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Cerro Negro, Bild: Jan Schneckenhaus / shutterstock

Not typical and yet beautiful: Holidays in Paraguay

Paraguay is certainly not one of the classic holiday destinations. However, only if holidays only mean wind, water and waves. But you will definitely get all the other beauties on a holiday in Paraguay. The South American country is an underrated destination with many beautiful places and sights that we have summarized in this article.

The Iguazú Falls

Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls, Image: sharptoyou / shutterstock

The fact that Paraguay is not overrun by tourists has some advantages. For example, there are still many untouched sections of nature that can be admired. The almost 40 nature reserves alone speak for themselves. Among the most popular sights are the Iguazú Falls. They are located in the triangle between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Right next to the breathtaking natural spectacle is the hydroelectric power plant, which should be worth a visit, especially for those interested in technology.

Jesuit reductions in Paraguay

Jesuit Reductions Paraguay
Jesuit Reductions, Image: RPBaiao / shutterstock

On the Paraná River, the Jesuits created settlements from 1610 onwards, the so-called Jesuit Reductions. In the south of the country, these can be visited by tourists. In the meantime, the ruins of the settlement have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you want to go to the city, you should pay Asunción a visit. The city centre dates back to the 19th century. It was completely demolished by the dictator Francia and then rebuilt. The architects paid attention to a typical checkerboard pattern. Many churches and museums await visitors here. The city is known worldwide as probably the greenest capital of all.

Cordillera-Caacupe

If you drive about 50 kilometers east from the capital, you will come across Caacupé, the capital of the Cordillera. Here visitors encounter one of the few mountainous landscapes in the area. The place is one of the most famous and is the scene of the Madonna de los Milagros festival every December. In addition, locals and people from neighboring countries come every year. In the heart of the city is also the largest church in the country, which was canonized by the Pope in 1988. The pilgrimage church Basilica San Francisco shines in a neo-romantic style and should definitely be visited. The huge dome of the church in particular invites you to take a good photo.

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The Franciscan Monastery in Atyrá

Paraguay also has a lot of insider tips in store. One of them is located near Atyrá. The Franciscan Monastery is a new building in the classical style with strong elements from South America. Many handicraft subtleties and a cheerful architectural style land here to admire. The monastery has made it its goal to enable encounters and not to seal itself off completely. Therefore, events often take place in the monastery. Even guest rooms are offered there. For an overnight stay or a day trip, the holy Kloister is definitely a good choice.

Ciudad del Este

Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
Ciudad del Este, Image: Tupungato / shutterstock

As the name suggests, Ciudad del Este is located in the east of the country. More precisely, in the border triangle together with Argentina and Brazil. Even though Asunición is actually the economic main point of the country, Ciudad del Este generates by far the most sales. Although not always completely legal, the proximity to neighboring countries allows many shops. The town is connected to Brazil via the so-called “Bridge of Friendship”. A river forms the border here. In the middle of the river lies an island that has not yet been awarded to either country. Especially for us Western Europeans, the enormous chaos on the streets there is exciting and imposing. The place is popular as a starting point for visits to the ITAIPU power plant.

Other exciting places in Paraguay

If you are in the country, you should visit the Plaza Juan de Salazar. The city’s cathedral dates back to 1845. Directly in front of the building is an exciting monument to the first governor of Paraguay. There is also an archiepiscopal museum in the area. Here you can find paintings. relics and historically valuable objects of sacred art. In the city center is the seat of Congress – the Palacio Legislativo. In addition, you will find the Government Palace, which is modeled on the Louvre in Paris. In the Jardin Botanvio, animal and nature lovers in particular feel at home – there the entire biodiversity of Paraguayan flora and fauna can be observed and admired. In the centre of the country, on the other hand, tourists appreciate the shopping streets of Palma, Olivia and Estrella.

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You should also definitely pay a visit to the gigantic Mercado Cuatro market. Here you can find food of all kinds in fresh quality at enormously low prices. Delicious fruits, vegetables and various types of meat are available for purchase. It is precisely thanks to the cattle market in the state that there is a particularly large supply of beef. If you can’t make it home to the hotel or caravan, you can also taste the delicious dishes from local suppliers directly on site. The regional food can hardly be tasted more authentically.

San Bernardino

The city was built by German settlers as early as 1881. It is located on the beautiful Ypacarai Lake and is one of the most important tourist centers for the local population. In addition, this place with around 5000 inhabitants is the place of death of the anti-Semitic agitator Bernhard Förster, who emigrated to Paraguay in 1886. The city is about 40 kilometers away from Asunción.