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For consumer goods, go to Ciudad del Este. In Asunción you can come across some quality handicrafts, especially Ñanduti lace from the town of Itauguá. Aó poí is another famous product, a type of fine unbleached cotton. It and other textiles are made in the nearby town of Villarica. Palo santo are small items made from Paraguayan wood. You can find some of these items in the markets listed below or at roadside stores on the "Circuito de Oro" tour. A good quality store is IPA, Antequerra 241 (tel. 021/498-343; www.artesania.gov.py). The products are certified and come straight from their creators. For textiles, check out Taller Fábrica, Mariscal Estigarribia 2174 (tel. 021/204-081). For art, go to Arte Latinoamericano, Santa Rosa 586 (tel. 021/615-508).

If you like air-conditioned shopping, there are plenty of upscale shopping malls, especially in the Villa Morra area. Shopping del Sol, Avenida Aviadores de Chaco and DF de Gonzalez (tel. 021/611-780; www.shoppingdelsol.com.py), is the biggest in the country and is opposite the Sheraton. Close by is glitzy Paseo Carmelitas, Avenida España and Malutin (www.paseocarmelitas.com.py).

Markets

For handicrafts, go to Plaza de los Heroes. The biggest and liveliest market is Mercado Cuatro, Avenida Dr. Francia and Pettirossi. Vendors there sell everything from food to clothes; it's open daily from 6.30am to 6pm. On Saturday, Plaza de la Independencia has a morning market with handicrafts and souvenirs, and there is a small passageway with stalls selling similar items on Colon and Presidente Franco.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.