Paraguay Travel Mini-Guide
A part of the world which is remote from what can be called a tourist track, Latin and Central America has a great tourist potential. Paraguay boasts an exciting combination of Indian monuments and palaces with the Spanish period heritage. An effective and memorable tour to Paraguay can be organized by one of local travel professionals.
Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, Paraguay had been occupied by the semi-nomadic tribes of the Guarani Indians, and in the north-western tribes there lived a few hunters and gatherers. Unlike many neighboring countries, the Spanish conquest of the land had virtually no resistance on the part of the Indians. Some years later, there emerged an original Spanish-Indian community, which was characteristic of Spanish domination of political and religious traditions, coupled with the obvious Indian features in the culture, cuisine and lifestyle. |
The energetic capital of Paraguay and the largest city in the country, Asuncion, was founded as a fort of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion, on the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The fort built here was the center of a gigantic area, and Asuncion became known as 'Mother of Cities'.
Stretching along the low hills on the eastern shore of the Rio Paraguay, the city was planned according to a clear Spanish plan of the city with straight avenues, intersecting at right angles, numerous parks and spacious squares. The old part of Asuncion architecture is quite varied. There are a lot of elegant old mansions, decorated facades (many of them now are various institutions and restaurants). Here you can find many picturesque parks, squares, quiet streets and many historic monuments.
It is interesting to walk from Plaza de la Constitucion past a complex of buildings to the National Congress, the old military school, the Cabildo building, and the National Post Office. The Independence House is the oldest building in Asuncion, which presents an extensive collection of historical objects of the colonial period, the Government Palace, or Palacio de Gobierno. The elegant palace in the form of a horseshoe with wide porches and stairways was closed to the public for a long time. Not far away is the residence 'Casa Viola,' which is now the national museum.
Scattered throughout the city, there are many parks, the most striking of which is, of course, the botanical garden Jardin Botanico. On its territory, there is an extensive collection of plants from all over the country, a small zoo and an old country home of former President Francisco Solano Lopez, which houses the Museum of Natural History.
The most interesting cultural and historical monuments of the country are concentrated in its eastern part, which was a center of European colonization, and the scene of numerous armed conflicts. You can visit the town of Itagua, the famous center of production of the finest woven and knitted products, resort lake Aregua and an important religious center and place of the traditional annual pilgrimage, the city of Caacupй, one of the best reserves in the country.
To the southeast of the capital, there is one of the most famous historical sites of the country, the city of Trinidad. It is known as a major center of missionary work in the Paraguayan soil. In the early conquest, thousands of Jesuit monks settled in the province to found in the picturesque hills about fifty monasteries and colleges. In the central part of Trinidad, one can find many historic churches, as well as the famous Jesuit missions of La Santisima Trinidad de Paranб and Jesъs de Tavarange.
Some of these buildings are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Interesting constructions of this kind can also be found in the San Ignacio Guacu and Santa Maria.
The vast plains of Gran Chaco are among the largest wildlife centers in South America. In total, there are more than 600 species of birds and over 200 species of mammals and numerous species of reptiles and amphibians. Dense thickets of thorny shrubs provide shelter to numerous endangered species of cats, especially jaguars, and pumas.
Request a free travel quote from Paraguay travel agencies who possess an extensive knowledge of the local travel market. Paraguay tour operators provide specific services such as air flights, hotel reservations, local ground transportation, tour guides, excursions, etc. These trip components, if offered at competitive price, can greatly reduce the cost of your travel.