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Asunción
La Muy Noble y Leal Ciudad
de Nuestra Señora
Santa María de la Asunción

Flag

Seal
Nickname(s): Mother of Cities
Asunción is located in Paraguay
Asunción
Location in Paraguay
Coordinates: 25°16′55.91″S 57°38′6.36″W / 25.2821972°S 57.6351°W / -25.2821972; -57.6351Coordinates: 25°16′55.91″S 57°38′6.36″W / 25.2821972°S 57.6351°W / -25.2821972; -57.6351
Country Paraguay
Founded August 15, 1537
Government
 - Intendant Evangelista Troche de Gallegos
Area
 - City 117 km2 (45.2 sq mi)
Elevation 43 m (141 ft)
Population (2009[1])
 - City 680,250
 Metro 2,870,000
Website http://www.mca.gov.py

Asunción (full name: La Muy Noble y Leal Ciudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María de la Asunción) is the capital and largest city of Paraguay.

The "Ciudad de Asunción" is an autonomous capital district not part of any department.

The metropolitan area, called Gran Asunción, includes the cities of San Lorenzo, Fernando de la Mora, Lambaré, Luque, Mariano Roque Alonso, Ñemby, San Antonio, Limpio, Capiatá and Villa Elisa, which are part of the Central Department. The Asunción metropolitan area has more than 2.8 million inhabitants. Asunción is located at 25°16′S 57°40′W / 25.267°S 57.667°W / -25.267; -57.667 (-25.2667, -57.6667). The Municipality of Asuncion is listed on the Asuncion Stock Exchange, as BVPASA: MUA, a unique feature of any city.

It is the home of the national government, principal port, and the chief industrial and cultural centre of the country. Local manufacturing production includes footwear, textiles, and tobacco products.

The Spanish word asunción means assumption in English. It refers to the Assumption of Mary; the full name means Our Lady, Holy Mary of the Assumption.

Contents

History

Asunción is one of the oldest cities in South America and the longest continually inhabited area in the River Plate Basin; for this reason that it is known as "Mother of Cities". It was from here that the colonial expeditions departed to found other cities, including the second foundation of Buenos Aires and of other important cities such as Villarrica, Corrientes, Santa Fe and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

The site of the city may have been first visited by Spanish conqueror Juan de Ayolas, on his way north, up the Paraguay River, looking for a passage to the mines of Alto Perú (present-day Bolivia). Later, Juan de Salazar y Espinosa and Gonzalo de Mendoza, relative of Pedro de Mendoza, were sent in search of Ayolas, but were unable to find him. On his way up and then down the river, de Salazar stopped briefly at a bay in the left bank to resupply his ships. He found the natives friendly, and decided to found a fort there, in August, 1537. As customary, he named it according to the religious feast of that day: for August 15, Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Assumption), honoring the feast day of the Assumption.[2] This fort became a city with the establishment of the Cabildo (civilian administration) on 16 September 1541.

In 1541, natives destroyed Buenos Aires, and the Spaniards fled to Asunción. Thus, the city became the center of a large Spanish colonial province comprising part of Brazil, present-day Paraguay and northeastern Argentina: the Giant Province of the Indies. In 1603 Asunción was the seat of the First Synod of Asunción, which set guidelines for the evangelization of the natives in their lingua franca, Guaraní.

Asunción. The stamp is Scott no. 711

In 1731, an uprising under José de Antequera y Castro was one of the first rebellions against Spanish colonial rule. The uprising failed, but it was the first sign of the independent spirit that was growing among the criollos, mestizos and natives of Paraguay. The event influenced the independence of Paraguay, which then materialised in 1811. The secret reunions between the independence leaders to plan an ambush against the Spanish Governor in Paraguay Bernardo de Velasco were held at the home of Juana María de Lara, in downtown Asunción. On the night of May 14 and May 15 the rebels succeeded and were able to force governor Velasco to surrender. Today, Lara's home is known as Casa de la Independencia (House of the Independence) and serves as a museum and historical building.

After Paraguay became independent, there was significant change in Asunción. Under the presidency of Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia roads were built throughout the city and the streets were named. However, it was during the presidency of Carlos Antonio López that Asunción (and Paraguay) progressed, as the new president implemented new economic policies. More than 400 schools, metallurgic factories and the first railroad service in South America were built during the López presidency. After López died, his son Francisco Solano López became the new president and led the country through the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance that lasted for five years. After the War of the Triple Alliance (1865–70), Asunción was occupied by Brazilian troops until 1876. Many historians have claimed that this war provoked a steady downfall of the city and country, since it massacred two thirds of the country's population. Progress slowed down greatly afterwards, and the economy remained stagnated.

