- 1. Asunción
- 2. Jesus del Tavarangue
- 3. Ybycuí National Park
- 4. The Laguna Blanca
- 5. Encarnación
- 6. La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná
- 7. Gran Chaco
- 8. Itaipu Dam
- 9. Saltos del Monday
Are you planning to visit Paraguay? Here are the 9 most beautiful places not to be missed to fully enjoy this endearing country!
A "small" country wedged between three giants, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, Paraguay is often forgotten by tourists. Indeed, unlike its neighbours, it does not have a must-see and does not occupy an important place in the imagination of travellers. However, the country has a unique character. Freed from tourist infrastructures, it represents a destination of choice for lovers of authenticity. To visit Paraguay is to get rid of the big travel agencies and crowded buses to trust its inhabitants. And we might as well tell you right away: an exceptional welcome awaits you!
Let yourself be carried away by the discreet charm and the sweetness of life that hangs over the Paraguayan lands. But what are the places not to be missed during your stay? Here are the nine most beautiful places in Paraguay.
Capital of Paraguay, Asunción is nicknamed the Mother of all Cities. And with good reason, it was founded in 1537, making it one of the oldest colonial cities in South America. From this period, it has preserved an architectural heritage that is worth the detour. In 1811, the city freed itself from the yoke of Spain and finally gained its independence. However, the rest of the country's history is marked by long years of dictatorship that are barely over today. To walk around Asunción is to discover historical monuments that mark the history of Paraguay: the house of independence, the national pantheon of heroes or the Lopez Palace.
The city has a peaceful and warm atmosphere. Take the opportunity to discover Paraguayan culture! Don't miss the Museo del Barro, a museum of indigenous folk art. Finally, lose yourself in the maze of its multicoloured markets and taste the local cuisine.
2. Jesus del Tavarangue
Paraguay's history is marked by an episode that is unparalleled in the rest of the world. From 1609 to 1763, the Jesuit Mission established a theocratic state in the territory. This unusual province declares the native Americans "as free as the Spaniards". On condition, of course, that they submit to the Church... The society is organized around the reducción, small villages structured by the Jesuits. At first, the Guaraníes can keep their own family structure. But little by little, the Jesuits imposed a Christian way of life on them. However, this "utopia" offered exceptional living conditions for the time. All the inhabitants are educated and literate, the public services are open to all, the working day lasts 6 hours, free time is dedicated to the arts, etc.
On your way to Jesus del Taravangue, you have the opportunity to observe the remains of a Jesuit reducción. The site consists of a church, cloister, houses, workshops and a vegetable garden.
3. Ybycuí National Park
Want to escape? The Ybycuí National Park is the most visited in Paraguay. Indeed, it is the easiest to access. Moreover, the wardens ensure the security of the place and will be able to guide you during your visit. Covering more than 5,000 hectares, the park offers extraordinary landscapes. As you set off to discover them, you will encounter a biodiversity that is unique in the world. Magnificent orchids and a wide variety of trees cover the park. But you will also have the opportunity to meet monkeys, armadillos and coatis.
Once there, go to the emblematic waterfalls: el salto Mina y el salto Guarani. They pour their crystal-clear water into a tropical setting teeming with life. On the way, you can admire the flight of the immense multicoloured butterflies that inhabit Ybycuí. All in all, a visit to the park is a must during your stay in Paraguay!
4. The Laguna Blanca
The Laguna Blanca is one of the most beautiful sites in Paraguay. Vast limpid lake surrounded by white sand dunes, it possesses an undeniable charm that even the visitors like it. It is a dream place for those who wish to relax and enjoy water activities such as diving or kayaking. But its gentle landscape also conceals a fauna and flora of a rare richness. Indeed, the Laguna Blanca is located at the junction of three biotopes. Nature lovers will be delighted! More particularly, the site is known to be a great place for bird watching. Indeed, more than 280 species of birds live in the area. Take your binoculars with you and discover them!
Nicknamed the Pearl of the South, Encarnación is also known as the Capital of Carnival. And for good reason, every year in January, February or March, the town puts on its festive clothes! It is then a destination not to be missed in Paraguay. The streets come alive and the parades follow one another every weekend. A hallucinating spectacle for the visitors, who are numerous to come to see the biggest carnival of Paraguay.
But Encarnación also shows its full potential in the summer. The banks of the river are then made suitable for swimming and a crazy atmosphere pervades the town after dark. This festive and summery atmosphere is ideal for meeting Paraguayans! In short, it is a sparkling destination that you should not miss during your stay.
Read also: The 15 most beautiful carnivals to be done in the world
6. La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná
Trinidad de Paraná is the second Jesuit relic to visit in Paraguay. Like its neighbour, Jesus del Tavarangue, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both sites are among the least visited on the list! Take advantage of it! Especially since the ruins of the reducción de Trinidad are particularly well preserved. The low influx of visitors helps to make the place magical. There is a good chance that you will find yourself alone in front of the old stones. In the worst case, a few birds will accompany you. An ideal place to enjoy the atmosphere full of history... A history that was decisive in the destiny of Paraguay.
7. Gran Chaco
Tinged with mystery, the Gran Chaco is a wild territory of South America that occupies the western part of Paraguay. The eloquent meaning of its name, in Quechua "the hunting territory", makes even the most adventurous travelers dream. If you love nature and solitude, this is the place to go.
However, visiting the Gran Chaco is not a project that is prepared lightly. If you wish to embark on this adventure, it is advisable to hire a guide. This deserted territory experiences episodes of stifling heat that can reach 50 degrees Celsius! Not to mention the fact that you will find yourself a thousand miles from any inhabited land... The only creatures that will cross your path will come from the exceptional fauna that inhabits the area. Unfortunately, these birds, mammals and other reptiles are now threatened by the development of livestock farming on these lands.
8. The Itaipu Dam
The Itaipu Dam is the largest and most productive power plant in the world, located on the border with Brazil. This titanic structure is indeed no less than 7 kilometres long! It is here that 90% of the electricity that supplies Paraguay and 25% of the electricity that supplies Brazil is produced. But why go to see a dam? Simply because the view is breathtaking. Rising 65 stories, Itaipu dominates the landscape. It unfolds its gigantism with an aura of formidable power. If you wish to go there, you should know that there is a "special" visit that allows you to get inside the dam. And if you plan to stay there for the evening, a light show is given there from 8 pm.
9. Saltos del Monday
In a tropical setting, not far from Ciudad del Este, River Monday falls abruptly to a height of 45 metres. A triptych of bubbling waterfalls is formed. This spectacular sight will not fail to twist your guts. However, few visitors come to admire Los Saltos del Monday. Is it because of the low tourist influx in Paraguay? Or is it due to the presence of the famous Iguazú waterfalls nearby? Either way, it helps to reinforce its status as a hidden treasure. If you are staying in the country, ask a taxi to take you there to contemplate this incredible natural heritage.