"This is the worst place I've ever been to"- quote from the 2 kids we were with. The response from our local hosts was that we should know that we hadn't seen anything yet because this was the BEST area in all of Cateratas Paraguay. As soon as you cross the bridge from Foz (Brazilian side), you get accosted by people who JUMP over barriers, run through red lights and basically throw themselves at your car all in an attempt to hand you a piece of paper where the electronics prices are "lo mejor". There is no security or police in site as vendors- both children and indigenous set up on crates and walk streets following you trying to get you to buy something. Oh and btw- there is no immigration control from the Brazil to Paraguay side- but apparently it can be hours for the return trip as the Brazilians check every car and look for contraband like flat screen tv's (GASP) and computers (the HORROR) which Brazilians buy in Paraguay because the prices are 1/2 of prices in Brazil. We saw a dozen or more signs for this electronics mall called "Mona Lisa" but never made it because our hosts wanted something besides electornics. So we went to American Mall and parked in a multi story garage (called American Parking) across the street. The streets are filthy, narrow and clogged by vendors. The electronics are re-conditioned/ re-furbished and sold as new, the perfumes fade in about 10 minutes and the sneakers and bags are obvious knock offs (although we didn't see any "Romex" watches, we did find Tommy Hilfiger watches in neon colors and slated writing. WARNING also- when you pay for your purchases, you need to provide government ID- including drivers' licenses and passports- even if you're paying in cash, even if you put up a stink. In this town, that's opening the door to ID theft. And the crooks? Besides the characters running the shops we saw posters of missing young women who had disappeared from the area. Enough said.
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