This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Asunción. To help you make friends with Asunción before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Asunción is a small city with a bustling center fixed with stores, small malls, decent grocery stores, large government buildings adorned with their flag, and colonial façades. It's developing its tourist appeal, so hostels in Asunción will be popping up over the coming years. If you were to walk through the streets, you are likely to stumble across an Asunción hostel nearer to the center where all the markets are.
Although quiet (sometimes strangely so -- according to a local, the shops close and the people disappear because of cold, windy weather at times), the city is particularly proud of their military translation of the guitar, harp, and trumpet. They hold festivals outside in the square of a military-type building. Nearby is also an artisans market, where you will see absolutely beautiful tapestries and other typical tourist items. Don't let the currency (Guaranies) fool you, as 500 guaranies is equivalent to about 10 US cents.
Its outskirts reach a kind of sad-looking beach, littered with household objects such as chairs, dolls, shoes, inflatable toys, and even furniture sitting in the reeds. The government is in the process of construction to improve it into an excellent spot for locals and tourists to enjoy kite flying and churros.
Backpackers hear rumors online of a cargo boat (not passenger) that takes you to Concepcion; it's a three-day boat ride where you sleep on hammocks, but be sure to bring your own food. Many locals do not know about it, but there are some people and sailors at the port who can give you some information, which includes taking a ferry to an island in which the boat leaves Sundays and presumably Wednesdays.
The bus terminal is easy to find, covered in cambios (exchange booths) every five meters. At the station you can likely ask at the information booth for hostels in Asunción. The people are all amazingly kind and curious about foreigners, with no bother or begging to sell you items -- actually, they don't speak to you much at all and quietly keep to themselves. The culture is fantastic, as everyone is drinking mate (the national drink of Paraguay) and there's even a booth that refills their hot water.
Asunción is not much of a looker, but it looks as though its beach renovations and investments might prove positive and the Asunción hostel community will grow. Who knows, maybe in a few years time all their hostels will be booked up and you'll need to reserve in advance!
Written by local enthusiast for Asunción hostelsLaurie-Ann