After the War of the Triple Alliance, Asunción began a slow recovery attempt. Towards the end of the 19th Century and during the early years of the 20th Century, a flow of immigrants from Europe and the Ottoman Empire came to the city. This led to a change in the appearance of the city as many new buildings were built and Asunción went through an era more prosperous than any since the war.

Demographics

Population is approximately 520,000 people in the city proper.[1] Roughly 30% of Paraguay's 6 million people live within Greater Asunción. Sixty-five percent of the total population in the city are under the age of 30.[citation needed]

Asuncion nightlife

The population has increased greatly during the last few decades as a consequence of internal migration from other Departments of Paraguay, at first because of the economic boom in the 1970s, and later because of economic recession in the countryside. The adjacent cities in the Gran Asunción area, such as Luque, Lambaré, San Lorenzo, Fernando de la Mora and Mariano Roque Alonso, have absorbed most of this influx due to the low cost of the land and easy access to Asunción. The city has ranked as the least expensive city to live in for five years running by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. These cities have also experienced significant economic growth and expansion.[citation needed]

Geography

Asunción is located between the parallels 25º 15' and 25º 20' of south latitude and between the meridians 57º 40' and 57º 30' of west longitude. The city sits on the left bank of the Paraguay River, almost at the confluence of this river with the River Pilcomayo. The Paraguay River and the Bay of Asunción in the northwest separate the city from the Occidental Region of Paraguay and Argentina in the south part of the city. The rest of the city is surrounded by the Central Department.

With its location along the Paraguay River, the city offers many landscapes; it spreads out over gentle hills in a pattern of rectangular blocks. Places such as Cerro Lambaré, a hill located in Lambaré, offer a spectacular show in the springtime because of the blossoming lapacho trees in the area. Parks such as Parque Independencia and Parque Carlos Antonio López offer large areas of typical Paraguayan vegetation and are frequented by tourists. There are several small hills and slightly elevated areas throughout the city, including Cabará, Clavel, Tarumá, Cachinga, and Tacumbú, among others.

Torre Nautilus
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Climate

Asunción features a tropical savanna climate that borders on a humid subtropical climate. Asunción generally has a relatively short dry season that spans from June to September and a wet season that covers the remainder of the year. The climate of Asunción can be described as hot and humid for most of the year. During the wet season, Asunción is generally hot and humid though towards the end of this season, it becomes noticeably cooler. In contrast, Asunción's dry season is pleasantly mild.

Climate data for Asunción, Paraguay
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 33
(91)
33
(91)
32
(90)
28
(82)
25
(77)
23
(73)
23
(73)
24
(75)
26
(79)
29
(84)
31
(88)
32
(90)
28.2
(83)
Average low °C (°F) 23
(73)
22
(72)
21
(70)
19
(66)
16
(61)
14
(57)
14
(57)
14
(57)
16
(61)
18
(64)
20
(68)
22
(72)
18.2
(65)
Precipitation mm (inches) 158
(6.22)
122
(4.8)
115
(4.53)
157
(6.18)
110
(4.33)
72
(2.83)
42
(1.65)
77
(3.03)
79
(3.11)
116
(4.57)
153
(6.02)
132
(5.2)
1,333
(52.48)
Source: The Weather Network[3] Nov 2008
Asuncion blue sky
Avenida Mariscal López

Neighborhoods

The neighborhoods of Asunción, called "barrios" by their residents, are territorial subdivisions established by law.

The city of Asunción is composed of the following neighborhoods:

 
  • Pinoza
  • Republicano
  • Recoleta
  • Roberto L. Petit
  • Sajonia
  • Salvador del Mundo
  • San Antonio
  • San Cristóbal
  • San Jorge
  • San Rafael
  • San Roque
  • San Pablo
  • San Vicente
  • Santa Ana
  • Santa María
  • Santísima Trinidad
  • Tablada Nueva
  • Tacumbú
  • Tembetary
  • Tuyucuá
  • Varadero
  • Villa Antelco
  • Villa Aurelia
  • Villa Morra
  • Villa Victoria
  • Ytay
  • Zeballos Cué

Education

The literacy rate is 95 percent, the highest in Paraguay. The number of schools has doubled since 1982[citation needed]. Student numbers have doubled since 1962.

Schools

The city has a large number of both public and private schools. The best-known public schools are the Colegio Nacional de la Capital (which is one of the oldest schools in the city, founded after the Triple Alliance War in 1877), Colegio Presidente Franco and Colegio Nacional Asunción Escalada. The best-known private schools are Colegio Inmaculado Corazón de María, Salesianito, Colegio Cristo Rey (a Jesuit private school), Colegio Internacional (an American missionary school), Colegio San José (Catholic school), American School of Asunción, Colegio Dante Alighieri (Italian private school), Colegio Santa Clara (Franciscan School), Colegio Goethe (German school), Pan American International School (American-credited and awarded by the American Board of Acreditation.)

