Paraguay is the forgotten country in central South America. Backpackers travel to Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil, but in neighbouring Paraguay they are as rare as wild camels. On a trip to Paraguay, you experience national parks, river safaries and well-preserved ruins - all off the beaten track.
Paraguay is a destination for experienced travellers who prefer to enjoy smaller attractions in undisturbed environments, rather than standing in line to experience the wonders of the world. Here you will find no local tourist guides who are harassing you until you buy a savannah jeep tour. If you travel to Paraguay, you must be prepared to arrange every little trip, all on your own.
Travel to Paraguay - a different South America
Planning your own trip in Paraguay will in return give a very low budget, spending only 20-30 dollars per day, since Paraguay is one of South America only developing countries. As a result you experience great contrasts in living standards during your travel in Paraguay: In the capital, Asunción, BMW's are overtaking horse carriers in the main streets and charming buildings from the colonial times are laying side by side with shiny shopping centres.
You will not see many humid rain forests in Paraguay. Instead the country is dominated by plains green with great golf course potential. There are no mountains in Paraguay, and the highest point is less than 1000 meters above sea level.
The people of Paraguay captivate most travellers. The relaxed, friendly and curious population are never hesitant to reveal their views on the political developments, while you take turn sipping the bitter herbal tea from slender silver straws.
Charming chaos in Paraguay's capital city
The capital of Paraguay, Asuncion, is located right on the border with Argentina and link Paraguay to South America and the rest of the world. Asuncion is much more than the guide books suggest, and a good introduction to the rest of the dusty country. Most tourists find Asuncion charming without being able to point out why. The city is a chaotic mismatch of old and new, high-rise buildings and sheds, stressful shopping streets and green plains. One of the favourite attractions is the Museu del Barro. This museum exhibits everything from native handicrafts to cartoons and plastic gadgets.
Go on a river safari in Rio Paraguay
The Rio Paraguay runs through the whole country, diviting it into two parts; east and west. In the east there are grassy savannah, and the west is swampy. The river is a major route of transportation between Asuncion and the smaller towns along the River. Take a ferry from the north, and you will get close to both nature and locals. If you are travelling to Brazil, make a stopover for a few days to hang out with the locals in Concepcion and enjoy that everything here happens in slow motion. North of Concepcion the river trip turn into a stunning safari: Both parrots, river pigs and crocodiles show off on nature's own catwalk.
Ancient ruins and enchanting waterfalls
Although the well-preserved Jesuit ruins of Trinidad has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, very few tourists come to this almost forgotten site. You walk around among the well-preserved ruins, which are beautifully situated on top of a green hill. The Jesuit-order worked to gain Catholic world domination, and succeeded to take over the power of the whole of Paraguay until they were expelled at the end of the 1700’s.
In eastern Paraguay, remains the last piece of subtropical rainforest, which is preserved in a beautiful national park. This is Paraguay's most visited national park, which does not mean that it is crowded or well equipped with tourist facilities. It is a ‘must see’ on your trip to Paraguay. There are lovely walks in the park, which lies in a steep, rocky landscape with enchanting waterfalls that fizzes out between cracks in rocks. It is a refreshing luxury to bath in the park's many pools, while beautiful butterflies flap around you.