Museo El Mensu

Within the municipal grounds on the eastern side of Avenida Pioneros del Este this small museum is set up in one the city’s first houses. There are a couple of historic items from Ciudad del Este’s founding, along with some indigenous artifacts. Not worth a visit on its own but you can pop in while waiting for a bus to Itaipu along the road out front. Tel: 061 501 706/10, Avenida Pioneros del Este almost at Avenida Dr. Eusebio Ayala, Mon-Fri 7am-1pm

Tips for shopping in Ciudad del Este

– Get an early start. Most stores operate on Brazilian time and close up shop around 3pm when the last of the sacoleiros start heading for the border.

– Do your research beforehand. Salespeople are not necessarily knowledgeable about their electronics and language barriers can also prove to be an issue.

– Many stores keep specialty and larger items in a separate stock room. Often you will have to follow someone to this second location to pick up your purchase, receipt in hand. Given the amount of negative press Ciudad del Este gets this can seem very sketchy but it is standard operating procedure.

– Be sure to test out items before leaving the store. Again, you may have to accompany someone to a second location where store technicians will test it for you.

– Check all packages before leaving the store.

– Don’t buy large ticket items on the street. There is a lot of risk of buying fake (or mau in Portuguese) goods. Smaller stores are hit or miss and almost everything on the street is a knockoff. Stick to better established galleries in order to increase your chances of getting legitimate goods (although there is never a 100% guarantee).

– Interested in purchasing a new camera or cell phone but don’t want to head to Ciudad del Este? Asuncion also has a number of smaller galerias dedicated to the sale of electronics. While their selection does not come close to Ciudad del Este’s the experience is much more pleasant and calm and the price difference is minimal (see Shopping).

Museo El Mensu Photo Gallery

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