Ciudad del Este, Paraguay - Polarsteps
Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, has a population of 310,000, but the metropolitan area is around half-million. The city was founded in 1957. Because it's a new city it has no interesting architecture, no interesting cathedral or major church, and no central plaza. The city sits along the banks of the Paraná River, which is also the border between Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. Upriver from the city a few kilometers is one of the world's largest hydroelectric dams. A few kilometers south of CDE the Iguazú branches off the Paraná River. The Iguazú River is the location of the famous Iguazú Falls, and this river forms the border between Brazil and Argentina. Ciudad del Este can be translated, literally, to the City of the East because it is the easternmost city in Paraguay, so is also known as the city of the rising sun.
The city is a bit on the hilly side, unlike the cities in the West of Paraguay where the land is pretty much flat as a pancake. And, the original planners of the city did not take into consideration leveling the land from the river up and into the city, which means almost immediately after leaving the bridge the roads start going uphill. This makes for a city that is not walking-friendly. Also, many sidewalks are in very bad condition, there is litter everywhere. It's very dirty and crowded, and there is the typical terrible inner-city traffic. The city was never planned to grow into the size it is today and was not planned on a grid layout because of the hilly region, that was simply not easily done. They also did very little to flatten the landscape which only lead to even more disorganized neighborhoods and streets. The city center is predominantly shopping centers and lots of them. People from Brazil and Argentina come here to do much of their shopping for the lower prices.
So, my impressions: I don't much care for CDE, certainly not as a place to live. Yes, there are some neighborhoods that are nice and loaded with big, expensive modern homes; the park around the lake with its running/bike lane separate from the walking path, a few other parks, and many smaller green spaces. But, that city center is simply an awful place.
My South America Journey
Ciudad del Este