One of the poorest countries in South America, Paraguay is a landlocked country sharing common borders with Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia. The capital of Paraguay is Asunción. The country has a population of an estimated 5.7 million people. Ninety five percent of the populations are Mestizos that is, people with Spanish and Native American descents. The Climate of Paraguay is subtropical. In the summer, the country is heated by the warm northeast wind while during the winter, cold winds from south sweep over the country.
The country is divided into two contrasting regions by the Paraguay River:-
Paraguay Oriental or Paraguay Proper
This region lies east of the Paraguay River and comprises of a plateau, rolling hills and a low plain.
The Paraguay Occidental or the Gran Chaco
The Gran Chaco is a flat plain, which extend into Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina. The terrain here comprises mainly of grass plains, scrubs forest and swampy lands.
Situated on both banks of the Paraguay River, The Republic of Paraguay is centrally located in South America and the natives fondly refer to it as "Corazon de America" which means 'Heart of America'. Few countries offer as much beauty and wildlife in such a small area as Paraguay. Its raw wilderness harbors undiscovered jungles, lush rainforests, numerous nature reserves, and many indigenous animals like jaguars and alligators. Eco-tourists will find sublime forests and protected habitats like Mbaracayu and Nacunday that are home to nearly 1,000 different species of birds, animals, and trees. The celestial waterfalls of Ciudad del Este have been the site of many famous photographs, especially around Iguazu Falls and Monday Falls.
Asuncion, officially named Nuestra Senora Santa Maria de la Asuncion, is the capital and largest city in Paraguay. Lying on the banks of the Bay of Asuncion, this bustling city pulses with its Mestizo heritage amid fabulous landscapes. Up above the city, the Parque Carlos Antonio Lopez contains tranquil Botanical Gardens that offer the best views of city.
Around Asuncion, you will see historically diverse architecture intermixed with modern art houses, museums, and dynamic plazas. For a taste of the 19th century, visit the Godoi Museum and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. At The Metropolitan Cathedral and The Church of La Encarnacion, you can get in touch with the country's deep spiritualism. The National Pantheon of the Heroes is the final resting place to many of the country's fabled heroes. Visit the Casa de la Independencia and Manzana de la Rivera to see a shining examples of Old Colonial architecture that have been restored and serve as monuments to the past. Calle Palma is the heart of downtown where you can find local markets selling precious age-old goods like Nanduti lace crafts and 'ao po'i' embroidery crafts, cafes pouring cups of incredible regional coffees, and restaurants serving up native specialties.
Paraguay's cuisine is compelled by its intense Mestizo influences. Many dishes are rich with favorite local ingredients like yellow cornmeal, mandioca, bell peppers, onions, fresh corn, and handmade cheeses. Be sure to sample soo-yosopy, chipa bread, palmitos, sopa paraguaya, surubí and drink some mosto, mate, and terere.
The climate of Paraguay makes it easy for travelers to visit year round. Summer has a tendency to be hot, but is offset by tropical humidity and proximity to thousands of shade trees. Winter is mild, but never cold.
The official languages of Paraguay are Spanish and Guarani. English is frequently spoken by service providers and tour guides. Getting around is not difficult as there are numerous buses, public transport, and cheap taxis to take you wherever you like. Paraguayans are extremely friendly to visitors and love to share their heritage and culture. For a fabulous trip off the beaten path, Paraguay is a secret South American hideaway waiting to be discovered and experienced.