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What you need to know about Ciudad del Este

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Ciudad del Este initialed CDE is the second largest city in Paraguay and capital of the Alto Paraná Department, situated on the Paraná River. As of 2008 its population was of 320,782. The city consists of a large population of Lebanese immigrants, as well as Taiwanese. Guaraní International Airport, located in neighboring city Minga Guazú, serves Ciudad del Este. The city annually attracts thousands of tourists for Black Friday. On a daily basis, many tourists from Brazil cross the border to enter Ciudad del Este and the city also attracts thousands of worldwide tourists.The city is home to Club Atlético 3 de Febrero, counting with the Estadio Antonio Oddone Sarubbi which was used for the 1999 Copa América and is Paraguay’s third biggest football stadium.

Population: 320,782(2008)

Ciudad del Este is a multicultural and diverse city. It is home to a large Asian-born population, specifically of Taiwanese, Korean, Lebanese, and Iranian origin, evident in the city’s mosques and pagodas. The Taiwanese government paid for the construction of the city’s town hall in exchange for Paraguayan support in the United Nations, hence the Taiwanese flag that flies on the building. From the 1970s, Sunni Muslim Arabs moved to the city. This changed in the 1980s to Shia Muslim Arabs from South Lebanon.

Language: Spanish

Currency

The Paraguayan Guarani is the currency of Paraguay. Our currency rankings show that the most popular Paraguay Guarani exchange rate is the USD to PYG rate. The currency code for Guarani is PYG, and the currency symbol is Gs. Below, you’ll find Paraguayan Guarani rates and a currency converter.

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Geography

The city, coextensive with the homonymous district, is located in south-eastern Paraguay. Part of a “triangle” known as the Triple Frontier, Ciudad del Este lies in front of the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguaçu (state of Paraná). Separated from it by Paraná River, it is linked by the Friendship Bridge. The Argentine border is located between the neighbouring town of Presidente Franco and Puerto Iguazú (Misiones Province). Ciudad del Este, along with the towns and districts of Hernandarias, Minga Guazú and Presidente Franco, forms a metropolitan area named Gran Ciudad del Este (i.e. Greater Ciudad del Este). The location of Ciudad del Este on the international route that connects southeastern Bolivia with Curitiba and Porto Alegre has contributed to turning this city into a smuggling post between Paraguay and Brazil and of cocaine between southern Bolivia and the large cities of São Paulo, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, and Florianapolis. Because of this negative reputation, many Argentine and Brazilian tourists visiting Lake Itaipú and the Iguazú Falls, both on the Paraná River, avoid Ciudad del Este.

History

Founded in 1957, it was originally called Puerto Flor de Lis, then until 1989 Puerto Presidente Stroessner, after Alfredo Stroessner. The city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ciudad del Este.

Economy

Ciudad del Este has repeatedly been on the list of notorious markets for infringing goods by the Unites States Trade Representative. The city is the headquarters of the company that operates the nearby Itaipu Dam. The city’s economy (and Paraguay’s economy as well) relies heavily on the mood of the Brazilian economy, as 95% of Paraguay’s share of the energy generated by the Itaipu Dam is sold to Brazil (for US$300 million), and that every day many Brazilians cross the border to buy less expensive products (US$1.2 billion, mostly electronics). Smuggling is a major occupation in the city, with some estimates putting the value of this black market at five times the national economy. Some military and intelligence agencies state that there are terrorist organizations in the area, no evidence of this has been found.

Transportation

Guarani International Airport, located in the suburb city of Minga Guazú, connects the city with other South American destinations.