Universities

Universidad Americana

The main universities in the city are the Universidad Católica Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (private Catholic university) and the Universidad Nacional de Asunción (state-run). The Católica has a small campus in the downtown area next to the Cathedral and a larger campus in the Santa Ana neighborhood, outwards toward the adjoining city of Lambaré, while the Universidad Nacional has its main campus in the city of San Lorenzo, some 5 km eastward from Asunción. There are also a number of smaller privately run universities such as Uninorte, Universidad Americana and Universidad Autónoma de Asunción, among others.

Economy

Although the economically active population of Asunción has not increased significantly in the last 10 years, it has doubled since 1962.[citation needed]

The industrial distribution of the economically active population show that the tertiary (business and services) sector is the most important, employing 8 out of 10 of all economically active people.[citation needed] The secondary sector (manufacturing and construction) employs 16% of the active population, while the primary sector (farming) is practically non-existent, as Asunción is a completely urban district.[citation needed]

citibank

In terms of commerce, it should be noted that this sector has grown considerably in recent years stretching towards the suburbs where shopping malls and supermarkets have been built.

Paraguay's only stock exchange, the BVPASA, is located here. The city itself is listed on it, as BVPASA: MUA.

In July 2008, Asunción was found to be the "cheapest city in the world" by Mercer.[4]

Transportation

A common taxi in Asunción

Because the Paraguay River runs right next to Asunción the city is served by a river terminal in the downtown area. This port is strategically located inside a bay and it is where most freight enters and leaves the country. There is a lesser terminal in the Sajonia neighbourhood, and a shuttle port in Ita Enramada, almost opposite the Argentine city of Clorinda.

Asuncion's new buses

Public transportation is used heavily and is served through buses that reach all the regions of the city and surrounding dormitory communities. The main long-distance bus terminal is on the Avenida República Argentina and its bus services connect all of the Departments of Paraguay, as well as international routes to nearby countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay.

Asunción is served by the Silvio Pettirossi International Airport located in the city of Luque.

Air

Silvio Pettirossi International Airport' (IATA: ASUICAO: SGAS) is Paraguay's main national and international gateway, located at Luque, suburb of the capital Asunción. It is named after the Paraguayan aviator Silvio Pettirossi and was formerly known as Presidente Stroessner International Airport, after Paraguay's former dictator General Alfredo Stroessner.

Tourist attractions

Traditional buildings in Calle Palma

The city is home to the Godoi Museum and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (which contains old paintings from the 19th century), the Church of La Encarnación and the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Pantheon of the Heroes, a smaller version of Les Invalides in Paris, where many of the nation's heroes are entombed. Other landmarks include the Palacio de los López, the old Senate building (a modern building opened to house Congress in 2003), the Catedral Metropolitana and the Casa de la Independencia (one of the few examples of colonial architecture remaining in the city).

Calle Palma is the main street downtown where several historical buildings, plazas, shops, restaurants and cafes are located. The "Manzana de la Rivera", located in front of the Presidential Palace, is a series of old traditional homes that have been restored and serve as a museum showcasing the architectural evolution of the city. The old railway station maintains the old trains that now are used in tourist trips to the cities of Luque and Areguá

Asunción also has luxurious malls that contain shops selling well-known brands. The biggest shopping malls are Shopping del Sol, which includes a Macy's-style department store; Mariscal López Shopping, Shopping Villa Morra in the central part of the city, and the Mall Excelsior downtown.

Sports and entertainment

Football is the main sport in Paraguay, and Asunción is home to some of the most important and traditional soccer teams like Olimpia, Cerro Porteño and Club Libertad, Club Nacional, Club Guaraní, Club Sol de América, which have their own stadiums and sport facilities for affiliated members. The Defensores del Chaco stadium is the main football stadium of the country and is located in the neighbourhood of Sajonia, just a few minutes away from the centre of Asunción. Since it is a national stadium sometimes it is used for other activities such as rock concerts.

The nightlife revolves around two areas: one in the downtown part of the city and the other in the neighbourhoods of Manora and Las Carmelitas, a strip full of nightclubs and bars.

Municipal Theater "Ignacio A. Pane"

Asunción is also host for several symphony orchestras, and ballet, opera and theater companies. The most well known orchestras are the City of Asunción's Symphony Orchestra (OSCA), the National Symphony Orchestra and the Northern University Symphony Orchestra. Among professional ballet companies, most renowned are the Asunción Classic and Modern Municipal Ballet, the National Ballet and the Northern University Ballet. The main opera company is the Northern University Opera Company. A long-standing theater company is Arlequín Theater Foundation's. Traditional venues include the Municipal Theater, the Paraguayan-Japanese Center, the Central Bank's Great Lyric Theater, the Juan de Salazar Cultural Center, the Americas Theater, the Tom Jobim Theater, the Arlequín Theater and the Manzana de la Rivera.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Asunción is twinned with:

References

Notes

External links

Asuncion sunset.


