Ahh, Paraguay. The overlooked nation smack dab in the middle of South America. I had the good fortune to visit Asuncion this year for a chunk of time, and I’m here to be your travel guide!
Asuncion is Paraguay’s capital and largest city. Along with Ciudad del Este, it is one of the country’s biggest economic hubs. The city is notable for its nature (it’s really green!), young population and laid back atmosphere.
Population: 600,000 (proper)
DATING IN ASUNCION
The dating scene in Asuncion for foreigners is generally favorable. Not many tourists visit Asuncion so locals will be naturally curious about you!
Meeting women in this city isn’t complicated — if you approach a girl, she is likely to give you the time of day. Paraguayans are friendly, and the city’s laid back vibe means people have more time to chat than, say, in a fast-paced bustling metropolis like Sao Paulo or Bogota.
That’s the good news!
But there are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all, you’re going to need to know how to speak Spanish. Few Paraguayans speak English — due to its proximity to Brazil, if a Paraguayan is going to learn another language besides their native Spanish and Guarani, it’s going to be Portuguese. If you come here with zero Spanish, you’re going to have a tough time communicating with anyone.
Second, this is not a place where you can expect a girl to approach you, something that might happen on occasion in countries like Mexico or Colombia. The culture is more conservative in this sense and if you’re white, they’ll probably just assume you’re Paraguayan…so don’t expect to get any special attention right off the bat without approaching!
Third, one night stands are not all that common here. Again, it’s a socially conservative country. So, while you might get a girl’s phone number at the club, don’t be surprised if you’re met with resistance — or even confusion — if you try to get her back to your place that same evening!
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WOMEN IN ASUNCION
Women in Asuncion are attractive. I was pleasantly surprised; they were hotter than I expected!
On paper, Paraguay is one of the most ‘homogenous’ countries in South America (with an overwhelming percentage of the population being “mestizo”, or mixed race). However, on the ground, the women here are quite diverse! They run the gamut from indigenous to full-on blonde/white. There is even an Asian population in Asuncion (there are about 5000+ people of Korean descent in the city).
Generally speaking, Asuncion women keep in fairly good shape. There isn’t as much a gym culture as in Brazil or Colombia, but things are certainly better than in Mexico and most of Central America.
For those of you that are well traveled, from a physical standpoint, Paraguayan girls are better looking that Peruvian, Chilean and Mexican girls, but not quite as eye-catching as Colombians, Brazilians or Argentines.
In short, although it may not blow you away, I can’t see anyone being too disappointed with the quality here in Asuncion.
WHERE TO MEET GIRLS IN ASUNCION
Let’s talk about where you can meet girls in Asuncion.
First off, it’s important to note that “day game”, otherwise known as stopping a girl on the street or in a park to chat, isn’t common here. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do it, just know that girls might be taken aback by it.
In bars and nightclubs, it’s pretty much business as usual by Latin American standards. As a fairly safe city, you will see girls go out together without male chaperones, which is more conducive to approaching. That said, bars and nightclubs are still group-oriented, people go out to spend time with people they already know as opposed to meeting new people. However, if you do approach, you’ll probably be received well.
Anyhow, here are some good places to meet Asuncion women:
Parque de la Salud: Day time: a large park where folks gather to jog or chat.
Costanera de Asuncion: Day/early evening. A popular jogging and get together spot.
Paseo la Galeria: Day: shopping mall
Shopping del Sol: Day: shopping mall
- Paseo Carmelitas: Night: the bar and nightclub district. Plenty of venues to choose from.
WHAT ARE ASUNCION GIRLS LIKE?
The best quality of girls from Asuncion are their personalities. They are friendly, positive, full of life and very feminine. This is no surprise, as Paraguay is frequently ranked among the ‘happiest’ countries in the world.
Paraguayan girls are also a bit more traditional by Latin American standards. On the whole, girls get married young and have babies young. Although this is slowly changing, I would say it’s still the norm; i.e if you’re a 24 year old single girl, people start to ‘worry’ about you finding a man.
This is good or bad depending on what you’re looking for.
Flip side of this being that hook-up culture, while still alive, isn’t at the level you’d find in a less socially conservative country like Colombia. Girls also have a reputation to uphold. Paraguay is a small country and Asuncion is a small city considering it’s very much divided by class. Word gets around.
