Official language: Spanish, Guarani
Time zone: UTC-4 (summer), UTC-3 (winter)
Currency: Guaraní (PYG)
Ciudad del Este, the city of the east, has changed its name twice. Originally it was Puerto Flor de Lis, then Puerto Presidente Stroessner, originating from name of the dictator of Paraguay.
One of main sources of income for citizens is agriculture, including growth of Paraguayan’s holly, known as yerba mate, a drink that is gaining more and more popularity in the whole world.
In the city live big Asian minority. Construction of a town hall was sponsored by the Taiwan’s government, after Paraguay backed its candidature to the United Nations, and on the building there is displayed a flag of this country.
Ciudad del Este is a city in the eastern part of Paraguay, on the right bank of the river Parana. It is situated just by the border with Brazil and Argentine, that is why it is often referred to as Triple Frontera, which means a conjunction of three borders. It is the second most populated city in the country, and thanks to its location in its culture it has influences of all aforementioned three countries.
The city has been established relatively recently, just in the 50’s of the last century. Due to closeness of the border and functioning there duty free area, it is called the biggest shop of South America. Each day it attracts many clients, thanks to that the vibe is quite chaotic, whereas numerous stalls and shops with everything that you can think of can be quite overwhelming. If you approach them in good way, you can make shopping in extraordinary way. Remember, to bargain over prices; vendors, upon seeing tourists, often make prices higher and those are never displayed on goods.
Staying there make sure to go for a trip by bus. Vehicles might remember old times, but thanks to colours and – in most cases – wooden floors, they definitely tempt to use them. Driving and gradually getting closer to the centre, you can observe a bit calmer, though unusually colourful shops, as well as street stalls, on which you can buy fresh spices, fresh juices made on the spot or even grilled meat, in very attractive prices.
Hungry? In the neighbourhood you can find at least couple of places worth visiting. Immensely popular is a restaurant SAX Department Store by Avenida San Blas, in a shopping mall Aviadores del Chaco, in whose menu you can find various dishes, including fantastically prepared meat and pizza. For delicious sushi in good price go to Monalisa, located by Monsenor Rodrigues 650, and for yummy Chinese food – to Gugu’s at Boqueron C/ Adrian Jara. If you fancy something from South American cuisine, step by bar Capitão at Los Lapachos y Las Tacuaras.