Ciudad del Este

Ciudad del Este—literally translating as the city of the east—sits on the triple border with Brasil and Argentina. It is a peculiar place, with a strange border that you can cross without having to go through immigration. As a result, it is well known as a gateway for all sorts of contraband. We had heard that it was a hectic, dirty and altogether horrid place to be. Never-the-less, we had to go there in order to cross into Brasil and so tried to make the most of it. As we had time to spare, we visited the biggest tourist attraction possibly in Paraguay: the Itaipu hydroelectric dam, situated on the river that divides Brasil and Paraguay. The second largest dam in the world—having been overtaken by the Three Gorges dam in China in 2012—it generates enough power for 75% of Paraguay and 15% of Brasil. It is over 7 km wide and almost 200 m tall. A remarkable feat of human engineering, it offered an interesting contrast to our next stop—Iguazu falls.