Situated in the southern half of Paraguay, close to the border with Argentina, Asunción is Paraguay’s largest city. It is also the capital city.
Medical facilities in Asunción are reasonably good, and better than in some other parts of Paraguay. Private hospitals are well equipped and you should have no difficulty in finding English-speaking doctors and medical professionals working in Asunción. Private healthcare insurance is recommended for anyone moving to Asuncion.
Mosquitoes can carry dengue fever and malaria in Paraguay. The risk is far lower in Asunción than outside the city, but you should still take appropriate precautions such as wearing insect repellent when going out and using insect deterrents in your home.
Other illnesses to be aware of in Paraguay include tuberculosis and typhoid. In the city, water is acceptable, but cases of dysentery occur occasionally, so expats are advised to drink bottled water and if travelling outside the capital should be careful of eating foods which could be contaminated, such as salads, or ice in drinks.
Most foreigners with families living in Asunción choose to send their children to private school. International schools are a popular choice, as they usually have a mix of children of various nationalities, provide a broad curriculum and good facilities, and can help the whole family to integrate into the expat community, for example through parent and teacher associations and social events.
The American School of Asunción is well-regarded and offers a bilingual curriculum with teaching in both Spanish and English. The school attracts both local citizens and international students from many different countries. Another popular choice is the Pan American International School in the neighboring city of Luque, which is situated in the greater metropolitan area of Asunción.
Taxis are a popular form of transportation for expats living in Asunción. This is partly due to the limited choice of transportation options available. Buses tend to be old and overcrowded, so are not the transport of choice for many expatriates. Paraguay has no rail network, and the only operational line is more of a tourist attraction than a mode of transportation.
The condition of highways and major roads in Asunción is adequate, but minor roads within the city and many roads outside are of poor quality, with potholes commonplace. Driving is made more hazardous by the absence of enforced speed restrictions and many drivers failing to use headlights in the dark. In most cases, expats are permitted to drive in Paraguay with a driving license from their home country or an international driving license.
Direct flights are available only to Panama. All other routes require at least one change. Paraguay is a landlocked country, surrounded by Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. Waterways are still important in the transportation of freight to and from Asunción and throughout Paraguay.