Long overlooked by tourists, low prices and an array of cultural attractions that rival any of it’s more affluent neighbors has begun to place Paraguay on many travelers’ short list of places to go in South America. Here are ten of Paraguay’s top attractions.
Panteon National de Heroes
The National Hall of Heroes, this site not only serves to commemorate those who have contributed significantly to the history of Paraguay, but is also serves as a demonstration site for new milestones reached by the Paraguayan people. Built in the home where Paraguayan independence was first announced in Asuncion, it is simply a must see.
Combining tourism with nature conservation, the Reserva should be on everyone’s list of places to see in Paraguay. Natural caves, abundant flora, pure waterfalls, and hundreds of species of native birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians make this an eco-tourist’s dream.
Palacio de Lopez
Also called Palacio de Gobierno, this Colonial palace is the seat of government in Paraguay. Located in Asuncion, it is one of the finest examples of architecture in the New World.
Consisting of eight houses in front of the governmental palace in Asuncion, Rivera Square affords tourists the opportunity to view Colonial and neo-Classical architecture at its finest. Additionally, the area serves as the cultural center of Asuncion.
The Paraguayan Train Station
Paraguay’s railway system was the first of its kind in South America, and today tourists can get a glimpse of Paraguayan history riding the rails on a steam engine that is over a hundred years old. Starting in Asuncion, you will be treated to gorgeous views of the local landscape, historical points of interest, and several of the area’s smaller towns.
The Gran Chaco
This largely unpopulated area consists mostly of a great nature preserve, covering over 60% of Paraguay’s land mass. The area is the world’s largest dry forest, and the world’s second largest forest of any kind (after the Amazon Rain Forest) and is home to countless species of floral and fauna.
Since the sixteenth century, Jesuit missionaries have worked to convert the indigenous peoples of Paraguay and the surrounding countries. Many of the original churches and missions, built by local Guarani people, still stand today.
The Botanical Garden and Zoo of Paraguay is located in Asuncion, and has been displaying South American flora and fauna for over 100 years. Over 70 species of animals are on exhibit, along with hundreds of native plant species.
Dissecting the country, the Paraguay River makes an excellent destination in and of itself. In addition to excellent fishing, there are guided boat tours available extending into the Chaco and the Amazon Basin.
Nesrta Senora de la Asuncion Santander Catedral
Originally built during Spanish Colonial times, much of the original building was destroyed by fire in 1914, thus providing visitors the opportunity to see Colonial architecture alongside neo-Classical.