Landlocked by Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina, Paraguay is a small country located in the centre of South America. Often overlooked by travelers, the country has hidden treasures of pristine wilderness consisting of savanna, scrubland and subtropical forest. It boasts of beautiful nature reserves, traditional villages and Spanish-era towns. Paraguay has a unique blend of indigenous Guarani Indian and Spanish cultures. The locals here are very welcoming and love chatting with visitors about their homeland.
Capital Asuncion lies on the banks of the Paraguay River along the border with Argentina. Palacio de López and Panteón de los Héroes displaying Spanish architecture and museums like Museo del Barro and Casa de la Independencia are the highlights of the capital. You can have a pleasant stroll around the La Costanera promenade, a great spot for watching the sunset or head to the bustling Mercado Cuatro street market if you’re in the mood for shopping or sampling the local cuisine.
Encarnacion in southern Paraguay, is considered the most beautiful city in the country and sees a good number of visitors. It is popular for its excellent river beach – San Jose, where you can soak up the sun. The nearby Trinidad district is home to La Santísima Trinidad de Parana, a historical landmark and the only UNESCO world heritage site in Paraguay. This former Jesuit reduction is one of the best-preserved in the world and was a settlement for Paraguay’s Indian indigenous population.
The Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland extends over Paraguay and is home to abundant flora and fauna and houses human settlements as well. Huge populations of jaguars and crocodiles, rare species like giant river otters and marsh deer, endangered species like the maned wolf, hyacinth macaw and bush dog and in all, over 1000 species of fauna are found here.
Paraguay’s lack of typical tourist attractions makes it a great off the beaten track destination. If you are looking to get away from the crowd and experience some of South America’s most authentic culture and nature, a trip to Paraguay is all you need.
The Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland extends over Paraguay.