Paraguay:South America’s Off-The-Beaten-Path Old Gringo Charm

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Paraguay:South America’s Off-The-Beaten-Path Old Gringo Charm:table of contents

Paraguay is a Spanish-speaking country located in the Latin American region. Paraguay is primarily known as the country of the river Paraná, yet it offers much more natural beauty. In Paraguay, history and beauty go hand in hand and together they make Paraguay an interesting sightseeing destination in the region. This article aims to introduce the best sightseeing attractions in Paraguay.

1. Represa Hidroelectrica Itaipu Binacional (Hernandarias)

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No sightseeing tour of Paraguay would be complete if the Represa Hidroelectrica, or a hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River. The dam is situated on the border of Brazil and Paraguay and i sone of the greatest ever built in the world. It can be easily visited while sightseeing in the city of Encarnation and on the Friendship Bridge which are located nearby. A free sightseeing tour of the dam can be taken from the visitors center while the tourist guides explain all about the dam and its history as well as its operation. The sightseeing tour enables the visitors to see a great view of both Paraguay and Brazilian countryside.

2. La Santisima Trinidad de Parana (Encarnacion)

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La Santisima Trinidad de Parana was once the main sacred monument of Paraguay and i tis one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site which is open for sightseeing at the same time. „Trinidad“, as it is called, is the site of the Jesuit reduction established here in the 17th century. During the sightseeing in Trinindad, one can explore the central plaza, workshops and resident houses as well as the central church and a school. For better understanding the importance of this sightseeing attraction, the tour of the local museum is likewise recommended. The site is easily accessible for all sightseeing visitors who venture into the nearby city of Encarnacion.

3. Saltos del Monday (Presidente Franco)

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When on a sightseeing quest for the natural beauty of Paraguay, Saltos del Monday is a place that should not be missed. Saltos del Monday is a waterfall with the height of 80 meters, located just outside the Ciudad del Este int he eastern part of Paraguay. The proximity of the Iguacu Falls overshadows the Saltos del Monday, yet it is worth to stop by to enjoy the waterfall when on a sightseeing tour in Paraguay. The waterfall created by the Monday River which empties into the powerful Paraná provides for an unforgettable spectacle here. Hiking and sightseeing in the area can be a great several day long getaway when on a tour of Paraguay.

4. Catedral Virgen de Caacupé (Caacupé)

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Among the most popular of sightseeing monuments in Paraguay is the catholic Cathedral Virgen de Caacupé. Caacupé is a small town about fifty kilometers to the east of the capital of Paraguay. The cathedral of Caacupé was bulit in the 18th century in a form of an impressive basilica which is accessible to sightseeing crowds. Besides sightseeing, the basilica serves as the site of pilgrimages which the worshipers of the Virgin také each year in December. There is not other sightseeing attraction as spiritually charged as the basilica in Caacupé in Paraguay.

5. Ponte da Amizade (Ciudad del Este)

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When visiting Paraguay, there is a possibility to add a special touch to the sightseeing by crossing from Paraguay to Brazil by the Ponte da Amizade or the Friendship Bridge. This bridge which was bulit in the 1960s connects the Paraguay city Cuidad del Este with Brazilian Foz do Iguacu near the Iguacu waterfalls. The bridge is over half a kilometer long and it is supported by a large arch. I tis possible to cross the bridge both on foot and with a vehicle. A visit to Ponte da Amistad helps put the sightseeing in Paraguay and its geography into a new perspective.

6. Palacio de López (Asuncion)

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When sightseeing in Asuncion, Palacio de Gobierno, or Palacio de López is one of the key sightseeing monuments of the capital which should be definitely visited. The palace dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and serves today as both the seat of the president of Paraguay and the seat of the national government. however, the Palacio is open to sightseeing as well. Asuncion’s prime sightseeing monument, the Palacio was bulit in French style and i tis flanked with a garden. A sightseeing tour with a guide is a good idea for those who want to get the best out of this architectural gem of Paraguay.

7. Playa San Jose (Encarnación)

Sightseeing around Paraguay may become tiring, and therefore San Jose Beach is the best place to relax afterwards. This beach is considered the most beautiful beach of Paraguay. Located in the banks of the Parana river, this beach can be easily reached from the city of Encarnacion in the Itapua region by public or private transport. It is also possible to reach it during some of the sightseeing tours in the area. San José Beach is famous for its long boardwalks, soft sands and lively atmosphere. If staying over night, sunset walks and sightseeing can be very rewarding on the beach.

8. Museo del Barro (Asunción)

When on sightseeing tour in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, one should not miss the Museo del Barro, located just outside Asuncion. Museo del Barro came to being in 1979 as a private painting, pottery and artefacts collection. Sightseeing in Museo del Barro includes visits of three different sections, one of them being the collection of traditional ceramics of pre-Columbian times. This section is the most interesting one and should not be missed while sightseeing here. Sightseeing tours of the complex with a knowledgeable local guide is possible and recommended for better comprehension of the historical development of Paraguay.

9. Ruinas jesuíticas de Jesús de Tavarangue

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Sightseeing in Paraguay would not be complete without seeing the ruins in Ravarangue. This archeological site dates back to the 18th century when a Jesuit Reduction was founded here. Sightseeing tours of ruins include the Church of Saint Ignatius which resembles the one bulit in Italy. The hightlight of this sightseeing attraction is the beautiful architecture of ruins which ones used to bet he center of monastic life in Paraguay. No where else in Latin America can one find better preserved ruins of Jesuis monasteries. The site has been been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and open to tourism sightseeing in the 1990s.

10. Casa de la Independencia (Asuncion)

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While sightseeing in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, Casa de la Independencia is an absolute highlight that should not be bypassed. Casa de la Independencia was constructed in the 18th century as part and it is today a symbol of modern Paraguay. This is where the independence of Paraguay was first pronounced in 1811. Paraguay was the first country on the Latin American continent that broke free from the Spanish rule. The Casa is open to sightseeing as a museum of Paraguay. Sightseeing tourists will likewise see the original furniture and weapons of the colonial period as well as numerous documents concerning the history of Paraguay.

◎ Closing

The best sightseeing points of Paraguay have both the historic and natural value and a good sightseeing tour should include some of both. While the historic sites remind the visitors of the ecclesiastical and monastic history of Paraguay, the beaches and waterfalls on the Parana river show the natural beauty of this Latin American country whose visit should be on the bucket list of any serious world traveler.

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