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Two and a half years after Covid was declared a pandemic, Paraguay removes all entry requirements and welcoming foreigners under normal pre-pandemic rules. In this article, we discuss the new guidelines for traveling to Paraguay and why this landlocked and lesser-known South American destination is where you should go in 2023.
Earlier in the crisis, the virus hit South America (SA) hard, turning it into a global epicenter of infections on numerous occasions. However, the situation has improved considerably in recent months, as the majority of destinations on the continent have achieved some sort of stability, indicating that the long-awaited “endemic phase” is closer than ever.
After the darkest days of 2020 and 2021, Paraguay has now become the fourth South African country to abolish health checks, confirming that Covid has ceased to be an emergency:
No entry requirements to travel to Paraguay from October 2022
Since October 24, travelers were allowed to re-enter Paraguay without any pre-arrival or on-arrival health checks. To put it simply, if you are a US visitor, your vaccination record was no longer relevant in border control procedures after the government issued a new mandate restoring pre-Covid normality.
Going forward, all of the following applies to international tourists, regardless of country of origin and Covid status:
- Vaccination is not a prerequisite for entry
- Pre-departure testing for unvaccinated people has been scrapped
- Post-arrival testing does not apply
- Quarantine is not mandatory
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*Also, since April, face masks are no longer mandatory
Previously, only vaccinated travelers were allowed to circumvent Paraguay’s stricter border rules. The unvaccinated, on the other hand, had to present a negative Covid test result, preferably a PCR, dating from less than 72 hours before the trip. Again, as of this week the testing mandate does not apply and the Covid discrimination has come to an end.
Paraguay is the fourth country to reopen in South America
Officially, Paraguay is the fourth destination in South America to fully reopen its borders, after Argentina, Guyana and Ecuador. Regardless of the lifting of the Covid vaccination requirement, the government notes that travelers may still be asked to provide data on their vaccination status when passing through Paraguay, although “this will not present any barrier to entry in the country”.
In addition, any traveler coming overland from four other South American countries – Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela – will be required to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate. This policy was in place long before Covid became widespread, and it is simply reinforced now.
Why should Paraguay be on your bucket list for 2023?
Paraguay may not have as developed a tourism scene as its Mercosur neighbors, particularly Brazil and Argentina, which are competing to become South Africa’s digital nomad hub, but it is home to many natural sitesa vibrant cultural scene and beautiful colonial-era Spanish settlements.
Unlike its competitors, it has no coastline, being landlocked between the aforementioned Argentina and Brazil, as well as Bolivia. As a result, it is composed mainly of swamps, savannahs and subtropical forests. For this reason, Paraguay is particularly popular with adventurers and solo travelers backpacking through South America seeking natural experiences off the beaten path.
- Iguazú River: the mass of water flowing in one of the seven natural wonders of the worldthe Iguazu Falls, a series of jaw-dropping waterfalls stretching along the borders of neighboring Brazil and Argentina
- Salto Crystalanother iconic waterfall described by a visitor on TripAdvisor as an “unknown treasure in nature” that left them in awe
- Cerro Cora National Parka national park dotted with sculptures, historical monuments and a stunning green landscape
- Ybycui National Parkpopular for hiking and wildlife viewing
- Aregua Beacha lakeside beach ideal for relaxing and swimming in the hot summer months
The capital of Asuncion is known to be one of the oldest European colonies in South America. Having retained some of its Old World heritage, it is full of historic buildings and quaint neighborhoods. One of the most important attractions of the city, Casa de la Independencewas built in 1772, and it is now open as a museum.
Paraguay is not as famous as Costa Rica or Belize when it comes to nature excursions, but the views can be just as stunning, and overtourism and inflated prices are far from a problem here. It’s simply the perfect choice for Americans who crave the outdoors and budget-friendly destinations.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com