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

South America : Paraguay : Asunción

Asunción is the capital of Paraguay.

The cathedral
The cathedral

Asunción, as all of Paraguay, is a very contrasting place. Some rank Asunción as the world's cheapest capital. Few people would be able to explain why it is so charming despite having few traditional tourist attractions like beaches, mountains, or skyscrapers. As soon as you arrive, you will experience the sort of magic that exists in this place.

Few people speak English here and without at least some basic Spanish it might be hard to get by. From Saturday afternoon and all Sunday most businesses are closed and the city centre can become quite deserted.

Get in

Citizens of the U.S. and Canada must have a visa before travelling to Paraguay. Most citizens of the E.U. do not. [1]

The bus terminal has an information office in its centre and can provide a free city map, which is prettly complete. The official tourist information is on Palma 468, where you will find an interesting small display of handcrafts and other expositions.

By plane

From outside of South America, there are no nonstop flights to Asunción (Silvio Pettirossi International Airport). The best options are São Paulo, Lima or Buenos Aires (from where you could alternatively also take a direct bus to Asunción, 20h and 17h respectively) and change to one of the local carriers, e.g. TACA, TAM, PLUNA, GOL Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas.

By train

There are no trains, apart from an infrequent tourist train to Areguá. The building once used as the train station is a museum and cultural events venue at Plaza Uruguaya.

By car

Driving a car yourself is not recommended since many streets are in disrepair and apart from the main roads many are unpaved. The traffic in the city can be quite chaotic for unaccustomed drivers. However, it gets much better once outside of the city. The car rental companies can also provide drivers.

  • Hertz Car Rental, (at the airport).  edit
  • National Car Rentals, (Yegros 501), (+595) 21-492 157.  edit
  • Avis Car Rentals, corner Antequera and Pte. Franco (at Plaza Uruguaya).  edit

By bus

The bus terminal is about about 5 km from the historic centre. So it is advisable to take a taxi or bus into town. The street Fernando de La Mora in front of the terminal leads to the centre. Some bus companies maintain offices around Plaza Urugaya in the centre, but most are now inside the Terminal.

There are normally two types of services to the bigger cities: común and rápido. While the first are cheaper, they also stop in every small town or community along the way and hence take longer then the rápidos which run direct or with a few stops only. Rapidos are less frequent.

  • Buenos Aires, ca. 17h, several daily, 45 US$ (Crucero del Norte, Nuestra Señora de la Asunción/Chevallier)
  • Encarnación, commun: ca. 7h, several daily, 50,000 Gs; also rapido: 5h, 75.000 Gs
  • Ciudad del Este, several daily, 5-7 hours, 40,000 - 70,000gs
  • Concepción, ca. 6h, several daily, 60'000 Gs
  • Colonies in the Chaco (Loma Plata, Filadelfia, Neuland, Mariscal Estigarriba, ca. 8h, about 1 to 2 services per day each, 70,000 Gs (NASA)

By boat

The port is at the riverside end of Montevideo just after Paraguayo Independiente.

  • "Cacique II" leaves Concepción to Asunción on Sundays between 6-7AM 22 hours, 55,000 Gs. Returns to Concepción on Wednesday morning. Bring warm clothes and your own food. A cheap meal might be bought on board but don't count on it.
  • There are also occasionally cargo boats doing the trip to Concepción and even further up the Rio Paraguay.

Get around

The historic centre of Asunción is small enough to be explored by foot. However, some of the attractions, such as the Jardín Botánico (Botanical Garden) are a bit outside. In addition to the city's historical core - which is essentially between the streets Colón and Antequera - the Carmelitas area has become a hub for retail and entertainment, containing several large shopping centres and North American-style bars and restauants. East-west street names change at Indepencia Nacional, and North-South ones at Avenida Mariscal López.

By bus

Buses are ubiquitous, cheap and an experience in themselves (be careful while exiting, since many only slow down, rather than stop completely for the passengers to get off). They go more or less everywhere in the city - destinations are displayed on boards on the front window, if in doubt just shout your intended destination at the driver when he stops and he'll tell you yes or no. The are sometimes a few different versions of each bus number - 16, 16.1, 16.2 etc. which often have completely different routes from each other, so watch out not to accidently get on the wrong one. There aren't many official bus stops in Asunción, you can just stick your arm out and flag down a bus pretty much anywhere. You need a knowledge of Spanish to ask your way along. As of February 2009, the fare is Gs. 2.100 (USD 0.41).

