Paraguay has yet to attract tourists in the same numbers as other areas of South America. While Paraguay travel might not be extremely popular with backpackers and the country doesn’t offer steamy beaches like other areas of the continent, it still has plenty to offer the curious traveler. A holiday in Paraguay is sure to be one of immersion. You won’t meet many North Americans or Europeans on your journey, though you might encounter people of over South American countries; what trips to Paraguay may lack in amenities, they make up for in atmosphere.
With the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world, Paraguay has surprising symbols of modernity. This power plant at the Itaipu Dam generates almost all the electricity for the entire country. This massive man-made dam is a sharp contrast to the exotic nature reserves that are another interesting aspect of Paraguay travel. Most trips begin in the capital city of Asuncion, where an international airport is located nearby. Silvio Pettirossi International Airport is located in Luque, a suburb of the capital. Flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Lima, Peru are common, and it is possible to connect from the United States or Europe through these cities.
A holiday in Paraguay can bring travelers to both regions of the country: the Parana region in eastern Paraguay or the Chaco region in the west. The geography and weather varies between the two regions; the west is known for being semi-arid while the east receives substantial rainfall. Subtropical forests with a range of interesting flora and fauna are one highlight for travelers, while the frontier and mystery of Chaco intrigues others. While local people are known to be friendly and willing to strike up a conversation, much of their lives takes place behind closed doors. After years of corruption and political strife, people from Paraguay seem to live their lives more privately than their neighbors in other South American countries.
If you’re planning a holiday in Paraguay, it is best to avoid the extreme summer heat. The winter months of May through September are much more enjoyable for a visit. The unit of currency is the Guarani, and many places won’t be able to provide change for you, so whenever possible, try to keep small bills handy. You won’t have any trouble exchanging money in the capital of Asuncion, but outside of the city, and on evenings and weekends, you may have more of a challenge. ATMs are available as an alternative. Travelers from the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand need visas for Paraguay travel. This can be arranged from home, or from a neighboring country of Paraguay. In most cases, visas can be requested and obtained in the same day, and they cost approximately 50 USD.
The colonial architecture and street cafés lures many adventurous travelers beyond visa restrictions and into the capital of Asuncion, where nightclubs and restaurants are plentiful. Shopping enthusiasts will flock to Encarnacion, while history buffs will pass it by for nearby ruins. If you take the time to get to know a less popular side of South America, such as Paraguay, you won’t be disappointed by what you find.