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Travel & Holiday Tips in Paraguay
 
 
 

General

Paraguay boasts many attractions, such as grassy plains and an untamed wilderness of marshes, lagoons, dense forests, jungles, national parks, Jesuit missions and the Chaco, one of South America’s great wilderness areas.

The country will particularly appeal to visitors who have already been to larger, more varied South American destinations, but who are now ready to experience the more subtle attractions of the continent such as learning about the Guarani Indians, watching Nanduti lace being made or seeing a jaguar or alligator. In addition, Paraguay boasts breathtaking waterfalls where the borders of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina come together. For all these reasons, Paraguay is definitely a country worth discovering.

Asunción

The capital city is situated on the Bay of Asunción, an inlet off the Paraguay River. Planned on a colonial Spanish grid system, it has many parks and plazas. On the way to the waterfront the visitor enters the old part of town, an area of architectural diversity. A good view of the city can be had from the Parque Carlos Antonio Lopez high above Asunción. The Botanical Gardens are situated in a former estate of the Lopez family on the Paraguay River. There is also a golf-course and a small zoo. The Lopez Residence has been converted into a natural history museum and library. Package trips can be booked to see the Iguazú Falls and the Salto Crystal Falls, and river trips to Villeta or up the Pilcomayo River to the Chaco. Luque, near the capital, is the home of the famous Paraguayan harps.

The Central Circuit

A popular tourist itinerary is the ‘Central Circuit’, a route of some 200 km (125 miles) that takes in some of the country’s most interesting sites clustered around the capital. San Lorenzo dates from 1775 and is the site of the university halls of residence and an interesting Gothic-style church. Founded in 1539 by Domingo Martínez, Ita’s main speciality is handpainted black clay Gallinita hens. Yaguarón is set in an orange-growing district 48 km (29 miles) from the capital and played a part during the Spanish conquest as a base for the Franciscan missions. Their churches date back to 1775.

Situated in the foothills of the Cordillera de los Altos, the historic village of Paraguarí has several old buildings in colonial style. The holiday centre of Chololo, 87 km (54 miles) from the capital, has tourist facilities that include bars, restaurants and bungalows for rent.

Piribebuy was the scene of bloody fighting during the war of the triple alliance. The Encaje-yú spindle lace, the ‘sixty-stripe’ Paraní poncho and other handmade goods are produced here. It is also famous as a place of worship of the ‘Virgin of Miracles’. Situated on Lake Ypacarai, 47 km (29 miles) from the capital, San Bernardino is a holiday resort and, owing to its beaches and lake shores, very popular during the summer months. It also has a camping ground, ‘Camping 19’.

Along the Paraná

On the border with Argentina and Brazil in the northeast of the Chaco, the spectacular Iguazú Falls are a major tourist attraction. Ciudad del Este, 326 km (204 miles) east of the capital, is the fastest-growing town in the country and has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Situated close to the border with Brazil, the town is also a good starting point for a visit to the majestic Monday Falls and Iguazú Falls, which are a 15 to 30 minute drive from the city. Also nearby is the Italpú Dam, the largest hydroelectric complex in the world. Stretching over 180 km (112 miles), the water reservoir provides a unique ecosystem for wildlife and birds as well as providing tourists with a number of activities, including fishing, watersports, sailing, camping and walking tours.

Well to the south, Encarnación has many colonial buildings and a sleepy waterfront area with gauchos and sandy streets. Nearby is the Roque González de Santa Cruz bridge linking Paraguay with Posadas in Argentina across the river Paraná.


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