Paraguay Register Travel insurance Destinations
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PARAGUAY - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Paraguay due to increasing crime.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Paraguay. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. It is prevalent in cities, bus terminals and on public buses. Checked luggage has been pilfered at airports.
Armed robbery, car theft and burglary occur in both urban and rural areas. Muggings by motorcyclists—usually two men on a motorcycle—can occur day or night.
Criminals have been known to observe, follow and then rob victims who have made withdrawals.
Be cautious in Asunción. Avoid market or plaza areas and the Chacarita and Costanera areas of downtown Asunción.
- ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- remain vigilant at all times and avoid walking alone after dark
- if attacked, do not resist
- carry a photocopy of your passport for identification purposes and keep the original in your hotel safe
- do not show signs of affluence, as wealthy looking tourists are more likely to be targeted by criminals
- don't carry large amounts of cash and keep cellular telephones and other valuable items out of sight
- don't leave bags, luggage or other valuable items in the car, and never in plain view
- keep your vehicle windows closed and doors locked at all times, even if stopped
- choose ATMs in controlled areas such as in banks and avoid using them at night
- remain aware of your surroundings when exiting currency exchange bureaus and when using ATMs
Be extremely cautious when travelling near border areas due to organized crime and lack of security patrols.
Drug trafficking and crime are known to occur in Amambay and Canindeyu departments and along the tri-border area between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.
A small armed guerrilla-style group known as the Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo [Paraguayan people’s army] (EPP) kidnaps for ransom. It operates in:
- the northern part of the department of San Pedro
- southern part of the department of Concepción
- Canindeyu and Amambay departments in the east
Although the EPP typically targets residents rather than visitors, be extra cautious if you travel to these areas.
Spiked food and drink
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of assault and robbery.
Demonstrations take place from time to time. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- follow the instructions of local authorities
- monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Because of heavy rainfall and limited infrastructure, you should carefully plan your hiking trips to remote areas.
The Chaco wilderness is a harsh environment where you may encounter dangerous animals. You should stay at an estancia (ranch property).
If you intend on hiking:
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails
Visiting most areas populated by indigenous peoples should present no danger, with the exception of Mennonite colonies in the northern area of Chaco Paraguayo, where the Ayoreo woodland group lives. Some Ayoreos may perceive outsiders as a threat.
Mobile telephone services outside urban areas are sparse and poor. In rural areas of Chaco Paraguayo, there is no cellular phone coverage outside of most Mennonite towns.
Accidents are common. The number of traffic accidents tends to increase during the holiday season. Be particularly cautious during this period.
Drivers do not respect traffic laws and road signs are often lacking. There is no roadside assistance on most highways. Roads in rural areas are generally unpaved. Driving conditions may be hazardous during the rainy season.
When travelling outside Asunción after dark, stray animals and vehicles operating without headlights present hazards.
Police checkpoints are common throughout the country, especially at night. Carry identification and vehicle registration at all times.
Public transportation is readily available for urban and intercity travel. Buses and taxis may not meet Canadian safety standards.
- call taxi companies that are registered with authorities from a landline or from a hotel instead of hailing taxis on the street
- take note of the taxi’s registration and telephone numbers before you depart
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Paraguayan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid expected duration of your stay in Paraguay. Ensure that your passport is stamped by an immigration official if entering Paraguay overland or you will receive a heavy fine when leaving the country.
Ensure that your passport is stamped by an immigration official if entering Paraguay overland or you will receive a heavy fine when leaving the country.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
Canadians require a valid visa to enter Paraguay.
You may obtain a visa on arrival if you land at the Asunción Silvio Pettirossi International Airport. You will have to pay US$150, in cash only. The visa will be valid until the expiration date of your passport.
If you are planning to enter via other points of entry, you must apply for a visa in advance at the closest Paraguayan embassy or consulate.
An airport tax of US$25 must be paid upon departure from the Asunción airport. Some airlines include the departure tax in the cost of the airline ticket.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Zika virus: Advice for travellers - February 12, 2018
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is recommended depending on your itinerary.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in South America, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South America. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunya, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), West Nile virus , yellow fever and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Good health care is only available in major cities. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.
Medical facilities will often expect immediate cash payment for services.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Tap water in Paraguay is unsafe.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Paraguay’s law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely socially accepted.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Paraguay.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Paraguay, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Penalties for drinking and driving are severe.
The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.00%. If a police officer suspects you of drinking and driving, they could confiscate your driver's licence on the spot. If you’re convicted, you can expect heavy fines.
You must carry an international driving permit
The currency of Paraguay is the guaraní (PYG).
Canadian currency is not widely accepted. U.S. dollars (except for US$ 100 bills series CB and D) can be exchanged at most banks and exchange agencies (casa de cambio).
Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The rainy season extends from November to March.
Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged, particularly in the Chaco region. Roads within Mennonite colonies remain usually passable.
Dial 911 for emergency assistance.
Asunción - Consulate of Canada
Buenos Aires - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Argentina, in Buenos Aires, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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