Paraguay's Attractions

by Chuck Robert

Paraguay is a landlocked country located within South America, among Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina, an area with beautiful natural surroundings and the tropical climate. Most of the attractions are near the Paraguay River. The eastern side of the Paraguay River has green and rolling hills. It also has many valleys and dense forests. The western side is vast and unpopulated, with semi-arid regions and many forest preserves.

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Parks and Nature

The Teniente Agripino National Park has a diverse and dry landscape, since its located in the Chaco, a dry series of plains that stretch across Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. The Parque Nacional Ybycui -- located in southwest Paraguay -- has waterfalls and is one of the country's last rainforest preserves, with very dense vegetation. Iguazu Falls is four times the width of Niagara Falls and has a flow rate of 450,000 cubic feet per second. The falls are also located in a significant location: the border between Brazil and Argentina.

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Gardens has a broad range of birds and is home to the Brown Capuchin monkeys. It is located in Asuncion, which is near the Rio Paraguay. Several tours take visitors through these gardens. The botanical garden is located next to a zoo. There are also three museums: the Museum of Natural History, the Indigenista Museum and the Historic Museum. The botanical garden also serves as a learning center and has a golf course.

Architecture

Paraguay has many 16th century buildings mixed in with modern ones. The National Pantheon of Heroes was once a place of worship in 1863. It later became a national museum in 1936. The building has the Spanish Gothic style and is located in Asuncion. The Trinidad ruins are from the 1500s, when Jesuit missionaries from Spain built several self-sustaining towns. The Trinidad ruins are the best preserved in Paraguay. Much of the original church remains.

Our Lady of Miracles

Thousands of travelers visit Caacupe, a region east of Asuncion, during festivals. It is home of Our Lady of Miracles, a statue created to celebrate the town's survival during a large flood. The town has an enormous basilica in the center. The town is quiet the rest of the year.

Culture

The country has much folk art. Paraguay artistic and literary culture is very rich and diverse, since it has 17 indigenous ethnic groups. Paraguay culture is highly influenced by the intermarriage between the south Guarani and the European Spanish settlers. Embroidery and lace-making are particularly important to Paraguayans.

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