Back to traits.
Paraguayan girls are known for being caring and treating men well. Seriously. It’s a reputation they have in neighbouring countries. If you ask a Paraguayan girl about this they’ll say that it’s due to the Triple Alliance War from 1864-1870 during which, by some estimates, 90% of Paraguay’s male population died. After that, if women wanted a man, they really had to fight for one! And the tradition has (apparently) carried on.
Whether this is the reason or not, I’d venture to say it’s true: Asuncion women do seem to place more value on relationships than other places. They aren’t flippant about such things!
LEARNING SPANISH IN ASUNCION
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RENT AN APARTMENT IN ASUNCION
Apartment rental prices in Asuncion can be…confusing. By all accounts, the real estate market is a bubble (due to money laundering). Based on the low cost of everything else in the city (food, transportation, etc), you’d expect apartment prices to be lower.
I have it on good authority that you can rent an unfurnished, one-bedroom place in a decent area for about $350/month. But don’t expect to pay less than that.
Set your budget at around $500/month to rent a basic furnished apartment here in Asuncion.
NIGHTLIFE IN ASUNCION
Although Asuncion is smaller than many other Latin American capitals, its nightlife packs a punch!
It particularly has a strong rock and reggaeton scene.
Bars are clustered around a few main areas: Centro, Paseo Carmelitas and Paseo la Galeria (more for after work drinks). And, similar to Bogota, Asuncion has its local neighborhood watering holes. Usually a small restaurant/bar with a familiar, Cheers-like feel.
There are enough options to keep you busy for awhile, but it’s not a city where you can visit a different bar every weekend for months on end — eventually you’ll run out of options. Most locals frequent maybe 3-5 bars maximum.
I recommend: Paseo Carmelitas. Take the path of least resistance! This is the go-to place to party in Asuncion, with a plethora of bars and nightclubs in which to wet your whistle.
IS ASUNCION SAFE?
A perk of Asuncion is that it is a safe big city by Latin American standards. Violent crime and crime against tourists is rare here.
That said, it would be remiss not to mention a couple safety concerns in Asuncion.
First off, motochorros. These are thieves that work in pairs on a motorcycle to rob unsuspecting victims of their bags, backpacks, cell phones etc. It’s likely the most common form of theft here. I strongly suggest not walking the streets of this city with your cell phone in hand. Bored waiting for a taxi or bus? Don’t take out your phone!
Discrete theft is also common. Keep your backpack in your lap while in a cafe or restaurant, particularly if your outdoors.
A third common type of theft here is property crime. Breaking and entering, robberies. Things like that. This likely won’t concern you if you choose to rent an apartment — such crime is much more common with ground-level houses.
Aside from that, you’re all good! Safety isn’t a huge issue here. Take Ubers at night as opposed to walking and keep an eye on your belongings and you should be a-ok.
COST OF LIVING IN ASUNCION
The following data is from Expatistan, a crowdsourced database of prices and cost of living around the world. In our experience, the data tends to underestimate cost of living, so take the following as the minimum you might need to live here.
*Figures are listed in USD
You’ll need a minimum of $864 USD/month to live in Asuncion, Paraguay
Asuncion is a quaint, charming capital. I enjoyed myself here. It’s affordable, has plenty of green spaces, and the people are among the friendliest I’ve ever encountered in Latin America. If you’re looking for somewhere low-key, laid back with a low cost of living, Asuncion might fit the bill.
That said, it’s worth noting that many foreigners I’ve talked to who’ve been here are lukewarm about the city at best. Complaints included oppressive heat, expensive flights, relatively poor infrastructure and even poor selection in supermarkets!
This is a place that hold’s intrigue to male tourists because its ‘undiscovered’ ie, not overrun by young gringo tourists. Many think it’s a ‘hidden gem’ where you can live off $500/month and women will throw themselves at you simply for being foreign…but alas, this is not quite the case. You have no more advantage here than you would anywhere else.
Unless you have a specific interest in the country of Paraguay and/or its history, I’d venture to say that most of my readers would probably be happier elsewhere in Latin America.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10
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