Villa Florida is a popular destination for fishermen itching to catch a long and spotted surubi or a golden dorado. During the month of October the Federacion Paraguaya de Pesca Deportiva (Paraguayan Federation of Sport Fishing) hosts their national fishing contest in Villa Florida. Though the fishing is plentiful, there are no organized tours at the moment. The easiest way to organize an excursion on the river is to find a guide through the Casa de Turismo or one of the hotels. See Fishing for things to keep in mind when looking to hire a fishing guide or instructor.
The majority of visitors to Villa Florida rent houses – many town residents own second homes specifically set aside as rental properties. The tourism office has a list of available houses for rent although it is best to coordinate with them ahead of time if you are going during peak times (Christmas, New Years, Easter week). There are a handful of hotels in Villa Florida, as well. Most have large familiar rooms set up for entire families with queen beds and bunk beds. As long as the
Tebicuary river’s water levels are low camping is a good and popular option. Make sure to bring plenty of insect repellant! Campers looking for peace and quiet are best served by visiting Villa Florida during the week.
Hotel Touring Club Run by the Paraguay’s Touring and Automotive Club (TACPy, or El Touring) this is most established of Villa Florida’s tourism facilities. The restaurant is a popular rest stop for long distance buses headed to Encarnacion. Rooms were recently added to accommodate overnight guests and there is also the option to camp next to the river. Tel: 083 240 205, just after the bridge on the left, Gs. 400,000 per room, pool, beach camping, TV, A/C, mini-fridge, kitchenette
Hotel Nacional de Turismo A bit further from the center, the Hotel Nacional del Turismo is about a four block walk to the river front. The building is built in typical colonial style with high ceilings, cool tile floors and covered corridors. Rooms are spacious and simply furnished. Breakfast is not included though there is a restaurant with meager offerings. Grounds include a quincho and nice pool if you don’t feel like walking to the river. Tel: 083 240 207, Rt 1 km 161, Single Gs. 60,000, Double Gs. 90,000, Triple Gs. 135,000, A/C, pool
Parador Centu Cue This large property is Villa Florida’s most scenic option, although it’s location on the outskirts of town make it less accessible to those without private vehicles. Guests can enjoy the private beach as well as excursions to fish for dorado. The guest rooms are a little shabby so your best bet is to either camp or rent one of their private waterfront bungalows. Tel: 083 240 219, 0790 213 537, 0983 435 634, from Asuncion take the signed right-hand turn off about 1 km past the bridge and go 7kilometers down a dirt and gravel path, rooms 120,000 with A/C, cabins Gs. 150,000-180,000, A/C
Given its prime riverfront location and reputation for good fishing it is no surprise that Villa Florida’s gastronomic specialties are fish-based dishes. Surubi, dorado and corvina are the best white fish options, all freshly caught. Popular dishes include caldo de pescado (fish soup), chupin de pescado (fish casserole with tomatoes and onions), and fish milanesa (breaded and fried fillets) napolitano-style topped with cheese or al caballo with onions and fried eggs.
Parador Restaurante Tebicuary The most popular restaurant in town. The caldo de pescado (fish soup) is delicious and, highly affordable. Menu includes meats and pastas as well as cheaper fast food options for those making a pit stop with a long distance bus. Tel: 083 240 205, on the left after crossing the bridge (there are often long distance buses stopped in front), daily 6am-11pm, Gs. 10,000-50,000
San Cayetano This restaurant is more geared towards Villa Florida’s locals, and this is reflected in its prices. Good basic Paraguayan food including the ever-present empanadas and lomitos. Here, all dishes are about ten percent cheaper than touristy restaurants. Tel: 083 240 318, corner of the main plaza on Feliciano Orue and Villa Florida, daily 7am-11pm, Gs. 10,000-20,000
La Reja This small family-run restaurant is a highly recommended for its tasty chupm de pescado. Tel: 083 240 326, 0981 515 475, Avenida Tebicuary between Bareiro and Agustin Pio Barrios, daily 8am-3pm, 6pm-10pm, Gs. 15,000-40,000
Villa Florida is approximately 160 kilometers from Asuncion on Route 1. Any buses going down Route 1 from Asuncion towards Encarnacion, Pilar, San Juan Bautista, San Ignacio, and Ayolas pass Villa Florida. The trip takes between two and a half to three hours by bus. Your best options are La Encarnacena and Ciudad de Pilar, both of which leave from Asuncion’s bus terminal. Nuestra Senora de Asuncion and Rysa are also good options. Gs. 20,000.