Paraguay is a landlocked country in South America that is often overlooked by tourists. However, this small country has much to offer in terms of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and historical significance. In this article, we will explore five hidden gems that are worth a visit in Paraguay.
Jesuit Missions Of La Santisima Trinidad De Parana And Jesus De Tavarangue
The Jesuit Missions of La Santisima Trinidad de Parana and Jesus de Tavarangue are two UNESCO World Heritage sites located in the eastern region of Paraguay. These missions were established by the Jesuits in the 17th and 18th centuries as part of their efforts to spread Christianity among the indigenous peoples of South America.
The missions are notable for their unique fusion of European and Guarani architectural styles, as well as their impressive stone carvings and frescoes. Visitors can explore the ruins of the missions and learn about the history of the Jesuits and the Guarani people who lived there.
In addition to the historical significance of the missions, the surrounding area is also home to a wealth of natural beauty, including forests, rivers, and waterfalls. Visitors can take guided tours of the missions and enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities in the surrounding area.
Cerro Cora National Park
Cerro Cora National Park is a protected area located in the north-eastern region of Paraguay. The park is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including jaguars, pumas, and a variety of bird species.
The park is also notable for its historical significance, as it was the site of the final battle of the Paraguayan War in 1870. Visitors can explore the battlefield and learn about the history of the war, as well as enjoy hiking and camping in the park’s scenic wilderness.
Ybycui National Park
Ybycui National Park is another protected area located in the central region of Paraguay. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including tapirs, armadillos, and monkeys, as well as a diverse range of plant species.
Visitors to Ybycui National Park can enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities, as well as exploring the park’s many waterfalls, including the impressive Saltos del Monday. The park is also home to a number of indigenous Guarani communities, providing visitors with an opportunity to learn about traditional indigenous culture and customs.
The Itaipu Dam is a hydroelectric power plant located on the Paraná River on the border between Paraguay and Brazil. The dam is one of the largest in the world, producing over 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, and it is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
The construction of the Itaipu Dam began in the 1970s and was completed in 1984, with the help of both Paraguayan and Brazilian engineers and workers. The dam is 7,919 meters long and 196 meters high, making it one of the largest dams in the world.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Itaipu Dam is the binational nature of the project. The dam is jointly owned by Paraguay and Brazil, with each country receiving 50% of the electricity produced. The project has been a significant source of economic and social development for both countries, and it has strengthened their relationship over the years.
Visitors to the Itaipu Dam can take guided tours of the facility and learn about the engineering and construction of the dam, as well as its environmental impact on the surrounding area. The tour includes a visit to the observation deck, which offers stunning views of the dam and the surrounding landscape. There is also a multimedia exhibition that showcases the history and importance of the project.
In addition to its impressive size and engineering feats, the Itaipu Dam is also home to a variety of wildlife, including capybaras, caimans, and a variety of bird species. The dam has also been recognized for its commitment to sustainable development, with a number of environmental and social programs aimed at preserving the local ecosystem and improving the quality of life of local communities.
Encarnacion is a charming city located in the south-eastern region of Paraguay, on the banks of the Parana River. The city is known for its colonial architecture, as well as its lively cultural scene and friendly locals.
Visitors to Encarnacion can explore the city’s many museums, including the Museo de la Estacion, which is housed in a restored railway station, and the Museo Municipal Ignacio A. Pane, which showcases the art and culture of the region. The city is also home to a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Carnaval de Encarnacion, one of the largest carnivals in South America, which takes place in February.
Encarnacion is also a great base for exploring the nearby Jesuit Missions and natural attractions, such as the San Cosme y Damian waterfall and the Lake Ypacarai. Visitors can also enjoy strolling along the city’s riverfront promenade, which offers stunning views of the Parana River and the neighboring city of Posadas, Argentina.
Overall, Paraguay may be a lesser-known destination, but it offers a wealth of hidden gems for visitors to discover. From UNESCO World Heritage sites to national parks and charming cities, there is something for every type of traveler. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or simply relaxing and enjoying the laid-back Paraguayan lifestyle, this small country in the heart of South America is well worth a visit.
Paraguay may not be on the top of many travelers’ lists, but it offers a rich and diverse array of hidden gems waiting to be explored. From the Jesuit Missions of La Santisima Trinidad de Parana and Jesus de Tavarangue to the natural beauty of Cerro Cora National Park and Ybycui National Park, visitors can immerse themselves in Paraguay’s unique history and stunning landscapes. The Itaipu Dam and the charming city of Encarnacion also offer fascinating insights into modern Paraguayan culture and engineering achievements. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or cultural enthusiast, Paraguay has something for everyone.