goods illegally. If you are unsure of the nature of the sale, it is best to politely decline and walk away.