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Ciudad del Este goes dead after 5pm when the shopping frenzy ends and everybody crosses back over the border to Brazil. At night, the city has a dangerous reputation, which is not entirely unfounded, so be careful of where you choose to stay. The best hotels are situated outside the downtown area. Las Ventanas, Avenida Maria de los Angeles and Luis Bordon, ParanĂ¡ Country Club (tel. 061/574-500; www.lasventanas.com.py), is the newest and trendiest, with comfortable rooms and spacious balconies. Doubles start at $132.

Another excellent choice is the colonial Casa Blanca, Calle Botero Norte 69, ParanĂ¡ Country Club (tel. 061/572-121; www.casablancahotel.net), situated along the ParanĂ¡ river. It is in an idyllic, tranquil setting and rooms come with a balcony overlooking a beautiful pool. Make sure you get a room in the original building, where rooms start at $140. A good city option is the Panorama Inn, Pampliega and Ayola (tel. 061/500-110; www.hotelpanoramainn.com.py). It is not five-star but it is clean and modern, with an all-essential pool. Here room prices cost around $80. Another decent downtown hotel is Hotel Austria, E.R. Fernandez 165 (tel. 061/504-213; www.hotelaustriarestaurante.com), a good value at $65 for a double room.

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.