Sunday, July 2, 2017

Travel in Paraguay Between Nature and Jesuit Missions

In our travelogues, you find itineraries, descriptions, holiday photos and adventures around the world. This page, however, is a very useful for those who want to travel to Paraguay. The country may not have many points of interest, but there are some worth visiting places. Located at the foot of the Andes, here you can really avoid the mass tourism.

If like me, a vacation in Paraguay is on your wish list, this blog provides the answers to the questions like what is the ideal travel itinerary to Paraguay? Where to find information for this holiday? Is Paraguay a safe country to visit? Is it expensive or cheap? But most of all, what to see in Paraguay?

I know, Paraguay is not the classic tourist destination. But for some reason, it is a bit of a black hole. I never read news about it in the newspapers or on the internet. The only things that seem to make the news are related to football. And to make matters worse, Paraguay seems off the beaten path of many travelers.

I have known several people who have been to Mongolia and Siberia but not a single person who has been to Paraguay. It has its picturesque villages and portrays all the archetypes of Latin America that are easily surreal and almost dreamlike.

This unknown land is bisected by the Tropic of Capricorn. Paraguay conceals important environmental, natural and historical treasures, in the context of strong contrasts. It is strewn with huge exotic wildlife sanctuaries and imposing dams on its great rivers. You can also see numerous carts alongside luxury cars, craft shops and shopping centers, and a UNESCO site that is among the least frequented in the world.

First of all, I start with some of my short advice. A trip to Paraguay is different from the normal tourist routes. On the border with Paraguay, however, there is a famous attraction in the world. The amazing Iguazu Falls are probably the most beautiful in the world. The falls are very close to the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este. It is a busy trading town and is good for some handy shopping.

Beyond the waterfalls, other attractions are less obvious. But you can experience the life of a, particularly isolated country. The most beautiful city is probably Encarnacion. The natural parks are rich in animal species and alternate green landscapes.

When to go, where to go, and how to move in Paraguay?

Gran Chaco is on the border with Bolivia. Ruta Trans-Chaco is still on the reserved list and is for those who have an extreme sense of adventure and physical strength. The road winds through inhospitable lands. The Paraná Plateau is covered with forests in eastern Paraguay. Located along the Parana River that flows into the Atlantic Ocean just over Buenos Aires, it is home to the second largest city of Ciudad del Este. It is just 20 km from the border with Argentina and Brazil.

The country's most developed area is centered around the capital Asuncion. Encarnación is the capital of Itapua, where are located the ruins of the Jesuit missions. Here several churches are real indigenous masterpieces of art. Encarnación presents testimonies to discrete and interesting tourist infrastructure of the colonial period. The city is also famous for its carnival.

Cerro Cora National Park on the border with Brazil is 454 km from Asuncion. It is the base to visit the town of Pedro Juan Caballero. Off the beaten path, the Ybycuí National Park covers a stretch of rainforest dotted with numerous dreamy waterfalls.

Paraguay has a huge semi-desert and dry savannah with flooded wetlands. It is an extension with the same environmental characteristics of the Brazilian Pantanal. It boasts of trees like cedar, mahogany, and palms and wildlife like armadillos, anteaters, capybaras, and Jaguars.

The Lonely Planet guide that talks about Paraguay that is a bit dispersive. It, however, has full of information about traveling around Paraguay. I would not trust too much of the suggested attractions, as it is unclear how they are selected. The Rough Guides, in my opinion, is quite useful. It clearly suggests different travel routes, in addition to the most beautiful destinations in Paraguay and advice on climate and costs. Wikitravel Paraguay is useful to read the information directly from travelers of the more mundane and real life.

What to drink in Paraguay?

The most common drink in Paraguay is a combination of yerba mate, a tea-like plant that contains a natural stimulant and water. It is available in different varieties like Argentina, Uruguay, and parts of Brazil. In Paraguay, it is prepared with cold water and called Tereré.

In this form, it can be drunk from a special cup made from a cow horn, or in a cylindrical wood cup, or possibly in any type of disposable cup. Cold or hot, the Tereré is drunk with a metal drinking straw called the Bombilla, which is used to mix the preparation while you drink. If you are offered the Tereré, do not say thank you, as that would mean in this case that you are rejecting it.

Another preparation consists in boiling the yerba on the fire with sugar. Then it is filtered and served hot. In this case, it is called Cocido, which simply means cooked. There is also a local drink called Guarana, which is refreshing and energizing. Hot tea, cold tea or coffee are usually not available in Paraguay.