Are you looking for the best Paraguay tourist attractions?
Do you like the idea of visiting a different part of South America? Then a trip to Paraguay should be high up on your list of places to visit.
If you wish to come to this amazing nation, then you’ll get to experience a very different culture to other nearby nations.
Things to do in Paraguay
With so many things to do in Paraguay, in this article, I’d like to look at what makes Paraguay such a fun place to visit.
Is Paraguay Worth Visiting?
Of all the major countries along the South American backpacking route, Paraguay undeservedly gets the least attention.
This mysterious country is known for its virgin, unexplored jungle such as the Ybycuí National Park, as well as many Jesuit ruins dotted around.
This is without mentioning that Paraguay has its own section of the imposing Iguazu Falls, which can be explored along with a trip to the Itaipu Dam, which is the most important in the Western Hemisphere.
Now you’ve got a reason to explore Paraguay, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into this inspiring list of things to do in Paraguay.
But not without a word about safety…
Is Paraguay Safe?
Paraguay is safe and people are welcoming and friendly. They make it easy for you to relax and enjoy yourself, removing any uncertainty.
Paraguay is in fact one of the safest countries you can explore when in South America, despite it also being one of the poorest.
The three major cities that include Asunción are fine to visit, although you’ll want to dress down to avoid drawing too much attention (and also for respect as there’s a lot of poverty in and around these areas).
Due to its more rural setting, a lot of the roads are not the best quality, so be sure to take care when driving if you decide to rent a car or bike.
Paraguay tourist attractions
So, what are the best things to do in Paraguay? Let’s take a look at some popular activities that await you here if you decide to visit.
Despite not being one of the most reputed South American nations for travel, a trip to Asuncion should be on your list of things to do.
Among the oldest cities on the continent, it’s a stunning location with rich architecture and an immensely welcoming culture.
While it’s not exactly as tourist-friendly as other parts of South America, with the city still pulling itself up from decades of previous dictatorial rule, a trip to the Costanera is a must.
If backpacking Paraguay you’ll find there are some cool hostels in Paraguay dotted around so it’s smart to do your research beforehand.
You won’t find many tourist traps, but watching the sun peacefully settle above Río Paraguay is one of those sights that live in the mind.
Other popular tourism opportunities include:
- A visit to the Palacio de los Lopez
- Head through the colourful Loma San Jeronimo
- Learn from the Casa de la Indepencia
With so much to do and see in this sprawling city, I recommend that you take your time to just look around.
Unlike other Paraguay tourist attractions, Asuncion is not as tourist-friendly as other capitals. But it’s got a lot of hidden gems.
You’ll need to do a fair amount of digging around to find the gems yourself, but there’s ample opportunity. This gives you the chance maybe to connect with locals and learn more.
With that in mind, then, you should find it very easy to enjoy the richly understated grandeur of the Paraguayan capital.
Saltos del Monday
The Saltos del Monday is a truly amazing natural landscape, an amazing park venue with stunning natural waterfalls pouring at pace.
This is probably one of the best places to visit in Paraguay.
It’s a must-see for most visitors; the main advice is to get yourself some decent hiking shoes to be able to stay safe around the edges.
Like much of Paraguay, there’s a little barrier or thought towards tourists. Stay safe around the edges of the water, and you’ll have tremendous fun seeing an absolutely amazing location.
La Santisima Trinidad de Parana
One of the most interesting places in Paraguay. Known as the Most Holy Trinity of Parana, this is a former Jesuit reduction that still stands.
Construction of these religious temples began around the late 17th century, however were never finished as the Jesuits were expelled when the Spaniards arrived.
They should be visited by anyone with a love of old-school, aged architecture. Just be careful around these ruins; they are, after all, ruins.
A tiny colony that still holds some semblance of presence today. A trip here should provide you with a total appreciation of the depth and richness of Jesuit culture.
This is one of the last to be built, and for that reason, you should come to see a structure that’s stood for the best part of three centuries, still in relatively impressive condition overall.
However these beautiful ruins still remain nevertheless, and the ones in Paraguay are the best preserved on the entire continent.
You can visit both La Santisima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue ruins easily within one day from the city of Encarnación in the south. Simply hop on a bus heading along Route 6, and get off in the small town of Trinidad to start exploring.
These stunning ruins are among the most wonderful parts of Paraguay. One of the Paraguay landmarks that will leave you enamored. They should be visited by anyone with a love of old-school, aged architecture.
Just please be sensitive when you spend time here; there’s a natural and understandable reticence for visitors touching too much. The aim here is to preserve these locations, so always be careful when you are looking around.
Ciudad del Este
This chaotic town is best known for its border crossing into Paraguay, which is within touching distance with both Argentina and Brazil.
Whilst also known for its cheap markets, it’s also home to some other worthwhile attractions if in the area.
Here you can visit the Itaipu Dam, which is the second largest in the World and provides Paraguay with over 70% of all its energy needs.
Another great visit is the Lago de la República, with the lake nice to stroll around, and if you’re lucky to see a local rodeo show in the surrounding fields.
Whilst not the most attractive city to be completely honest, it’s worth spending a day here to see the above destinations before moving on elsewhere in Paraguay.
Just be careful in this area; while it’s a wonderful venue, there’s certainly less scrupulous people hanging around. Keep an eye on all of your bags and items when you are shopping around. People like to help themselves to things around the venue.
Ybycui National Park
As one of the underrated Paraguay tourist attractions. This stunning national park is a must-see, it plays a major role in both the civil and military history of the nation.
If you come here, just be prepared for a physical challenge. This is an endurance test as much as an exploration.
Carry some lightweight clothing as the walk can be excruciating. So, if you are not the fittest, consider getting a taxi; they are expensive but will make it easier for you to get back down later on!
Palacio de Lopez
Some may not consider this as a Paraguay tourist attraction. However, the Government Palace is among the best things to see in Asuncion.
It gives you an appreciation of the power and heritage of modern government in Latin America. A must if you’re interested in politics.
A stunning place to spend your time, but please be very conscious of anything that you’re asked to do.
The guards at the location spend no time telling you twice; don’t expect a cordial response if you fail to reply to requests from the guards.
Cerro Cora National Park
On the list of Paraguay national parks and as the largest protected area of the nation. This 5.5k hectare location is a truly impressive location.
The masses of trees just jut off into the distance, all the way to the Aquidaban River.
Just please, if you choose to come here, go with a guide. It’s so easy to get lost among this rich natural expanse that you should make no attempt to come here without a guard of sorts.
There’s simply too much opportunity to leave yourself a lot in these expansive and extensive woodland areas.
Paraguay Travel Tips
See these travel tips for Paraguay to ensure you have the best stay whether you’re on vacation, backpacking, or traveling with friends.
⤵️ Dan’s Travel Tips For Paraguay:
Got Travel Insurance for Paraguay?
Designed by travelers, for travelers, World Nomads covers more than 150 adventure sports and activities so you can explore your boundaries.
Paraguay Tourist Attractions
With so much hidden away in small parts of Paraguay, this nation can be seen as ‘dull’ by some.
A quick trip to any of the locations above, though, will soon show that this is among the most underrated South American nations.
If backpacking Paraguay soon take a look at my backpacking resources list as it could help you decide what to carry with you.
It might not have the tourist traps and the grandeur of other locations, but it’s a special place to visit if you enjoy rich access to a more classical form of a culture far removed from traditional America.
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