From the bus terminal take bus number 8 from the main bus stop just outside the terminal on Fernando de la Mora. It will take you in about 20-30 min to Plaza Paraguaya (the first real square with trees and greens). Get off there or a few blocks later. There are also other buses going to the centre. To the bus terminal take any bus from Oliva telling "Terminal" on its front screen.

By taxi

Taxis are also available and reasonably inexpensive. Many of the taxis are old, lumbering diesel Mercedes, which can be a fun throwback. A 30% surcharge is added on late at night (after around 10PM) and on Sundays. Tipping isn't expected. Make sure that drivers use the meter, or arrange a fare beforehand.

See

Asunción may not have many conventional tourist attractions, but if you are willing to be your own tour guide, Asunción can be an interesting place to visit.

Every July there is a trade fair with exhibition booths, food, music and liquor. This is a good way to learn about what goes on in the country, the exhibitors range from agricultural suppliers to liquor manufacturers. Keep an eye out for the many free samples of food, soap, drinks, etc.

  • National Congress One of the more impressive new buildings in the city. It was built in 2002 with $20 million from the Taiwanese government. Paraguay is one of the few countries that recognizes Taiwan as opposed to mainland China. Most striking is its mirrored facade, which reflects the nearby slums along the bank of the river. You can ask for a tour in English - and maybe get one.
  • The National Cathedral Across the broad and picturesque plaza with fountains, but it is frequently closed, especially at midday siesta.
  • The Municipal Museum is modest, but has some tidbits about the old tram line from the 1880s and other civic history. Nearby is the Visual Arts Museum with temporary exhibits from national artists.
  • The Fine Arts museum is fairly unimpressive.
  • The Panteón del los Heroes houses the tomb of the unknown soldier along with other "heroes" from Paraguay's disaterous wars, as well as plaques for the heroes of the Chaco war. Changing of the guard occurs every other day.
  • Backyard birds in the city are interesting. There is the Great Kiskadee, Saffron Finch and Hornero. Kiskadee is like a yellow blue jay-- aggressive and large. Saffron finch is similar to a yellow house finch, Hornero is much like American Robin without the red breast. It builds a unique nest about the size and shape of a football completely out of mud and resembles a Paraguayan oven or horno. Thus the name: "baker".
  • Daddy talker
  • Running, Parque Ñu Guazú. Lots of elite Asunceños work off the stresses of their days at Parque Ñu Guazú, located just outside Asunción in the city of Luque, on the way to the airport. There's a great paved 5K loop for jogging or walking. (-25.27372494644745,-57.542172968387604) edit

Learn

Learning Guarani Language is a great oportunity to get into the paraguayan culture. IDIPAR [2] institute has good choices for that.

Work

Teaching English is a possibility, but without a visa it can be difficult and wages are low. In a country such as Paraguay with widespread underemployment, obtaining paid work is almost impossible for foreigners. Volunteer work in poorer areas of the city is easy to come by.

Buy

The cost of buying goods and services is cheap. This is only partly due to the fact that Paraguay is a piracy and smuggling haven. Be aware that some goods may be cheaply made. Indigenous crafts are available such as tooled leather, carved wood, pottery and a particularly Paraguayan lace based on a spider's web called "Ñanduti". Shopping malls, such as Shopping del Sol on Aviadores del Chaco and Shopping Mariscal López on Avenida Mariscal Lopez, exist in the suburbs of Villa Mora and Carmelitas. Take buses 28 or 30 to reach them. Mall Excelsior on Chile, and the more basic Asuncion Supercentro on the western end of Oliva are both in the centre. These "Shoppings" are useful as places to eat on Sunday evenings, when many more central places are closed. The huge Mercado 4, along Avenida Sivio Pettirossi, is a chaotic market where you can buy just about anything very cheaply, it is particularly good for counterfeit clothing and pirated CDs and DVDs (of varying quality).

Typical souvenirs from Asunción would include guampas/bombillas, t-shirts, traditional lace, or leather goods.

  • Palma is the main shopping street. Pretty much everything you can buy here, you can get cheaper in one of the parallel streets.
  • American Express Traveller Cheques can be changed at Banco de la Nacion Argentina (at Plaza de los Heroes). Above average exchange rate, 3 US$ comission. It will take a while though - time to experience the place which could be a sight in itself. BBVN supposedly does as well. Casa de Cambios don't. All banks close by 1:30PM. Also can be changed at Maxicambios [3] which are located in all main shopping-malls.

Eat

Don't eat raw food that might have been washed - and contaminated - with tap water, such as salads and unpeelable fruits.

