Asunción Travel Guide

by our Paraguay expert Conrad Freethy
Conrad FreethyAs the Spanish conquistadores sought the fabled El Dorado, the easiest - almost only - way to the interior was the River Plate system that eventually linked into the River Paraguay. The capital Asuncin is on the eastern bank, on the border with Argentina, and is the oldest post-Colombian city on the continent. A trading post for centuries, it is still an inland port on a large river bay. Despite being remote, the country has had a troubled history, from rebellion against Spanish colonial rule, through revolutions, a devastating war with Latin neighbours, and years of near isolation under a dictatorship regime. Today, gradually emerging from this background, it is attracting some tourism. In the capital itself there are some good-looking colonial buildings, an elegant downtown area along the Calle Palma and a lively night scene in the Manora district. It is, moreover, a gateway to the last true wilderness of the Gran Chaco in the north of the country - protected by a lack of oil discoveries and unsuitability for lumber exploitation. Paraguay is also the third frontier country at the Iguazu Falls (along with Argentina and Brazil), a couple of hundred miles to the east of Asuncin while, somewhat closer, is the lovely Lake Ypacara.

Paraguay Facts

National Flag: Paraguayan Flag
Language(s): Spanish
Currency: Paraguayan guarani
Dialling Code: +595
Time Zone: GMT - 4

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