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Travel Notes: Latin America - Paraguay Travel Notes.

Paraguay Travel Notes

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Paraguay Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes

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Plan your dream trip to Paraguay. From the iconic Iguazu Falls to local markets, dive into the heart of Paraguayan culture and create unforgettable memories.

About Paraguay

Despite being landlocked and less well-known than other countries in the region, Paraguay offers tourists a choice of national parks, virgin forests, and lakes.

Countries neighbouring Paraguay: Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina.

Travel Map Mapping Paraguay

Map of Paraguay

Map of Paraguay

Paraguay and Bolivia are the only landlocked countries in South America.

Paraguay Overview

Paraguay is located in the heart of South America, bordered by Argentina to the south and south-west, Brazil to the east and north-east, and Bolivia to the north-west.

Capital and Largest City

Asunción is the capital and largest city of Paraguay; situated on the eastern bank of the Paraguay River.

Culture

Paraguay has a rich cultural heritage influenced by indigenous traditions and European customs.

Guaraní music and dance are integral to the country's cultural expression.

Additionally, traditional crafts, such as ñandutí lacework and ao po'i embroidery, are highly valued.

Economy

Paraguay's economy is diverse, with agriculture playing a crucial role.

The country is a major exporter of soybeans, beef, and other agricultural products.

Additionally, the hydroelectric power generated by the Itaipu Dam, shared with Brazil, contributes significantly to the economy.

History

Paraguay has a complex history, including periods of Spanish colonisation and later, struggles for independence.

Notably, the Paraguayan War (1864–1870), also known as the War of the Triple Alliance, had a profound impact on the country, resulting in significant population loss.

Official Languages

The official languages of Paraguay are Spanish and Guaraní.

Guaraní is an unique feature of Paraguay, as it is widely spoken alongside Spanish and is an integral part of the country's cultural identity.

Political System

Paraguay is a representative democratic republic with a presidential system.

The President of Paraguay serves as both the head of state and the head of government.

Religion

The predominant religion in Paraguay is Roman Catholicism, which plays a significant role in the country's culture and society.

Tourism

Paraguay is known for its natural beauty, including the Iguazu Falls, which it shares with Brazil and Argentina.

The Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Visiting Paraguay

Visiting Paraguay can be an unique and enriching experience, as the country has a rich cultural heritage, diverse landscapes, and a warm hospitality.

Paraguay Highlights

Asunción

Start your journey in the capital city, Asunción and explore historical sites like the Palacio de los López, National Pantheon of the Heroes, Metropolitan Cathedral, and Government Palace.

Take a stroll along the Costanera de Asunción, a waterfront avenue along the Paraguay River.

Ciudad del Este

This city is known for its bustling commercial activity, particularly shopping.

The Friendship Bridge connects Ciudad del Este to Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, making it a popular destination for cross-border shopping.

Encarnación

Visit Encarnación, a city in the south known for its lively atmosphere.

Enjoy the beaches along the Paraná River, the Jesús and Trinidad Jesuit Ruins.

If you're there in February, don't miss the Carnaval de Encarnación; one of the largest and most vibrant carnival celebrations in South America.

Guaraní

While Spanish is widely spoken, learning a few basic phrases in Guaraní can enhance your experience and interactions with locals.

Health Precautions

Ensure you have necessary vaccinations, and be cautious with food and water consumption to prevent waterborne illnesses.

Iguazu Falls

While the majority of the falls are located in Brazil and Argentina, the Paraguayan side of the Iguazu Falls offers an unique perspective.

The falls are an UNESCO World Heritage Site and are easily accessible from Ciudad del Este.

Itaipu Dam

Take a tour of the Itaipu Dam, one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world.

It's a joint project between Paraguay and Brazil, and guided tours provide insights into the dam's construction and operation.

Local Cuisine

Sample traditional Paraguayan dishes, such as chipa (a type of cheese bread), sopa paraguaya (a savory cornbread), and mbejú (cassava flatbread).

Don't forget to try tereré, a traditional cold herbal tea enjoyed throughout the country.

Safety

Like any travel destination, it's essential to stay informed about safety recommendations.

Check travel advisories, take precautions, and be aware of your surroundings.

Remember to check the latest travel information and any entry requirements before planning your trip, and enjoy your visit to Paraguay.

The Chaco Region

If you enjoy nature and wildlife, consider a trip to the Chaco region.

It offers a different landscape compared to the eastern part of the country.

Traditional Crafts

Explore local markets to experience Paraguay's rich craft traditions.

Look for ñandutí lacework, ao po'i embroidery, and ceramic crafts.

Transportation

Public transportation options include buses and taxis.

While the road network is decent, be prepared for occasional delays in more remote areas.

Weather

Paraguay has a subtropical climate.

Be prepared for warm temperatures, especially during the summer months (December to February).

Ybycuí National Park

If you enjoy nature and outdoor activities, consider visiting Ybycuí National Park.

It offers hiking trails, waterfalls, and a variety of flora and fauna.

Asuncion

The capital of Paraguay is in the south of the country, near the joining of the Paraguay and Pilcomayo rivers.

Map of Asuncion

Map of Asuncion

Founded on August 15, 1537, the fort was named Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion; in celebration of the August 15th feast day of the Assumption of the Virgin.

It went on to serve as the administrative centre of the Rio de la Plata region of the viceroyalty of Peru, until 1617.

Asuncion is not as isolated as it seems; it's connected by rail and river with Buenos Aires and other South American cities.

Where to Stay in Asuncion, Paraguay

Apar-T-Hotel Porta Westfalica:
Dr. Camacho Dure 555, Villa Antelco, Asuncion.
Elegantly furnished apartments and outdoor pool.

Hotel Westfalenhaus:
The Hotel Westfalenhaus is in a quiet but central location of Asuncion.

Hotels in Ascuncion.

Ranch Accommodation - Estancias

Estancia Santa Clara:
San Francisco 452 c/ Espana, Julian Alarcon 1189.
Located on a beautiful, peaceful ranch surrounded by endless hills and plains where you can feel in harmony with nature.

The Chaco

The Gran Chaco is the region to the west of the Paraguay River - grassy plains and scrub forests that extend into Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil.

In the summer rainy season, December to April, the region is subject to flooding and large areas become swampy.

Few roads and railways cross the Chaco, so the isolated settlements tend to be occupied by the Paraguayan army or Mennonite communities.

Boundary disputes escalated into the Chaco War, in 1929, when Bolivia invaded an area claimed by Paraguay.

Most Paraguayans have some Guarana ancestry; a great influence on the culture.

Encarnacion

Founded as Itapua, in 1632, the former Jesuits' mission, or reduccione, is Paraguay's southern road and rail terminus.

Villa Concepcion

Located in central Paraguay, Concepcion is connected to south-west Brazil by road.

Paraguay Travel Guides

Paraguay Bradt Guide (Bradt Travel Guides) Lonely Planet South America (Travel Guide)

Paraguay Travel Guides - Paraguay Maps.

Weather in South America:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Latin  America.

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