Paraguay has a tradition for beef which is normally good quality and cheap. Grilled meat (asado) is the thing to eat. Pasta is also popular as are the street stalls selling panchos (hot-dogs), hamburger, empanadas and similar fast-food. Vegetables, salad and other types of meat are not that common but available. In restaurants you normally get manioc as a side dish for free (similar to bread in other countries).

At lunch time there is no shortage of cheap restaurants to dine in or take away - you can't miss them. The places where you help yourself and pay by weight are usually very cheap and a decent option besides the slightly more expensive restaurants with their daily menu. At dinner time only very few eating places are still open and finding a good deal - especially if you are budget-conscious - is a lot harder.

Budget

Most shopping malls have decent food courts with a variety of restaurants, however, they are located away from the centre. Bigger supermarkets often have a cheap self-service restaurant inside.

  • Burger King, Palma between 14 de Mayo and 15 de Agosto. If you fancy something you know. Also open in the evening.  edit
  • Supermercado El Pais, Antequera and 25 de Mayo (on Plaza Uruguaya). open until 9:30PM, Sunday only until noon.  edit
  • Restaurant Internacional, Fernando de la Mora (opposite the bus terminal). A good and not too expensive place. Sometimes with life music. Popular also with locals to hang out for a beer. Open in the evening.  edit
  • La Vida Verde, Palma 634. 9 to 14. Good chinese-vegetarian food.Self-service. Very popular at noon. No more than 5 US$ per person.  edit
  • Confiteria/Snack Bar/Restaurant Bolsi, (corner Estrella and Alberdi). Mo-Su, also open in the evening. It has been there for decades, serving some more and some less traditional food to a mixed crowd of people.  edit
  • Hacienda Las Palomas, Senador Long 1481 (corner Senador Long and Guido Spano), 605-111. Really good Mexican food (not "chips & salsa Tex-Mex"). The margaritas are particularly good, but the food is even better.  edit
  • Shangri-La, Aviadores del Chaco c/ San Martín (corner Aviadores del Chaco and San Martín), 661-618. Good Chinese food.  edit

Splurge

For a traditional Paraguayan meal, visit "La Paraguayita." Don't miss a Brazillian steak house called a "churrasqueria."

  • Acuarela, Mcal. López 4049 (near San Martin), +595 21 609 217.  edit

Drink

General

Drink only bottled or chlorinated water. The latter you get sometimes with your coffee.

The most common drink in Paraguay is Mate made of Yerba Mate (Mate herbs) that is similar in style to tea but the preparation is distinct. To add sugar is not common in Paraguay. When it is summerly hot, it is more common to drink it with cold water and called Terere (pronounced tae-rae-rae) - often drunk from a cow horn fasioned cup. Cold or hot, it is drunk through a communal silver-plated straw (the bombilla). It is a social activity so the cup is passed around - with in between a refill for each person. If you are offered either you should accept at least one cup. Another variation of preparation is to boil the yerba on the stove with sugar then strain it before serving it with milk. It tastes a bit like smoked tea. In this form it is called Cocido, which simply means "cooked".

Gaseosa means fizzy drinks of any description. All the usual brands are available. Try the local Guarana.

Coffee is mostly of an Italian variety. There are several locations of Café Havanna, a Starbucks-like Argentine coffee chain. One is just off the corner of Avenida Mcal. López and Avenida Rca. Argentina.

  • Brittania Pub, Cerro Cora. We to Su. Many foreigners  edit
  • Older, Cerro Cora. Great bar opposite Brittania. Run by a friendly guy named Francisco. Excellent selection of retro classic rock. Friendly local crew and local prices. Food darts and outdoor seating area available.  edit
  • Coyote, Sucre 1655 and San Martin Avenue (www.coyote.com.py).  edit
  • Alejandria, Palma 680 (In the downtown, close to Vida Verde and Unicentro). Fr and Sa from around midnight. LGBT dance venue 15.000 Gs.  edit
  • Glam, Av. San Martin 1155 and Agustin Barrios (Next to Salemma Carmelitas Supermarket), [4]. Thu Fri Sat from midnight. One of the finest dance clubs in Asuncion  edit
  • Kandi, Av. Aviadores del Chaco (Two or three blocks from Sheraton Hotel and Shopping del Sol).  edit
  • Club M, Mariscal Estigarribia 991. LGBT club  edit

Sleep

While a great many hotels exist in Asunción and to find a bed should never be too difficult, decent places in the budget range are rare. The highest concentration of hotels from budget to splurge can be found in the city centre between the streets Cristobal Colon and Estados Unidos. There is also quite a number of cheap places opposite the bus terminal (in particular on Lapacho a side street of La Mora), though you get normally better value in the city centre. During off-season you may be quoted discounted prices before even asking for it.

