First aid kit: Most of the supplies for a first aid kit are available in pharmacies and supermarkets.
Insect repellant: Many forms of DEET-based repellants are readily available throughout the country including spray, cream, and even repellent impregnated wristbands. Mosquito repellent spirals (espirales) are also popular and effective for keeping mosquitoes out of a room – Mata Iris brand carries a palo santo scented spiral that doesn’t give off a strong chemical smell. Mosquito nets are not as easy to find but can be quite convenient as most windows don’t have screens. In a pinch, tulle fabric is available at most fabric stores (tienda de telas) in Asuncion and forms a good makeshift mosquito net.
Sun protection: Sunscreen is essential, as the sun in Paraguay can be very strong, even during the winter months. Sunscreen is available at pharmacies and supermarkets. The selection may be limited in small towns, so it is best to stock up on higher SPFs in urban pharmacies or supermarkets. Wide brimmed hats and parasols are commonly used in the countryside, less so in urban areas (baseball hats are fine in cities though). Both are available throughout the country -straw hats (sombrero de paja) can easily be purchased in small stores (almacen or despensa). Sunglasses with UV ray protection are essential; those headed to the dusty Chaco will be best served by wraparound styles.
Hydration pack, water bottle, or terere thermos.
Unlocked GSM cell phone (see Staying Connected) Not necessary but will make life much easier if you plan on organizing travel yourself.
Copies of passport and other travel documents: Keep these with you at all times in case the originals are lost or stolen.
Universal plug: Both European (round) and American (straight) two prong outlets are used, and adapters can be purchased in supermarkets and hardware stores (ferreterias).
Earplugs will make it easier to ignore movies blasting full volume on buses and mosquitoes buzzing around at night.
Rain coat or poncho.
Light weight thermals: Recommended for winter visitors (see When to Visit).
Spanish language phrasebook: For those with little or no Spanish background.
Additional Items for Camping
Leatherman or Swiss Army knife: Chinese knockoffs are sold by many street vendors in Ciudad del Este.
Dust protection for photography equipment: Serious photographers headed to the Chaco should bring Ziploc bags or dry bags to protect their camera and lenses from the fine dust. Trash bags are an available in all supermarkets.
Nylon hammock: Particularly useful, especially models with built in mosquito netting. Normal woven hammocks can be found throughout Paraguay but can be too bulky and heavy for backpacking.
Inflatable ground pad: Can double as floating device in rivers and lakes.
Expensive & Hard to Find Items
Contact lenses and solution: These are available only in urban pharmacies and are very expensive.
Binoculars: Quality binoculars are hard to find and quite pricey. Serious wildlife aficionados will be happier bringing their own from home.
Lightweight backpacking gear: While gear for car camping is available in the camping section of department stores in Asuncion (see Shopping), specialty gear, such as ground pads, multi-fuel camping stoves, and lightweight tents, is hard to find.
Professional fishing gear: Avid fishermen should bring their own poles and lures. Though there is good fishing throughout Paraguay, high quality gear is difficult to purchase outside of cities and almost impossible to rent.
Paraguay Travel Essentials Photo Gallery
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