365/251 H1N1 Vaccine by California Cow via Flickr Creative Commons

To enter Paraguay, a visa is needed for citizens of US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. British and most other EU citizens do not need a visa. US travelers can gain a 90-day single entry tourist visa from a Paraguayan embassy or consulate before traveling to the country. Alternatively, visas are available on arrival. All visitors to Paraguay require at least six months’ validity on their passport. If you are not automatically provided with a stamp at your port of arrival, be sure to request one from the customs official since not possessing one invalidates your stay in the country.

Health and Safety

A valid yellow fever certificate is required to reenter your home country from Paraguay since it is a risk area. Therefore it is important to seek this vaccination before you enter Paraguay. It is also recommended you seek the following routine vaccinations: hepatitis A and B, MMR, rabies, tetanus, tuberculosis, and typhoid. If your vaccines are not up to date, you should renew them six to eight weeks before your intended travel date.

Dengue fever is a risk in Paraguay, particularly around the Alto Parana region in the east of the country, which is mainly sub-tropical rainforest. This is a non-vaccine preventable disease so care should be taken against mosquito bites: use repellent, cover up with clothes, and use a mosquito net. The Alto Parana region also presents a moderate malaria risk, in particular in the rainforests around the Iguazu Falls. If intending to travel here, you should consider anti-malarial medication. However, most of the country presents an extremely low malarial risk.

Like other countries in South America, crime is mostly opportunistic in Paraguay, so care should be taken to conceal your valuables to prevent against becoming a victim. Downtown areas of Asuncion, Ciudad del Este, and Pedro Juan Caballero present the biggest risks. Avoid walking through dark streets at night in these cities. Many road surfaces are uneven and potholes are common, particularly along the Gran Chaco Highway where care should be taken.

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