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Ciudad del Este
Táva Kuarahyresẽme (Avañe'ẽ)
Skyline of Old Town Ciudad del Este
Lake Republic
Acaray Dam
Anfiteatro del Lago
Peru Avenue
Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
Flag of Ciudad del Este
Ciudad del Este is located in Paraguay
Ciudad del Este
Ciudad del Este
Location of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay
Coordinates: 25°31′00″S 54°37′00″W / 25.51667°S 54.61667°W / -25.51667; -54.61667
DepartmentAlto Paraná
Founded3 February 1957
(67 years ago)
 • Intendente MunicipalMiguel Prieto
 • City104 km2 (40 sq mi)
 • City301,815
 • Density2,900/km2 (7,500/sq mi)
 • Metro
GDP (PPP, constant 2015 values)
 • Year2023
 • Total$4.7 billion[1]
Time zoneUTC-04 (PYT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-03 (PYST)
Postal code
Area code+595 (61)
WebsiteOfficial website

Ciudad del Este (Spanish pronunciation: [sjuˈðað ðel ˈeste], Spanish for Eastern City; often shortened as CDE) is the second-largest city in Paraguay and capital of the Alto Paraná Department, situated on the Paraná River. It is located 327 km east of Asunción, the capital, and is adjacent to the border with Brazil, to which it is connected by the Friendship Bridge on the Paraná River. It is the largest city within the Triple Frontier region, which borders Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and Puerto Iguazú, Argentina. The Itaipú Dam, one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world, is near Ciudad del Este, as is the Iguazu Falls.[citation needed]

Ciudad del Este is a commercial city, and is one of the largest free-trade zones in the world. Its tax-free status attracts many Brazilians and Argentines to the city.[2]

Ciudad del Este has consulates for Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Syria, Turkey, and Taiwan.[3]

The city is home to Club Atlético 3 de Febrero, whose home ground Estadio Antonio Aranda was used for the 1999 Copa América and is Paraguay's third biggest football stadium.[citation needed] Ciudad del Este will host the 2022 South American Rugby Championship.[4]

The city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ciudad del Este.[citation needed]


After the fall of Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón in the 1950s, the government of Alfredo Stroessner took the decision to vigorously promote the so-called "March to the East", seeking to reach the Atlantic Ocean, through Brazil. The main problem encountered in the exit through the Río de la Plata was the excessively expensive freight, which made the exported products commercially uncompetitive. In 1955, the Mixed Paraguayan-Brazilian Commission was set up to boost the highway to the East, and in 1956 a reconnaissance flight was made on Alto Paraná. The construction of a road route to the Paraná River bank was led by Captain Porfirio Pereira Ruiz Díaz, who supervised several army units in the building of a 200-kilometre section from Coronel Oviedo.[citation needed]

On 3 February 1957, the city now known as Ciudad del Este was founded by decree, but with the name of "Puerto Flor de Lis" ("Port Lily Flower")[5] close by a location known as Tacuru pucu ("Tall Termite Hill" in the Guarani) which was for a time the upper limit of navigation on the Paraná River.

Later,[when?] it was renamed "Puerto Presidente Stroessner" ("President Stroessner Port"), in honor of the dictator Alfredo Stroessner.[citation needed]

After the 1989 Paraguayan coup d'état, a referendum was held to decide on a new name, and Ciudad del Este ("East City") was chosen.[clarification needed][citation needed]

Settlement in the region was hampered by dense jungle, but the city and the local economy expanded rapidly after the construction of the Friendship Bridge and the Acaray and Itaipu dams during the 1960s and 1970s. The city has attracted many immigrants and now has sizeable Chinese, Arab, Indian, and Korean populations. It is the second most developed and populated city in the country.[citation needed]


The city, coextensive with the homonymous district, is located in south-eastern Paraguay. Part of an international tripoint known as the "Triple Frontier", Ciudad del Este lies opposite 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 neighboring 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 (Greater Ciudad del Este).[citation needed]

Ciudad del Este is on the international route that connects southeastern Bolivia (Santa Cruz) with southern Brazil. This has contributed to the city's development as a smuggling post between Paraguay and Brazil.[6]


The Paraná River borders the city to the east. The district is also surrounded by the Acaray River to the north, which separates it from Hernandarias District, while to the southwest it is surrounded by the Monday River that separates it from the municipality of Los Cedrales. In the city there are other streams, lakes, and bridges:[citation needed]


