Country guides South & Central America
Things to do in Paraguay
This vibrant country in the centre of South America is relatively unfrequented by tourists and therefore doesn't have the same extensive list of traditional sightseeing attractions as that of some of its well-known neighbours.
Although this can make it more difficult to know where to go and what to do, the non-commercialised and unscripted nature of travel in Paraguay is a huge part of the country's appeal for travellers, as the culture feels authentic and the tourist sites aren't overcrowded.
Paraguay is a great place to visit for those who enjoy marvelling at waterfalls and exploring lush rainforests. The beautiful Saltos del Monday waterfall is the centrepiece of the Municipal Park Monday, which is a great outdoor playground for tourists wanting to experience the natural splendour of Paraguay.
There are camping facilities, picnic sites, and hiking trails, while tour operators offer fun adventure activities such as climbing and rappelling alongside the dramatic falls. The park is easily accessible from the city of Ciudad del Este, which is also the gateway to the magnificent Iguazu Falls shared by Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Other wonderful wilderness areas in Paraguay include the eight Itaipu Ecological Reserves, which protect swathes of Paraguay's remaining rainforest, as well as the vast Cerro Cora National Park and Ybycui National Park, conveniently located near Asuncion.
Although the historic centre of Asuncion offers some worthy landmarks, museums and monuments, the most highly regarded cultural attraction of Paraguay is surely the collection of 17th-century Jesuit missions near the city of Encarnacion. These UNESCO-listed wonders are a treat to explore, the best preserved of which is Trinidad de Parana. La Santisima and Jesus de Tavarangue are definitely also worth a visit, though.
Ciudad del Este
Located on the border with Brazil, Ciudad del Este is the second largest city in Paraguay and is considered the top shopping destination in the country. The border crossing gets a …
Ciudad del Este
Located on the border with Brazil, Ciudad del Este is the second largest city in Paraguay and is considered the top shopping destination in the country. The border crossing gets a steady stream of traffic from neighbouring countries for this reason, with visitors taking advantage of the low taxes. The city may not be particularly attractive to tourists otherwise, though there are some sightseeing options and a variety of good restaurants to enjoy. Ciudad del Este is also conveniently situated for tourists heading to Iguazu Falls or the Salsto del Monday waterwall.
The market town of Encarnacion lies 200 miles (374km) from Asuncion and is Paraguay's most attractive city. Known as the Pearl of the South, the city's main attractions are the rui…
The market town of Encarnacion lies 200 miles (374km) from Asuncion and is Paraguay's most attractive city. Known as the Pearl of the South, the city's main attractions are the ruins of the Jesuit Missions of La Santisima, Trinidad de Parana and Jesus de Tavarangue, listed jointly as a UNESCO World Heritage site and depicted in the famous 1986 film, The Mission. The city also boasts a pleasant artificial beach along the river, which is a popular place for sunning, swimming, and watersports such as boating, jet skiing and wakeboarding. Paraguay's most famous carnival celebrations take place here in January and February, making this a fun time to visit the city and join in the revelry.
Founded as a Mennonite colony in 1930, Filadelfia is a pocket of German culture in Paraguay. This small, neat farming community resembles a German suburb more than it does a Paragu…
Founded as a Mennonite colony in 1930, Filadelfia is a pocket of German culture in Paraguay. This small, neat farming community resembles a German suburb more than it does a Paraguayan city, and life largely revolves around its huge dairy cooperative. Visitors can learn about the colony's history at the Jakob Unger Museum, which offers tours in German and Spanish; and the Haushaltsmuseum, which has a particularly interesting exhibit on the Chaco War. Filadelfia also acts as a sort of gateway to the Chaco region, as it is the last stop for groceries and other essentials before heading into the wild.