Budget

Try it also in the following streets next to Plaza Uruguay: Mexico, Paraguari and Antequera.

  • Hotel Miami (Youth Hostel), Mexico 449, C/ 25 de Mayo (right off Plaza Uruguaya), (59521) 444 950. Best location in town. Open 24 h, economic and comfortable rooms, private bathroom and hot water. air con./central heating, cable TV, breakfast, laundry service, Internet and WiFi. Excursions. Single 80.000 Gs.  edit
  • La Española, Luis A. de Herrera 142 (near Yegros). A friendly and clean option in the centre, with free WiFi. Some of the beds are on the hard side. double 80.000 Gs (Aircon, Cable TV, breakfast).  edit
  • Hotel Sagaró, Presidente Franco 657 (between 15 de Agosto and O'Leary), ++595 21 440 377, [5]. A place that has seen its best day. However, it's very central though the disco on the weekend can be a nuisance (get a room on the left). double 70.000 Gs (Aircon, Cable TV, breakfast 12.500 Gs).  edit
  • Hotel Palmas del Sol, Avenida España 202 (Tacuary, near Plaza Uruguaya), [6]. Popular with groups. Has pool and a feel more appropriate to a seaside hotel. Quiet. Free Internet and WiFi. single/double 137.000/ 192.000 Gs (incl. IVA and breakfast).  edit
  • Hotel Chaco, Caballero 285 (corner Mcal. Estigarribia, near Plaza Uruguay), +595 21 492 066, [7]. A decent hotel in the centre of the city. double from 75 US$.  edit
  • Hotel Westfalenhaus, [8]. Cheaper per week. double from 75 US$.  edit
  • Apar-T-hotel Porta Westfalica, Dr. Camacho Duré 555, 298-906 (), [9]. weekly and monthly rates. double from 55 US$.  edit
  • Hotel Los Alpes - Villa Morra, Del Maestro 1686 (Del Maestro off of Avenida San Martín), 606-286 (). Great hotel, well-located, and very comfortable. double from 45 US$.  edit
  • Hotel Los Alpes - Santa Teresa, Avda. Santa Teresa 2855 (On Santa Teresa, a few blocks away from Shopping del Sol), 607-348. Owned by the same people who own the Los Alpes in Villa Morra. The Santa Teresa is larger and has better swimming pools. Wi-Fi, breakfast included. This location is better except for the fact that it's harder to catch a bus from here since they don't pass down Santa Teresa. double from 45 US$.  edit
  • Sheraton Asunción, Aviadores Del Chaco 2066, 617-7000 (, fax: 617-7001), [10]. checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 12:00PM. $100+.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza Asunción, Cerro Corá 939 (In downtown, on Cerro Corá between Estados Unidos and Tacuary), 021-452-682 (, fax: 021-452-683), [11]. Nice hotel in downtown. Opened in 2005 so it is in very good condition. Good location if you need to be in downtown, but far from offices and attractions in the nicer parts of town. Has a gym, open-air pool, restaurant, and free wifi throughout. $100+.  edit
  • Hotel Excelsior, Chile 980 (Manduvira Street), +595 21 495 632, [12]. from 100 US$.  edit
  • Asunción Internacional Hotel, [13].  edit
  • Apar-T-otel Porta Westfalica, Dr. Camacho Duré 555 (The Hotel are situated between the Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (7 kms) and the centre of Asunción (7 kms) and the modern shopping centres (3 kms) with Banks, Money Exchange Bureaus, automatic cash machines, supermarkets, cinemas, fast food restaurants, shops, etc. 800 mts. from the hotel there is a large supermarket.), 021-298-906 (, fax: 021-293-855), [14]. . Has a gym, open-air pool, sauna, and free wifi throughout. $55+.  edit

Contact

Internet places are everywhere and usually cost between 3,000 and 5,000 guaraníes per hour. Connection speeds are usually good.

If you're traveling with an iPhone (or laptop) and want to use Wi-Fi, it's very easy now to find open signals. Many restaurants have free Wi-Fi.

  • CyberKing, (corner Oliva and 14 de Mayo). Open 24h - more or less. A good place for Internet and one of the only ones open late as well. 5.000 Gs/h with Skype.  edit

Stay safe

Federal police have a highly visible presence. Some already decked out in riot gear as if an uprising were forthcoming at any moment. Because the dictator did not tolerate crime in any form-- a violator simply disappeared, possibly in the river-- crime is not prevalent. Although the perception of crime now that the dictator is no longer in power runs high. Houses are protected by twenty foot high walls topped by barbed wire and electric fence or razor wire. Many, who can afford it, have a full time 24 hour guard on their grounds. Prostitution is rampant and obvious after dark on the main avenues. Tranvestite prostitutes are common around many areas, and are best avoided as they are known to cause trouble occasionally. Despite the locals' rather high perception of crime, Asunción is one of the safer capitals in South America and violent crime is very uncommon. Due to the low numbers of tourist in Paraguay in general, visitors are not likely to be specifically targeted by criminals. Key things to watch out for are petty thieves (watch your pockets on crowded buses) and taxi drivers trying to rip you off (make sure they use the meter). Wandering around the city centre on Sundays and public holidays is probably best avoided, as there will be virtually nobody on the streets, though this is still far from being a dangerous thing to do.