Ciudad del Este has a humid subtropical climate under Köppen's climate classification. Summer is hot and humid, with an average of 26 °C (79 °F) in January. The high humidity usually becomes suffocating in the heat. Winter is temperate and irregular; temperatures between 0 °C (32 °F) and 30 °C (86 °F) have been recorded. The average daily temperature is 16 °C (61 °F) in July.[citation needed]

Ciudad del Este sees on average roughly 1,700 millimetres (67 in) of precipitation annually. In the winter of 1982, it snowed for the first time in the city, being the second snowfall registered in the country.[citation needed]

Climate data for Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 31.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.1
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 21.1
Record low °C (°F) 10.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 184.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 10 9 8 7 8 8 7 8 9 10 9 9 101
Average relative humidity (%) 75 77 77 80 83 84 79 77 75 74 72 72 77
Source: NOAA[8][9]


Ciudad del Este is the second most important city in the country, after Asunción. It gathers 8% of Paraguayan gross domestic product, that is, about 3.5 billion dollars. Some 244 companies there operate in the Services Sector and in the Industrial Sector, among which stand out the manufacture of auto parts, the textile industry, maquilas, industries developer, and others. Since Ciudad del Este does not have rural areas, it does not have any measurable agro-livestock activity of its own, but it does serve as a regional nucleus for other adjacent urban centers which do have agro-livestock activity, such as Hernandarias, Presidente Franco and Minga Guazú. The city has a large food market with more than 800 shops selling fruits, vegetables, and clothing.[citation needed]

Ciudad del Este has repeatedly been on the list of notorious markets for infringing goods by the United States Trade Representative.[10][11] The city is the headquarters of the company that operates the nearby Itaipu Dam.[citation needed]

The city's economy (along with Paraguay's economy) 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).[12] Officially, you do not need to declare less than $300 worth of goods brought from Ciudad del Este to Brazil. However, it is worth noting that people have found loopholes to this law by getting some of the boys and young men sitting by the Friendship Bridge to transport any items in excess of $300.[13]

Smuggling is a major occupation in the city, with some estimates putting the value of this black market at five times the national economy. It is reported that Lebanese immigrants with links to Hezbollah are operating money laundering activities and cocaine trafficking in the city.[14]

In recent decades, Ciudad del Este has seen the development of a market in electronic and computer products, as well as consumer products, as well as luxury (perfumes, fine alcohols, and others). The economy of the city has diversified, led essentially by the installation of new industrial activities outside the traditional commercial focus, such as agribusiness, because in the city are located the largest agricultural companies in the country.


It has hotels, modern shopping centers, restaurants, casino and night entertainment centers. While shopping tourism is what most characterizes Ciudad del Este, in the area there are numerous tourist attractions of various kinds, as they constitute the most striking presentation letter of the central core in the region, like the internationally known as the Triple Frontier; there, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina converge each other:

Located near the center of the city, there is founded the "Lake of Republic" which is surrounded by vegetation which takes advantage of the waters from the Amambay stream and has a recreation area with an open-air amphitheater which offers the community a public place to enjoy artistic and cultural events. In its surroundings there are also walkways, bike paths, rest areas, playgrounds, gym, and gastronomic venues par excellence.[citation needed]

The 3D Planet Museum is a space located within the Paris Shopping. These are 3D paintings hand painted by international artists, among which the Great Wall of China, the Iguazu Falls, the Roman Colosseum, Venice, Africa and outer space stand out. It also has a labyrinth of mirrors among the multiple attractions exhibited in rooms divided into five different areas. The shopping center has also a snow park.

El Turista Róga (Tourist's home), is a dependency of the National Secretariat of Tourism (SENATUR), located in front of the Green Park, near the center of the city. This one is specialized in orientation and reception of tourists, also has a reception room and wide information suitable to deliver brochures and explanatory leaflets in languages such as English, French, Italian, German, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.[citation needed]


Population by sex and ages (2019)
Age Quantity Male Female
0 – 4 years 30.577 15.531 15.046
5 – 14 years 61.300 31.160 30.140
15 – 29 years 83.984 43.060 40.924
30 – 44 years 63.218 30.625 32.593
45 – 64 years 48.857 24.706 24.151
65 – 79 years 11.926 6.350 5.576
80+ years 1.953 960 993
Total 301.815 152.393 149.422
% 100 50.5 49.5

