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Crossing the Border into Paraguay

Crossing the border into Paraguay is fairly easy. The infamous Ruta Trans-Chaco is paved along its entire length on the Paraguay side, though it takes a slight detour away from the original Trans-Chaco at La Patria; the detour crosses into Bolivia at the military checkpoint of Infante Rivarola. Several bus services from Santa Cruz via Villamontes now run this route to Asunción on a daily basis.

Bolivian customs formalities take place at Ibibobo. You will need to present your passport and visa to both customs and military representatives. Buses typically pass here around 4am or 5am, so don’t expect a tranquil night’s sleep. From here the Paraguayan border point, Infante Rivarola, is another hour or so away but Paraguayan customs formalities are not carried out until you are well beyond here, at the aduana (customs office) in Mariscal Estigarribia. Buses typically arrive here around 7am or 8am.

This is a notorious smuggling route so expect to be lined up with your bags as customs officials and sniffer dogs rifle through your private possessions. Once you are given the OK to proceed, you get your entry stamp from the small immigration office just outside the main compound. There is a service station here that sells food if you’re peckish and, provided you are not carrying anything you shouldn’t be, it is as simple as that!