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PARAGUAY:

 

  
 
Asuncion, Paraguay:  Skyline

 

Paraguay is a landlocked nation, bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, by Brazil to the east and northeast and Bolivia to the northwest.  It is an emerging destination with lots of tourism potential for adventure travelers.

 

It is a poor country, the second poorest in South America.

 

DOCUMENTATION: Valid, in-force Passport and Visa (costs $160.00).  Visa can be purchased in advance or at the Asuncion Airport.

 

LANGUAGE: Spanish

 

CURRENCY: guarani slashed G

 

PINCHING PENNIES: TO TIP OR NOT TO TIP:

Tipping is not common practice and is not expected.  Service fee is normally added to final billing. 

 

 

 

MAJOR EVENTS AND FESTIVALS IN PARGUAY: 

February 3: Dia de San Blas

February: Carnival

March 1: Cerro Cora

June: Festival de San Juan

June 12: Paz de Chaco

September 29: Victoria de Boqueron

 

MAJOR HOLIDAYS IN PARGUAY:

January 1: New Years Day

March 1: Heroes Day

April 18: Good Friday

April 20: Easter Sunday

April 21: Easter Monday

May 1: Labour Day

May 15: Independence Day

June 12: Chaco Armistice Day

August 15: Founding of Asuncion

December 8: Immaculate Conception

 

  

 

December 25: Christmas Day

 

THE BEST TIME TO VACATION IN PARGUAY:

Prime tourist season is July and August.  Plan ahead: rooms are at a premium and fully booked during this period.  Be forewarned that many rooms are reserved for tour groups. 

 

 

 

ASUNCION:

 

 
Paraguayan Silver Trumpet Tree  

 

Asuncion is the capital city of two million residents and a main point of entry.  One-third of the nation’s population resides in Asuncion. 

 

TIME ON YOUR HANDS IN ASUNCION: 

The city is located on the Bay of Asuncion.  It offers many parks and plazas. 

 

The Centro Cultural Manzana is filled with restored homes dating back to the 1700’s. 

 

Asuncion is compact and very walkable.  Taxis are relatively inexpensive.  Insist on the driver using the meter or agreeing upfront to a pre-arranged fare.  Surcharges of 30% are added to taxi fares after 10:00 p.m. 

 

SAVVY TRAVEL TIP: Businesses close Saturday evening and remain closed all day Sunday.  Try to avoid visiting during these two days. 

 

Other city highlights include: 

The Museo del Barrio, with displays of art and culture, both past and present. 

The Cathedra l: usually closed for mid-day siesta. 

Parque Carlos Antonio Lopez is located high above the city - the views of Asuncion below are spectacular. 

House of Independence. 

Natural History Museum. 

 

 

 

Local residents are passionate over their football.  Attend a game.  Asuncion has two clubs, the Olympia and Cerro Porteno.  Best attend with a local, as the crowd can become rambunctious. 

 

Nearby is the Eco Reserva Mbatovi - a zip line through the forests.  Guided walks are provided. 

 

TASTY DINING IN ASCUNION:

Paraguay has a reputation for excellent high quality beef-steaks, hamburger, and the pasta is also popular. 

 

Chipa, a sticky bread substance, is an inexpensive mid-day snack. 

 

  

 

The extremely popular Lido Bar is legendary.  Enjoy fish stew.  The exterior is pure art deco. 

 

Interestingly, there are several Chinese restaurants.  This may be attributable to the fact that Paraguay is the only South American nation to recognize Tawain diplomatically. 

 

WINDOW SHOPPING IN ASUNCION: 

Calle Palma is a popular retail street.

 

Plaza de la Democracia merchant stalls: search for flanduti lace, leather goods, native jewelry, aopol sports shirts, wool goods, and silver yerba cups. 

 

Plaza de los Heroes has many artisan shops. 

 

A NIGHT ON THE TOWN IN ASUNCION: 

 

  

 

For a festive evening, dine at a parrilladas - an open-air grill restaurant.  Paraguayans enjoy polcas and guaranias music - slow and romantic rhythms. 

 

 

 

CERRO CORA NATIONAL PARK:

 

  

 

TIME ON YOUR HANDS AT CERRO CORA NATIONAL PARK:

Explore the caves with their pre-Colombian petroglyphs and rare birds, monkeys, and armadillos. 

 

 

 

CIUDAD del ESTE:

 

  
 
People do different things on the road to the
International Friendship Bridge between
Paraguay and Brazil

 

Cuidad del Este, the nation’s commercial hub, is popular with South Americans for shopping.

 

TIME ON YOUR HANDS IN CIUDAD del ESTE:

Be sure to see Monday Waterfalls. 


View of Cuidad Del Este, Paraguay

 

Nearby are Brazil’s Iguazu Falls (only a 15 - 30-minute drive away) and Itaipu Dam.

 

ITAIPU DAM: Located on the Parana River on the border between Brazil and Paraguay, a joint undertaking by both nations:

 

 

 

The Itaipu Dam is the world’s largest operational hydroelectric power plant.  Construction took 16 years to complete.  It supplies 93% of Paraguay’s and 20% of Brazil’s power needs.  The dam is 65 stories high!  The dam is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world. 

 

 

 

PATAGONIA:

 

  

 

BEST TIME TO VACATION IN PATAGONIA:

The best time to visit Patagonia is during July, August, and September.

 

CRUISING THE PATAGONIAN FJORDS: 

Bring out your blankets - it will be freezing cold!  You’ll transit the Beagle Channel observing the spectacular glaciers and melting cascades of ice.  The voyage continues through vast wilderness accessible only by water.  Through narrow lagoons, inlets, and past tiny forested islands.  The snow capped Andes peaks are mesmerizing. 

 

 

 

Most cruises include a catamaran trip to remote Laguna San Rafael and its icebergs before reaching the goal: the enormous San Valentine Glacier.  The receding glacier is an UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.  It is predicted that most of these glaciers will have melted by 2030. 

 

Agriculture in Paraguay:  Dirt road, cornfield, forest

 

 

SAN CARLOS de BARILOCHE:

 

  

 

San Carlos de Bariloche is “South America’s only Aspen sister city.”  It makes for an excellent winter sports resort area.  It is only 12 miles from Cerro Catedral, another winter sports center.    

 


Encarnacion and Jesuit ruins in Paraguay