Ciudad del Este is the most populous city in the country after Asunción, with a population of 301,815 persons, including 152,393 men and 149,422 women, according to projections of the DGEEC for 2019.[citation needed]

It represents 36.8% of the departmental population (819,589) and 4.22% of the national population (7,152,703).[citation needed]

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. From the 1970s, Sunni Muslim Arabs moved to the city. This changed in the 1980s to Shia Muslim Arabs from South Lebanon.[15]

As in the rest of the country, a large part of the population is bilingual in both, Spanish and Guaraní, in addition to Jopara, but the use of Portuguese is also common for thousands of people and is mainly used in the commercial and agricultural sector. Thanks to the strong presence of Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants, languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and Korean are commonly used in the downtown area of the city both in conversation and in posters.[citation needed]


Ciudad del Este is organized territorially in 30 neighborhoods. Route No. 7 "Dr. Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia" divides the city into two parts: 9 neighborhoods in the north and 21 neighborhoods in the south. The Microcentro neighborhood is the only one located in the middle of Route 7, extending minimally on the north side.[citation needed]

Neighborhoods of Ciudad del Este.
Historical population
Neighborhoods of Ciudad del Este
N.º Neighborhood N.º Neighborhood N.º Neighborhood
1 Montelindo 16 Microcentro 31 23 de Octubre
2 Las Palmeras 17 O'Leary 32 San Alfredo
3 San Ramón 18 San Miguel 33 Villa Fanny
4 Virgen del Huerto 19 Remansito 34 San Vicente de Paul
5 Villa Sofía 20 San Roque 35 San José
6 San Juan 21 Virgen de Fátima 36 San Isidro
7 Acaray 22 Bernardino Caballero 37 Ciudad Nueva
8 Don Bosco 23 Área 4 38 Juan Pablo II
9 Carolina 24 Área 3 39 Santa Lucía
10 29 de Septiembre 25 Área 8 40 El Pinar
11 La Blanca 26 Boquerón 41 San Francisco
12 María Auxiliadora 27 Área 1 42 Yrendy
13 Che La Reina 28 Defensores del Chaco 43 Villa Isabel
14 Pablo Rojas 29 San Lucas 44 Zona Industrial
15 San Blas 30 Santa Ana

Urban landscape


Although it is a relatively new city, it is not exempt from having buildings of classical architecture, which can be seen at the Plaza Jesuítica.[citation needed]

Green areas

Ciudad del Este has diverse spaces with densely populated arboreal areas. Among the main parks include the Ex-airport Alejo García park, the Monseñor Agustín Van Aaken park, the Bernardino Caballero park, the Acosta Ñu park, the Green Park and a score of other places. Emblematic and popular sites such as the Alejo García park (Ex-airport) and Monseñor Agustín Van Aaken park offer different recreation areas such as bicycle paths, aerobic stations, skateboarding tracks, and other recreational games.[citation needed]

Along the Los Yerbales Avenue, parks like "Manuel Ortiz Guerrero", "José Asunción Flores", "Salto del Guairá", and "Guayaivi" are all natural spaces whose main function is to conserve regional biodiversity. On the other hand, the Linear Park is a project financed by Itaipú Binacional and is focused on the use of the first three parks mentioned above; This project is based on the remodeling of green spaces for citizens' free access. The Linear Park, of about 50 hectares, is equipped with sanitary sewer systems, water network, video surveillance system, trails, cycle paths, free access to WIFI networks, playgrounds, outdoor gym, senior area, sector for food truck and a new effluent drainage system.[citation needed]

Urban development plan

Given the rapid growth of the metropolitan region, plans are being projected for the development, reconversion and urban planning with a view to converting it into a sustainable metropolis. The renovation of Ciudad del Este is being planned by architects, civil engineers and Argentine professionals with the goal of upgrading the transportation infrastructure.[citation needed]


Guarani International Airport, located in the suburb city of Minga Guazú, connects the city with other Paraguayan destinations, as well as having international cargo flights mostly to Asia and North America.[16]


The following consulates or consulate generals for diplomatic services are located in Ciudad del Este:

The city also houses several departments for legal, identification, and migration matters:

Notable people

Twin towns – sister cities



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