The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Paraguay is a developing nation but is in the upper half of the world's economies. Located northeast of Argentina in South America, its climate varies by region, ranging from subtropical to temperate to semiarid.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
An official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary. Vaccination is usually recommended if you’ll be traveling in areas where there is risk of yellow fever transmission.
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged ≥ 1 year coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. Note: This applies to airport layovers in these countries.
- Official Status: listed by WHO as a country where YF transmission risk is present.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2017) Malaria risk due almost exclusively due to P. vivax is low in certain municipalities of the departments of Alto Paraná, Canindeyú and Caaguazú. The last indigenous case was recorded in 2011. In other departments there is no or negligible transmission risk.
- Recommended prevention in risk areas: A – Very limited risk of malaria transmission. Mosquito bite prevention only.
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: None.
Drug resistance: Not applicable.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Low risk of attack by domestic terrorist groups exists in northern areas of San Pedro Department and southern areas of Concepción Department. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
Risk of violent crime (armed robbery and carjacking) and high risk of petty crime exist throughout the country, especially in downtown Asunción; Ciudad del Este, Alto Paraná Department; Canindeyú Department; Pedro Juan Caballero, Amambay Department; and in areas bordering Brazil and Argentina.
Kidnappings by criminal groups occur in northern areas of San Pedro Department and southern areas of Concepción Department. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners).
Scams involving false identity (such as criminals posing as service workers) have been reported.
Protests and demonstrations (in the form of road blocks) occur throughout the country (especially in Asunción) and are generally peaceful, but have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Individuals and organizations providing financial support to extremist groups operate in Ciudad del Este and along the tri-border area between Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. A small, armed anti-government militant group known as the Ejercito del Pueblo Paraguayo (EPP) operates in the northern San Pedro and southern Concepción Departments. Drug trafficking and associated violence remains a serious concern in Amambay Department.
Other Safety Threats
Visits to the Chaco wilderness area should be undertaken with an experienced guide because of the harsh environment and risk of encountering dangerous animals. Staying at an estancia (ranch property) is recommended. Because of heavy rainfall and limited infrastructure, hiking trips to remote areas should be carefully planned.
Visiting most areas populated by indigenous peoples should present no danger for travelers, with the exception of the northern area of the Paraguayan Chaco, close to the Mennonite colonies, where the Ayoreo woodland group lives. Some Ayoreos may perceive outsiders as a threat.
High risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is 12 to 24 per 100,000 population. The rate is < 10 in most high-income countries. Speed laws are poorly enforced. Driving at night is not advised. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
The rainy season is from December through March. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur, including in Asunción and other cities.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Paraguay
- United States: [+595] 21-213-715; py.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+595] 21-227-207; travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates/paraguay
- United Kingdom: [+595] 21-614-588; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-asuncion
- Australia: [+595] 21-608-740
Paraguay's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.mre.gov.py/Sitios/Home/Index/embaparusa
- In Canada: www.mre.gov.py/Sitios/Home/Index/embapar-canada/EN
- In the U.K.: www.paraguayembassy.co.uk
- In Australia: www.mre.gov.py/australia
HIV and hepatitis testing are required to obtain a work or residence visa.