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Paraguay

Main attractions

Landscape in Gran Chaco, Paraguay
Landscape in Gran Chaco, Paraguay / Ilosuna, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 1.0

Most impressive and interesting landmarks in Paraguay are:

  • Waterfalls - the beautiful, wide Monday Falls and Ñacunday Falls belong to most impressive natural landmarks in the country.
  • Ruins of Jesuit missions - just like in the neighboring regions of Argentina and Brazil, in Paraguay have been preserved ruins of Jesuit missions. Back in the 18th century these were ornate, unusual, and impressive buildings.
  • Petroglyphs - in South America exist thousands of petroglyph sites but some in Paraguay have a special fame. In such sites as Ita Letrá and Gasory rock shelter the petroglyphs resemble some ancient, undeciphered writing. This has given a birth to some pseudoscientific theories about ancient Vikings or Celts coming here.

Natural landmarks

Waterfalls

Ñacunday Falls, Paraguay
Ñacunday Falls, Paraguay / Hugo Diaz Lavigne, Wikimedia Commons / public domain
  • Aguaray Guazu Falls - Amambay. Free falling, 58 m tall waterfall.
  • Carapa Falls - Guairá. Approximately 50 m tall cascade with numerous small steps, located in impressive jungle setting. Located in the primeval Mbaracayú Forest - remnant of Interior Atlantic Forest.
  • Monday Falls - Alto Paraná. Waterfall on the powerful Monday River, approximately 45 m tall and 120 m wide.
  • Nacunday Falls (Salto Ñacunday) - Alto Paraná. Magnificent waterfall - "Niagara of Paraguay". This waterfall is 40 m tall and 110 m wide and is located in scenic, forested area.
  • Suizo Falls - Guairá. 62 m tall, free falling waterfall, the tallest in Paraguay.
Cerro Koi, Paraguay
Cerro Koi / Scolman, Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Other natural landmarks

  • Caverna Kamba Hopo - Concepción. Impressive grotto - cave at the bank of Paraguay River.
  • Cerro Koi and Cerro Chorori - Central. Sandstone outrcrops, where the sandstone is fractured into hexagonal columns.
  • Ojo del Mar - Amambay. Small lake in the middle of pristine forest. According to legends, this lake has no bottom and people should not swim here, otherwise some mysterious force would swallow them.
  • San Lázaro Caves, Vallemí - Concepción. Group of interesting caves with stalactites and other cave formations.

Man made landmarks

Mision de Jesús de Tavarangué, Paraguay
Mision de Jesús de Tavarangué / Patricia Perez de Viveros, Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Jesuit missions

In Paraguay exist remnants of 8 larger Jesuit missions, which were built here during the 18th century to convert and govern the local Guarani people.

  • La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná - Itapúa. Ruins of the largest of the 8 historical Jesuit missions in Paraguay, a regional capital. This mission was built in 1706 and had a nice church with rich decoration and a complex of other buildings.
  • Mision de Jesús de Tavarangué - Itapúa. Ruins of Jesuit mission, moved to its present site sometimes around 1690.
  • Santos Cosme y Damián Jesuit mission - Itapúa. Ruins of an unfinished church and several more buildings of Jesuitic mission, which was moved to the present location in 1740. Church is in current use.

Petroglyph sites

  • Cerro Acuá petroglyph site - Amambay. A prehistoric petroglyph site where, as it seems, are depicted male and female genitalia. In Cerro Corá National Park are located many other sites with prehistoric petroglyphs.
  • Fernández rock shelter - Guairá. Prehistoric rock shelter with petroglyphs.
  • Gasory rock shelter - Amambay. Prehistoric rock shelter with petroglyphs, which resemble mysterious writings.
  • Ita Letrá - Guairá. A cliff with mysterious petroglyphs which resemble a message in unknown writing. A site of legends.
Palacio de los López, Asunción
Palacio de los López, Asunción / Christian Van Der Henst S., Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Other man made landmarks

  • Friendship Bridge (Ponte da Amizade) - Alto Paraná and Paraná, Brazil. This 552.4 m long road bridge has an enormous arch whose span is 290 m. Built in 1960 - 1965.
  • Itaipu Dam - Alto Paraná and Paraná, Brazil. 7,235 m long and 225 m high dam, the largest hydropower plant in the world regarding the annual capacity. Constructed in 1970 - 1984. The artificial lake drowned the largest waterfall in the world - Guaíra Falls.
  • Manzana de la Rivera - Asunción. A historical city district, now serves as a cultural district of the capital of Paraguay. Includes nine historical buildings, where the oldest is Viola House from 1750 - 1758.
  • Palacio de los López - Asunción. Magnificent government building in Neo-Classical style, built in 1857 - 1867. Built as private residence - palace for Francisco Solano Lopez Carrillo, the second president of Paraguay.
  • Panteón Nacional de los Héroes (National Pantheon of Heroes) - Asunción. The construction of this Neo-Classicism building started in 1863 (intended as a chapel) but was finished only in 1936. Now it serves as a memorial site.
  • San Buenaventura Church, Yaguarón - Paraguarí. Franciscan church with beautiful, ornate woodcarvings, built in 1640 - 1700.

List of described attractions by departments

Paraguay is divided into 17 departments and capital district (districto capital) – Asunción:

Alto Paraguay
Alto Paraná
ArrowMonday Falls (Saltos del Monday)Waterfalls
ArrowNacunday Falls (Salto Ñacunday)Waterfalls
Amambay
Asunción
Boquerón
Caaguazú
Caazapá
Canindeyú
Central
Concepción
Cordillera
Guairá
Itapúa
Misiones
Ñeembucú
Paraguarí
Presidente Hayes
San Pedro

Map of Paraguay

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