Liquor is easily available but not widely abused, there are a fair few street drunks in some parts of the city, but they are invariably harmless. There are casinos for gambling but only with electronic machines so again not abused. Pickpocketing is said to be prevalent in crowded downtown streets near expensive hotels. Women travellers should be aware that they will revieve a lot of unwanted attention from Paraguayan males -this is mostly intended as innocent banter in the form of shouts or wolf whistles etc, but can sometimes be accompanied by touching, especially in clubs. This sort of attention is best just ignored.

Be extremely careful when crossing streets in Asunción. Most drivers consider stop signs and traffic lights to be merely suggestions, even if police are nearby. Buses will stop for almost nothing, so be very careful.

The United States CDC recommends that all visitors to Asunción receive a Typhoid vaccination prior to travel. Dengue fever is frequently a risk one takes when traveling to Asunción; unfortunately, no vaccine for this currently exists. To avoid insect-spread diseases, ensure that you use bug spray at all times of the day, without exception.

The "Chacarita" area by the river, next to the Palace is an extremely impoverished and dangerous part of the city, and is definately not a place to go exploring.

Cope

Asunción is just south of the Tropic of Capricorn so the weather is tropical. That is, mostly hot, especially in South American summer (winter in the northern hemisphere). Temperatures in December through March can consistently climb over 38 C / 100 F. Humidity can be high and uncomfortable. However the weather is highly variable! When the sun shines you bake. When the rains come they come in buckets and the temperature drops precipitously.It can be very dry when the rains hold off for just a few days. Then the clouds build and it becomes cold.

Flies, ants and especially mosquitoes (but no large, creepy bugs) are everywhere. There are no screens, windows and doors are simply flung open for ventilation. Air conditioners do exist but most people depend on less expensive fans. Heaters do not exist, though on the chilliest days they would be welcomed. The soil is bright red and as many streets are unpaved dust becomes a problem. There are trees (some in the middle of roads!) for shade, but palm trees are planted everywhere. Dogs and farm animals of every description are all over the roads. There is no humane society to care for wild dogs and some are pitifully mangy. It is not uncommon to see pigs wallowing in a mud puddle in the middle of a road, chickens are everywhere, horses, donkeys and cows run loose and can be found in anyone's property.

It is brutally hot in Paraguay's summer. If you've ever wondered why Latin culture has a "siesta" where everything closes down at noon for a few hours, you'll soon know why if you spend time in Asunción during the summer. You'll also understand why people eat dinner so late and stay out partying all night: it's too hot during the day to enjoy being outside.

  • A visit to an Estancia makes a good day off or so from Asunción (some are within easy reach of public transport). Horesriding, fishing, swimming, guided nature walks are among the activities offered. Those that participate in APATUR (get the booklet from the tourist information) have generally a high standard. Some can only be visited during the day others have accommodation (expect about 80 US$ per night incl. all food and activities). Bookings can be made through TACP (021-210 550) or by contacting the Estancias directly. Travel agencies also offer trips to Estancias and typically include private transport back and forth.
  • Circuito de Oro (Golden Circuit) is a day-trip to a couple of historical towns in the sourrounding of Asunción
  • Aregua is a lakeside town about 20km from Asunción and makes a good day trip. On Sundays, there is a steam train running including a theatre on the way. There are also buses going there costing the standard fare, e.g. from in front of the Bus Terminal.
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia

See also asunción

Contents

English

Proper noun

Singular
Asunción

Plural
-

Asunción

  1. The capital of Paraguay.

Translations


Spanish

Etymology

asunción (assumption (of Mary to heaven)), shortened from María (de la) Asunción, a Roman Catholic epithet of the Virgin Mary.

Proper noun

Asunción f.

  1. A female given name.
  2. Any of a number of places, including Asunción (capital of Paraguay).

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|Skyline of Asunción]]

Asunción (full name: Nuestra Señora Santa María de la Asunción), is the capital city and largest city of Paraguay. The city has more than 1.2 million inhabitants, and the metropolitan area has more than 1.8 million inhabitants.

The Spanish word "asunción" means assumption in English. It refers to the Assumption of Mary; the full name means Our Lady, Holy Mary of the Assumption.


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