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  • Tourist Attractions and Places in Paraguay

    Iguacu Falls view

    Iguacu Falls view ©Deni Williams/Flickr

    Paraguay is one of those countries that are not very high up on the lists of the most popular travel destinations in the world, despite their natural beauty and fascinating culture. This landlocked country about the size of California is a place of contrasts, with untamed plains, marshes, lagoons, dense forests, and jungles, and welcoming towns and cities.

    Paraguay is the second poorest country in South America, but it is incredibly rich in resources, culture and history, and there are many interesting (read about Pope Francis’ visit in Paraguay), if overlooked sights that that make the country perfect for a South America vacation. If you would like to get to know a little more the native cultures of South America, Paraguay is a great starting point.

    Start looking for the best Paraguay travel deals right now by filling in your travel details in the box below and comparing the prices of the different merchants. Note that the more providers you check for the same or similar deals the better your chances are at finding the best offers.

    Here a list of must visit places in Paraguay.

    Asuncion, the capital city

    The capital of Paraguay is one of the most interesting destinations in the country, with its beautiful colonial architecture and other cultural attractions. Although it has few ‘traditional’ sights like beaches, skyscrapers or impressive parks, it has an unmistakable atmosphere that will bind you with its spell.

    The Municipal Museum and the Visual Arts Museum are not very large, but they have some interesting and even unusual exhibits. If you are interested in architecture, check out the building of the National Congress, one of the most impressive constructions in the capital.

    Asuncion cathedral

    Asuncion cathedral ©juantiagues/Flickr

    If you like football, you should see a game between the two great rival teams of the Paraguay capital, Club Cerro Porteno and Club Olimpia. You will really sample the essence of being a man in Asuncion. For some authentic and charming shopping you must go to the largest open air market of the city and shop for anything from fruits and fresh meat to electronics, ceramics and all you can imagine.



    Encarnacion

    Encarnacion is not a great destination if you consider the city itself, but the nearby Jesuit missions of La Santisima Trinidad de Parana and Jesus de Tavarangue are World Heritage Site are well worth visiting. While the ruins are not very extensive, they are absolutely beautiful. The missions date back to the early 17th century, and they are some of the most important religious creations of the Jesuits not only in Paraguay, but the whole of South America.

    Encarnacion view by night

    Encarnacion night view ©Gisela Giardino/Flickr

    Also called the pearl of the south, Encarnacion is also popular for its beautiful waterfront. In the summer season, between December and February, the river banks are filled with locals and tourists alike. If you want to participate in the largest party of the year, you should stay for the Carnival in late February. Dancers, music, themed floats and happy people are all together to celebrate. The main themes of the carnival floats include ancient gods of the Aztecs and the Maya, African folklore and the everyday life during slavery and more historical and mythological topics.

    Iguaçu Falls

    One of the greatest natural wonders of the world, Iguaçu Falls are shared among Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. To visit the falls, you have to go through the town of Ciudad del Este, the second largest city in Paraguay with not much in the way of conventional attractions, but plenty of shopping opportunities (especially for contraband and cheap goods). The city is also great if you want to try some good and affordable local food.

    Iguaçu Falls are just across the river from Ciudad del Este, so the town is a good base for exploring the falls. You can also discover the surrounding nature from the town and go on long walks, hiking or even a camping tour if you are adventurous enough. But do not worry, as the city is rather affordable, you will not necessarily have to spend your vacation in a tent.

    The legend says, that the monstrous snake Boi lived in the Iguaçu river.

    Once per year a beautiful maid had to be sacrificed to Boi, by throwing her into the river.

    When Tarobá, the tribes chief learned, that the beautiful maid Naipí was chosen for the sacrifice, rebelled to the elderly members of the tribe trying to save the girls life.

    In order to save Naipí, he decided to kidnap her the night before the sacrifice. So he put her on a canoe and escaped by the river.

    Boi saw this; in her anger she split the river forming the falls catching Naipí and Tarobá.

    Boi turned Tarobá into trees, visible from the upper circuit, and the long, dense hair of the beautiful Naipí into the falls.

    Boi dived in the Devil’s Throat. She watches from here Naipí and Tarobá never come together again.

    On sunny days the rainbow surpasses Boi’s  power and join them.

    Gran Chaco

    If you are in the mood for some eco-travel, you should definitely explore the untainted wilderness of Gran Chaco, which has been virtually untouched by tourism for a long time. The region is sparsely populated, and only about 3% of the population of the country lives in the area, but the few towns and cities have small pockets of colonial architecture and they offer plenty of opportunities to discover the culture and traditions of the Guarani people.

    Gran Chaco plain view

    Gran Chaco ©Christian Ostrosky/Flickr

    Nature lovers shouldn’t miss the Parque Nacional Defensores del Chaco, with its vast thorn forest teeming with wildlife (it’s better to visit it as part of a tour to avoid being eaten by pumas, jaguars or ocelots). deforestation has been a problem on the Gran Chaco plain for some time, which is sad, but you will still find its raw beauty admirable.

    Yaguarón

    The small town of Yaguarón is not far from the capital, only about 30 km away (about 18 miles), and it is a great destination for a couple of relaxing days at least. The most important landmark in the town is the quaint little church called Iglesia San Buenaventura, built in the 17th century by Franciscan missionaries coming to the area. The altar of the church is beautifully hand carved by native artists of the era and is a great example of the Hispanic-Guarani artistic style.

    Yaguaron view, Paraguay

    Yaguaron street view ©Sebastian/Flickr

    If you’re interested in the history of the country, visit the José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia museum, the birthplace of the dictator. You can see here displayed many of the personal items of Garcia and his family as well as other objects from the era.

    You might also want to walk up to the top of Yaguaron Hill, to the oratory that offers a breathtaking view over the surrounding area. According to the legend the hill also guards the footprints of Saint Thomas.

    Start your Paraguay vacation by discovering the capital city of Asuncion, but if you have the opportunity do not stop there, but wander further into this wild and beautiful country.

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    Comments on Tourist Attractions and Places in Paraguay

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    cidalia wrote on September 22, 2011:

    this paqe is wack ! just sayinqq ….. x:

    chuck TgAvatar
    chuck wrote on April 23, 2012:

    Why do you think that?
    It’s quite informative for me.

    Rhiver TgAvatar
    Rhiver wrote on January 8, 2013:

    Coooooool stuff for recherché

    FaeTay TgAvatar
    FaeTay wrote on September 17, 2013:

    love this! helps with projects in my spanish class!

    LindaN TgAvatar
    LindaN wrote on April 1, 2014:

    Hi, I am desperately looking for the cheapest flight from New York to Auncion for June – July. I would like to stay about 5-7 weeks and I am flexible with my dates… Can you help?

    erato wrote on April 2, 2014:

    I searched on Travelgrove and have found a Copa Air flight for just $812 with taxes. It departs from Newark on June 10 and returns from Auncion on July 22. The flight has got one stop in Panama City both ways.

    swagsDrGeneral TgAvatar
    swagsDrGeneral wrote on April 28, 2014:

    im comin for that bootehh

     
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