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Quick travel guide: Paraguay
Asunción, Ciudad Del Este, Jesuit ruins, Encarnación, Chaco and more

© David Whitley

Facts for visitors about Guarani, Jose Chilavert, independence, national parks, World Heritage-listed sites, waterfalls and more in this South American country.

Location: Paraguay is entirely landlocked, and sandwiched between its bigger, more visited neighbours. It borders Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia.

Capital city: The capital of Paraguay is Asunción, which despite its 1.2m residents, doesn’t seem all that city-like at all. It’s like making a sleepy country town the base of power.

Other major cities: Other cities that can be visited in Paraguay include Ciudad Del Este, which is a major trading centre on the border with Brazil and Argentina, and Encarnación, which acts as a gateway to spectacular Jesuit ruins.

Population: Around six million people call Paraguay home.

Languages spoken: Whilst Spanish is the official language, as it is in most of South America, the first language of many citizens is the indigenous Guarani tongue. If you want to try learning a bit, then many accommodations can either provide tuition or at least point you in the right direction. You will get by just fine with Spanish though.

What we know it for: Paraguay is perhaps the least explored of South America’s countries, and as such very few people know much about it. For a quick history lesson, Asunción was founded in 1537 after a group fled from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Guarani people accepted the newcomers, and therefore there wasn’t nearly as much conflict here as there was in the rest of South America. The country’s independence from Spain in 1811 was also painless, but since then Paraguay has been in the hands of a succession of ‘interesting’ leaders. Aside from a murky black market, on an international scale, it is Paraguay’s footballers that immediately spring to mind. Their recent World Cup record is excellent for such a small playing base, and maverick goalkeeper Jose Chilavert became a global favourite for his rather eccentric antics.

Why you should go: Because it isn’t really on the traditional South American route, Paraguay has a genuine, untouched feel to it. This is particularly true of the Chaco, the wild region in the west of the country. With magical waterfalls, gorgeous National Parks and idyllic river cruising, the rest of the country is a nature-lover’s paradise.

Great places to visit: In Trinidad, near Encarnación, you’ll find the most intact of Paraguay’s old Jesuit ruins. This old mission is highly atmospheric, and UNESCO have bestowed World Heritage status upon it.

Asunción Hotels


View the full list of Asuncion, Paraguay Hotels
Chaco Hotel, Asuncion  ****
This is a good Hotel, with good services suitable for all type of clients. Most of the Rooms are medium to large in size in good condition and so are the bathrooms.  The Restaurant serves international and local cuisine.
Excelsior Hotel, Asuncion  *****
This is a very good property not just for its category and location but for the services that the Hotel can offers. This is a very tall rise building with an European style. Most of the Rooms are medium to large in size decorated with dark colour furniture.The rooms are well equipped with telephone line with DDI, Internet connection, Cable TV and mobile phone service.  The Restaurant is located in the ground floor and serves Italian, international and local cuisine.
Granados Park Hotel, Asuncion  *****
This is arguably one of the best hotels in Asuncion, it has all the services and facilities expected of a real Deluxe property. This is a quite tall rise building with an European style.  All the Rooms are large in size and modern in decor. They have carpeted flooring throughout and decorated in dark wood furnishings. Colour schemes vary but are always light and bright. The Restaurant is very well known throughout Asuncion for its high quality cuisine and international delicacies.
Yacht And Golf Club, Asuncion  *****
The hotel is superbly located on the river bank south of Asuncion, only 14 kilometres from the city center and 25 kilometres from the international airport "Silvio Pettirossi". Boasting a private beach 200 meters long, it is also surrounded by 200 Hectares of exhuberant vegetation, within a Country Club called Parques del Yacht y Golf, which features some of the finest residences in the area as an ideal frame to a top-class resort.  Additional amenities include 14 tennis courts, an 18-Hole golf course with 9 Holes placed along the river bank and the remaining 9 surrounded by fine residences and beautiful gardens, as well as soccer and rugby pitches and facilities for squash, basketball, hockey and volleyball.
View the full list of Asuncion, Paraguay Hotels
Papillon Hotel, Bella Vista  ***
This is a good Hotel suitable for all kind of travellers.  Most of the rooms are small in good condition and so are the bathrooms.  The Restaurant serves typical local dishes.
Encarnacion Resort, Encarnacion  ***
This is a good Hotel with basic facilities suitable for budget travellers. Most of the Rooms are medium in size in good condition and so are the bathrooms.  The Hotel has a restaurant, lounge bar and nightclub.