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Shopping in Foz do Iguassu
Ciudad del Este is a haven where illegal and smuggled goods are sold and it is a shopper's paradise for bargain hunters in South America. It is purportedly a tax-free area, where you can pick up just about anything your heart desires- some fake and sometimes even original items!
It is a dubious way of shopping for perfumes, alcohol, gold jewellery, watches and the latest electronic gadgets.
Other than this, Misiones is known for its Guarani musical instruments, indigenous folk music, Indian woven textiles, wood carvings and mate tea. You will find wood carvings representing rain forest animals, such as toucans and lizards, which are made using wood with varied texture and colours that come from a large variety of trees.
Foz do Iguassu offers ample of shopping opportunities and it is always enjoyable to end a day of shopping by dining out at one of the Foz do Iguassu Restaurants. The Brazil Shopping Guide will give you all the information you need regarding shopping in Brazil. Read on through our Foz do Iguassu shopping guide for some great local shopping tips.
Foz do Iguassu Shopping Guide
Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, just across the bridge from Foz do Iguassu, is an extraordinary commercial zone, and it would be an understatement to say that it is the largest shopping centre in South America; such is its significance and vastness. The shops in Ciudad del Este sell countless goods, from the simplest utensils to state-of-the-art computers which are imported from the most advanced and leading industrial countries in the world. However, it would be advisable to be vigilant against buying second-hand goods. To reach Ciudad del Este, you simply have to cross the 'Friendship Bridge' from the Brazilian side of the falls.
Close to the mouth of the Devil's Throat, there is an opportunity for the average tourist to indulge in some sinful shopping in Foz do Iguassu. Along with a bit of duty-free shopping, you can gorge on the world-renowned Argentinean beef, cheese and wines; which are dirt cheap as well. In Puerto Iguazu, the border city of Argentina, there is also an astounding array of reasonably priced Iguassu restaurants. Wine is even sold at gas stations, the most expensive one being the wonderful 2006 Merlot, for as little as 7 pesos. Due to an excellent bus service that frequently crosses the border to enter the park, tours of Iguassu Falls can be seen both from the Brazilian and Argentinean sides. You can shop in Paraguay and eat fantastic food to your heart's content during the course of three days without putting too much of a dent in your pocket!
There is a good opportunity for tourists to buy souvenirs, clothes and shoes at shops in Foz do Iguassu. The atmosphere caters to safe shopping and the prices are also reasonable. The tourist has several options from where to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts. There are centres such as the Visitor's Centre of the National Park, Coart, Artesanato Tres Fronteiras, a Rendeira, Recanto Tres Marcos, the Facas Pazzini and many more. Some excellent shops in the Foz do Iguassu town centre are open from midnight until 2 am and even on Sunday mornings.
In Paraguay, the stores offer some of the most exclusive brand names - Bulgar, Versace, Lancome and Channel. Products such as cosmetics, perfumes, watches, alcohol and electronic equipment are all available at cheap rates.
Serpentine queues are formed on 'Friendship Bridge' on Wednesdays and Fridays, when it can get quite crowded. Goods up to US$ 150 can be imported without attracting any custom duties; however, duty has to be paid for goods costing above this limit.
Brazilian Gems and Jewellery
Precious stones that do not match up to the quality required of gems are carved into different shapes and sizes. You can take home souvenirs of amethyst, topaz or any other stones carved into shapes of toucans, owls or even grapes! You will also find chessboards, coffee spoons or knives adorned with these stones.
Soapstone is another specialty of Brazil. The stone is so soft that even your fingernails will scratch its surface, making it a perfect stone for carving. You will find soapstone miniatures of Jesus Christ, cups and small trinket boxes which are good as decorative pieces. Foz do Iguassu shops which sell these knick-knacks and souvenirs are more likely to be found around 5-star Iguassu hotels or at tourist spots.
It is said that almost all coloured gems around the world today come from Brazil. Brazilian gems come in all colours, modern and elegant designs and most of all at very affordable prices, which makes them so popular. For this reason, Brazilian jewellery is known all over the world.
The old concept of precious and semi-precious stones is passé! Today, jewellers only look at a stone to see if it has the quality of a gem and so should you. Take another look at that blue, imperial topaz or the subtle aquamarine and dare to call them semi-precious! In Brazil, you will find gems in all colours of the rainbow and most of them are not found anywhere else in the world. Instead of a fake, you can go home with the real thing and in most cases even pay less for it! It can't get better than this!
Av. Costa e Silva, n° 185 - Jardim Polo Centro.
Tel: 55 45 35236644 - Fax: 55 45 30385555
Artesanato Três Fronteiras
Av. das Cataratas, KM 11 s/n° - Vila Carimã.
Tel: 55 45 35296565 - Fax: 55 45 35296231
Av. San Blas, 149 - Ciudad del Este - Paraguay
Tel: 59 561 500529
Duty Free Shop
Ruta Nacional nº 12 - Km 1645,50 - Puerto Iguazu - Misiones
Tel: 54 3757 421050 - Fax: 54 3757 421050