Is Paraguay A Safe Country? Here’s What You Should Know!

Today we’ll be discussing whether or not Paraguay is a safe country to live and travel in.

We’ll be going over the safety situation regarding theft, gangs, transportation, violence, and non-violent crimes. 

We’ll also provide some helpful tips to avoid being a victim of crime in this South American country.

Let’s get started.

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What is the Murder Rate in Paraguay?

Despite being one of the poorer countries in South America, Paraguay has a relatively low homicide rate by regional standards.

Only Nicaragua, Peru, and Chile have lower homicide rates based on the data provided.

However, it’s worth noting that the murder rate in Paraguay increased from 2020 to 2021. Unfortunately, this trend has continued into 2022, with a notable increase in targeted killings.

Nevertheless, Paraguay is still doing well in this metric compared to Brazil, it’s Latin American neighbor! It’s important to remember that these homicides are mostly limited to individuals involved in gang activity, meaning that you are unlikely to be affected as a tourist or an expat.

Is Paraguay Safe to Visit for Tourists?

Generally speaking, Paraguay is a safe place for tourists.

That said, it depends on where you plan to go in the country.

For instance, the city of Encarnacion in southern Paraguay on the border with Argentina is safe, as is the neighboring department of Misiones.

Asuncion is moderately safe. However, you have to be careful in certain areas during the night.

Certain cities that border Brazil, such as Ciudad del Este or Pedro Juan Caballero, are dangerous.

Generally speaking, Paraguay is a safe country for tourists, given they undertake standard precautions.

If you plan on spending most of your time in the capital, here are the best neighborhoods to stay in Asuncion.

Is Paraguay Safe For Single Female Travelers?

Single female travelers to Paraguay won’t be more at risk than any other traveler. Nevertheless, take standard precautions and perhaps avoid traveling or going out alone at night (it’s best to be in a group of trusted friends).

Also, catcalling in the bigger cities like Asuncion and Ciudad del Este occasionally occurs. It is best to ignore these unwelcome advances!

Are Taxis and Public Transportation Safe in Paraguay?

Taxis and public transportation (primarily buses) are usually safe in Paraguay. There are instances of robberies of public buses in the larger cities of Asuncion and Ciudad del Este, but these instances are not particularly common.

Street taxis are typically safe (although overcharging is common). Your best option for getting around the larger cities of Paraguay is to use a rideshare app like Bolt or Uber, which are available in Asuncion, Encarnacion, and Ciudad del Este.

Is it Safe to Drive in Paraguay?

Driving in Paraguay can be stressful. In the cities, many drivers are aggressive and don’t obey traffic rules. Therefore, it would help if you were on guard while driving in larger cities like Asuncion or Ciudad del Este. Also, many roads are unpaved, and you have to keep an eye out for avoiding potholes, etc.

Once you get out of the cities, driving becomes more pleasant. Many tourists opt to rent a car to get out and explore Paraguay’s charming small towns and scenery.

Overall, yes, it is safe to drive in Paraguay. Of course, take extra care in the cities, but driving is one of the better ways to explore the countryside!

Violent Crime in Paraguay

Compared to some South American neighbors, violent crime is not overly common in Paraguay. Violence is mainly limited to gang violence which primarily occurs on the border cities of Brazil due to border cities being a chokepoint for drug trafficking.

The majority of crime here is non-violent.

Non-Violent Crime in Paraguay

There are a few things you need to watch out for here. First, petty theft is relatively common, so don’t leave your phone or laptop unattended in a cafe or restaurant.

One issue here is motorcycle thieves, known locally as motochorros. These are thieves that typically work in pairs while riding on a motorcycle. If someone is walking on the streets with their cellphone or purse/bag in hand, these thieves ride up, grab your belongings and then take off again on the motorcycle. These motorcycle thieves have become a big problem in the capital of Asuncion.

The best way to guard against this crime is to never walk around with your cell phone in hand. Also, keep it in your pocket and only take it out quickly to take a picture or answer a message. This type of theft is mostly opportunistic snatch-and-grab, so if you don’t have your valuables out in the open, it’s less likely you’ll be a victim.

Scams in Paraguay

Like any South American country, you’ll encounter some people who will try to scam you here in Paraguay. People may try to overcharge you for products, taxis, tours, etc. Scams here are not too elaborate or extreme. The best defense against scams is to know what you should be paying for something beforehand.

Is the Water Safe to Drink in Paraguay?

Technically speaking, the water is potable in Paraguay, and you can drink it from the tap in Asuncion.

That said, many people who’ve done this report digestion issues. Since bottled water is relatively cheap here, we recommend staying on the safe side and sticking to bottled water.

Is the Food Safe to Eat in Paraguay?

Food poisoning in Paraguay is not as common as in neighboring Bolivia. Most people don’t appear to have too much of an issue with food poisoning.

That said, it’s safer to eat in restaurants rather than in street stalls if you have a sensitive stomach. Restaurants tend to adhere to more hygienic practices (not always, but usually).

Here is a list of traditional foods from Paraguay you should try!

Is it Safe to Live in Paraguay?

Paraguay is one of South America’s safer countries. Most expats who relocate here don’t have too many issues with crime.

We suggest renting an apartment with good security and a 24-hour doorman to avoid property theft. However, suppose you do opt to rent a house. In that case, you’ll want to adopt some security measures, such as installing cameras, placing barbed wire on top of the walls of your property, or even getting a couple of dogs!

Take the same precautions that locals do, and it should be enough to keep you and your family safe.

Helpful Tips for Staying Safe in Paraguay

Here are a few quick tips for staying safe in Paraguay:

  • Learn a bit of the local language (basic Spanish and a few words in Guarani can go a long way)
  • Avoid public transportation late at night (use a taxi app like Uber, Muv, or Bolt)
  • Don’t walk around showing valuables (don’t text while walking, keep your phone in your pocket while on the street)
  • Only carry as much cash as you need (if you get robbed, you don’t want to lose everything!)
  • Be careful while crossing the street anywhere in Paraguay (drivers can be crazy!)
  • Have an idea of what things cost beforehand to avoid being overcharged for certain goods and services
  • Do a quick internet search to be aware of the safer and more dangerous neighborhoods of the city you’re in
  • Stay hydrated! If you visit Paraguay in the summer, it is oppressively hot. It’s a good idea to always have water on hand.

Safety in Paraguay: Final Thoughts

Bottom line: Paraguay is a reasonably safe country.

Following the region’s basic travel precautions should be enough to ensure a safe trip to this beautiful country!

Be careful both while driving and as a pedestrian, dress down, don’t flash valuables, don’t go out alone at night, be aware of the dangerous areas of your city, be friendly and respectful, and your trip should go down without a hitch!

We hope to see you all down here soon!

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