Paraguay is a landlocked country in South America that borders Bolivia to the north and west, Brazil to the east, and Argentina to the south and west. The name of the state means “water that goes to the water”, derived from the language of the indigenous people, Guaraní. The currency of Paraguay is of the same name as the language – Guaraní.
The official languages are Spanish and Guaraní. In the rural regions, the population speaks more of Guaraní. Basic knowledge of Spanish is an advantage – regardless of whether it is a vacation trip or a longer stay – as English is only understood and spoken by very few locals.
With almost 407,000 km², the national territory of Paraguay is roughly the same size as Germany and Switzerland put together. The number of residents is about 7 million. Most people live in the Central department (metropolitan area of the capital Asunción). The rest of the country, especially the Gran Chaco in the north, is very sparsely populated. A real insider tip for people who love their privacy.
But Paraguay is also very popular as a new adopted home with pensioners and self-sufficient people. 5% of the already low population are immigrants of German origin or their descendants. As a result, emigrants who do not want to miss the German culture and language in everyday life do not have to do without it in some areas in Paraguay. Numerous German-speaking doctors and service providers are available if required.
From a bureaucratic point of view, the step into self-employment is much easier for employed people than in Germany, as there are few regulations and barriers to cope with in order to carry out a trade. In addition, the country attracts immigration with low real estate prices, taxes and the necessary start-up capital.
In Paraguay there are modern supermarkets and shopping centers with almost all products that are also available in Europe. Of course, the offer in the country is not that abundant. The roads in some parts of Paraguay also leave a lot to be desired. Order and cleanliness are not rated as highly as perhaps in Germany. But people themselves are meticulous about good personal hygiene.
As a rule, you enter as a tourist. A valid passport is required for this, which is valid for at least 6 months after entry. This entitles you to a 90-day visa-free stay, which can be extended once for a further 90 days for a fee.
Are you planning a longer stay or are you planning to immigrate to Paraguay? In the state capital Asunción, the permanent residence permit and the Paraguayan identity card are applied for by submitting all papers and providing proof of funds. You can find out which papers are required on the next page under Immigration Regulations.
Climate and Weather
The country can be roughly divided into 2 climate zones. The zones are separated from each other by the Paraguay River.
The first zone, the northwest of Paraguay, with the Gran Chaco has a subtropical to tropical climate. Midsummer in this area (November to March) reaches temperatures of over 50 degrees in the sun. It is a dry heat. The winters (June to September) are mild. At night, the temperature can be in the single-digit range, but during the day it warms up in the sun to around 20 degrees. The rainy season falls from April to June. In the remaining months, not a single drop of rain may fall.
The east of Paraguay and thus the second climatic zone is characterized by a humid subtropical climate. The average maximum temperatures in this area are around 30 degrees in summer. Often the perceived temperature is a lot higher due to the humidity. On hot summer days, the temperatures in urban areas can sometimes rise to almost 40 degrees.
In the winter months (May to August), cold winds from the Antarctic lead to temperatures of sometimes below freezing point at night. During the day, it usually warms up here in the sun to a good 25 degrees, unless it is cloudy. The rainy season in the east of the country falls between March and May and October and November.
In line with the two climatic zones that define the country, the vegetation can also be divided into two categories. The Gran Chaco in the northwest of the country has a savannah-like steppe landscape, whereas the east of the country is green all year round. Paraguay was given the name “Garden of South America”, probably thanks to the ever-green East.
Garden lovers get their money’s worth here. Citrus fruits of all kinds, bananas, papaya, passion fruit, wild orchids growing on trees and much more can be found in the gardens of Paraguay. However, due to the severe drought, gardening in the north-west of the country costs more nerves and perseverance than in the east of the country.
Anyone struggling with hay fever in Europe usually has little or no problems here.
Animals, animal species
There are some rare animal species in Paraguay such as parrots, hummingbirds, armadillos, various types of lizards and snakes, and much more.
The bird world is particularly diverse. Even in the greater Asunción area, over 100 different species of birds have been sighted.