Paraguay is a vast, beautiful country with a long and rich history. It sometimes is called the “Heart of South America” due to its location on the continent but, it is usually passed over by travelers for their bigger, more well known neighbors. Paraguay gives a people a rare opportunity to visit one of the more underrated countries in South America without the abundance of tourists. So, I won’t keep you waiting any longer, here are 10 reasons you should give Paraguay a try:
Unspoiled Nature: Paraguay offers a wide variety of beautiful landscapes, from rolling green hills, red dirt roads to rain forests. For a land locked country, Paraguay has numerous coastline views, from the costanera in Encarnacion, all the way up north on to the Paraguay River which leads to the Pantanal, where you have the chance to see jaguars, crocodiles and dozens of different bird species.
Journey Back in Time: When you visit this country it is almost as if you have stepped back in time (in a good way) to a time when life was simpler. A time when life moved a slower pace, everyone knows their neighbors, the air is fresh and clean and spending time with family is the most important thing.
Inexpensive: Traveling through South America, especially in countries like Brazil, Argentina or Uruguay can make a big dent in your travel budget. But, while traveling in Paraguay you can forget having to constantly worry about how much everything costs. You could easily live on a budget of $30-$50 a day or even less.
Food: The food in Paraguay may not be the healthiest of choices but it sure is delicious and hey you are vacation. There are definitely healthy options if you really want them and a lot of the food used in cooking is locally grown and organic. So you should definitely try the Chipa Guazu, Vori Vori, or even get yourself invited over for an asado (barbecue).
Tereré: The national beverage of Paraguay is definitely Tereré. It is an infusion of yerba mate with cold water. (Here is an old post with the How-To’s of drinking Tereré) But, it is more than just a beverage, it is a social event. You should try and get invited into a Tereré circle if possible, it is a great way to meet Paraguayans and really get to know them.
Tourism – Still Developing: I personally think on of the reasons the tourist infrastructure of Paraguay isn’t very developed is due to the lingering effects of the dictatorship that ended in 1989. But, the lack of lots of tourism can also be a good thing getting to see so many beautiful things without the hoards of people crowding your view.
Helps The Future of The Country: Paraguay has a bumpy history and visiting this country not only supports the economy, but will also improve tourism and the future of the country
Beautiful Places to Visit: Paraguay is often overshadowed by its larger neighbors but, it does have plenty of beautiful places to visit. There are the Jesuit Ruins in Trinidad, Laguna Blanca, the sand dunes in San Cosme, Bahia Negra and the Pantanal, Salto Monday and numerous others.
Paraguayans themselves: The people of Paraguay are easiest the biggest and best tourist draw. They are incredibly friendly and generous, don’t be surprised if you are invited to drink tereré, eat lunch or even stay with them in their home.
Why not?: Honestly, if you have the chance to go anywhere, even if you don’t know much about the country, you should take it. Don’t rely so heavily on the opinions of others go out and experience it for yourself so you can form your own opinions.