Why Travel To Paraguay?

Paraguayan flag

Prior to visiting, Paraguay was a grey area in my mind. Landlocked and the third-least visited country in South America, I probably wouldn’t have visited if it weren’t part of my goal to visit every country. Paraguay is a country that doesn’t have a big tourist draw like the Taj Mahal, one reason enough for travelers to visit an entire nation.

Paraguay isn’t the most connected country, flights to the capital Asuncion are only reasonably priced from Buenos Aires, Santiago, and a few smaller Brazilian cities. Americans, Canadians, and Australians need a visa (you can get on arrival at Asuncion Silvio Pettirossi International Airport) but it’s $160 US dollars. In cash. And there’s no ATM in the airport.

You have to want to visit Paraguay, because of the hurdles it presents and here’s why you might want to.

Paraguay Is (Affectionately) Weird

Paraguay has often been a battlefield between larger powers in its history. The Paraguayan War from 1864-1870 reduced its population by up to 70% in some estimates and a series of dictatorships endured through 1989. Even just last year, rioters burned the Congress building in Asuncion after a controversial Senate vote. The news, Paraguay’s past, plus not knowing much about the country can make it even more intimidating.

asuncion downtown

Paraguay though isn’t what you might expect. There’s no ATM at Asuncion’s main airport (bring cash if you need a visa) but plenty of cashless people were allowed past passport control to get to the bank in the airport. There aren’t many capital city airports where you’re allowed beyond passport control to get some money because you didn’t read the entry requirements.

You’re On Your Own

Better brush up on your Spanish because you won’t find many who speaks English. (Some of these apps can help and Pimsleur is basically language magic if you have 6 weeks to practice.) Remember though, be inconspicuous with your phone on the streets of the larger cities, robbery isn’t uncommon. Some basic tourist phrases will help; you’ll want to know, especially after dark, areas to avoid.

asuncion paraguay barbecue

Nobody will care whether you speak Spanish or not, Paraguayans try their best to understand you. People are warm and welcoming, perhaps it’s because a tourist is a rare sighting around here.

Local Lunch

Around noon, workers, all seemingly in button down shirts with thin, black Beatles’ ties or dark blue skirts, file into countless corner diners. The coffee is great and in case your language skills aren’t developed enough, point to what looks most appetizing. Alternatively, or additionally in Asuncion, Lido Bar around half past one in the afternoon is just calm enough to enjoy a bowl of fish soup and multiple empanadas.

paraguay graffiti

Around the capital city, there’s the Loma San Jeronimo neighborhood. It’s colorful but practically deserted and if you use Google Maps to find it, you’ll end up in the sketchiest part of town. Rather, ask one of the cafe staff. Same thing with the bus system, ask the routes from your accommodation. Getting confused is easy because the numbered lines aren’t clear but once you get it, easily managed.

Accommodating For The Curious

Finding an inexpensive Airbnb with a pool in Asuncion isn’t hard. The weather is warm to hot throughout the year. Parque de la Salud is a green oasis in the middle of a slightly smoggy capital, perfect for a calm jog. Having been to Paraguay, the answer to why you would want to go is the question itself. Little traveled, bizarrely welcoming, edgy but accommodating, Paraguay is for travelers who want to get off the beaten path, but not with too much effort.

The Spigen Thin Fit Is Exceptionally Minimalist Phone Protection

There are some products so simple yet effective it’s hard to say too much without saying enough about them. Of all the gear I travel with, the Spigen Thin Fit is probably the one I handle most on a daily basis. The Thin Fit series is my go-to phone case for all the mobiles I travel with because they’re low profile, extremely durable, and inexpensive.

Dumb Case

Although cases like the ThinCharge can give you more than double the battery life, even the slimmest are several times thicker than the Thin Fit. Charging cases also tend to wrap up your entire phone with matte finishes that have a lot of friction, making them awkward to take out of a jacket or jeans pocket. The Thin Fit, while matte, is smooth but provides a good grip and Spigen have figured out an efficient protective design. The Thin Fit only covers the corners, backs, and sides – if you watch the video above you’ll see how it Spigen seems to know where I’ll you’ll drop your phone most.

spigen thin fit

spigen thin fitSpigen Thin Fit Cases

buy from amazon

Charging cases also do a good job of charging, not so much of protecting. There’s a trade off that has to be made and if you’re looking for the thinnest case that doesn’t do anything but protect your phone with the least amount of case needed, check out the Spigen Thin Fit. Spigen make the Thin Fit (plus a bunch of other case types) for most varieties of modern Apple, Samsung, and other popular phones.

The Elite 8 Of The Best City Contest Is A Showdown Of The Familiar And The New

bestcity2018 elite 8

The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament is down to 8 cities, vote below to determine which will advance to a Final Four. Granada is looking very strong against an Elite 8 regular, Istanbul. George Town barely passed Varanasi and Dubrovnik has quietly advanced once again.

Readers, it’s time to vote! Click your favorite cities before this Sunday, March 25th, 6pm US EST.

Remember, the next round of Final Four, begins next Tuesday, March 27th, 2018.

The Cheapest GoPro Knockoff Might Not Be As Good But Could Be Enough For Most People

There are lots of popular GoPro action camera knockoffs on sale, most of which are less than $100, but the LeadEdge LE5000 is currently the cheapest with 4K resolution: $39 for a complete kit. Is that too good to be true? Well, it depends on what kind of footage quality you’re expecting from an action camera that’s a tenth the price of the industry leader.

Here’s my full review of the LeadEdge LE5000 action camera and who it might be best suited for.

The Battleground

Let’s start by comparing the LeadEdge LE5000 4K camera to the GoPro line, from the HERO4 ($239) on up since they’re 4K (3840 x 2160) at 30fps as well. For those of you who looking at the LeadEdge I’m guessing 4K is a big reason why, but in case you aren’t quite sure what this higher resolution is, PCMag has a good primer.

Resolution is just one part of how good the video you get looks. The sensor in the camera as well as the lens, amount of light coming through the lens, all play an important factor in video quality. Given that action cameras are designed to be physically small, with very wide-angle lenses (the LeadEdge is 170 degrees), the size of the lenses are heavily restricted.

That means the quality of video you get from any action camera isn’t going to be great and any point and shoot like this bargain Lumix will likely give you crisper footage with better color range in a wider variety of lighting conditions.

Cutting Corners

Given these constraints, the LE5000 has to cut some corners to come $250+ cheaper than a comparable GoPro. Both the lens and the sensor are lacking. The drawbacks of the lens being somewhat grainy footage, that’s especially poor indoors unless you’re working with a lot of light.

You can see examples of LeadEdge 4K footage in my video review above.

leadedge 4k action camera

The electronics in the LeadEdge also seem just barely capable of keeping up with 4K footage, writing to the microSD card sufficiently when there’s little camera motion. On faster action however, the footage is choppy. Slow motion? Forget about using it, the LeadEdge is terrible at 720p 120fps.

Advantages Of The LeadEdge

Clearly you’re not going to get GoPro-level footage with a camera that’s so much cheaper. But the LeadEdge does come with a full kit – case, underwater housing, all of this stuff you can see in my unboxing video.

leadedge le5000 4kLeadEdge Action Camera 4K Ultra HD

buy from amazon

On a tripod, camera dashboard, slow skiing, or as an inexpensive beach camera though the LeadEdge can take some cool shots you couldn’t with a larger mirrorless. The LeadEdge is good enough, but it’s not great. For most users though, an action camera is one you’ll use only a few times a year. Plus travelers will like the reduced theft anxiety of the LeadEdge since it’s much easier to swallow a $39 loss if you get robbed.

Frequent snorkelers, divers, fast-car-snowboarding-all-winter-serious-about-action-vloggers should probably take a close look at a GoPro HERO4 or HERO5. GoPro has also had a lot of financial difficulty, forcing them to lower the prices on their products. Once the HERO4 hits $150 or lower, it will make the choice between a LeadEdge much more difficult. For now, if you only hit the beach once or twice a year, $200 or more dollars on an action camera might not be the best investment.

How To Bug Sweep An Airbnb Or Hotel Room For Hidden Cameras And Surveillance Devices

Recently, I wrote how you can detect and find hidden cameras in an Airbnb and there are several ways to conduct a basic bug sweep. One of the most practical tools for travelers mentioned in that post is the MaQue Anti-Spy Bug Detector. They’re small, inexpensive, and fairly effective enough to give you piece of mind before your first night in an Airbnb.

MaQue Anti-Spy Hidden Camera  MaQue Anti-Spy Hidden Camera

buy from amazon

In the video above you can see how the MaQue works – and in the video below, how to use it to check a hotel room or Airbnb for hidden cameras.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

Will There Be More Surprises? Vote For The Best City To Visit In This Sweet 16

best city 2018 sweet 16

The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament is consistently unpredictable. Romania, typically one of the strongest countries in the contest, was edged by former champion Sarajevo. Last year’s winner Granada, had the most total votes in round of 32 last week, making the left side of the brackets very competitive. Quietly though on the right are some interesting challengers.

Readers, it’s time to vote! Click your favorite cities before this Sunday, March 18th, 6pm US EST.

Remember, the next round of Elite 8, begins next Tuesday, March 20th, 2018.

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube

Image Map

Image Map

Recent Articles

The Spigen Thin Fit Is Exceptionally Minimalist Phone Protection

The Elite 8 Of The Best City Contest Is A Showdown Of The Familiar And The New

The Cheapest GoPro Knockoff Might Not Be As Good But Could Be Enough For Most People

Get my latest posts in your inbox: