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Asunsion

Asunción is older than Buenos Aires, but it, and indeed Paraguay as a whole, has remained something of a backwater.

Top five attractions 

  • The Itaipu dam (the one that got switched off in November 2009, plunging southern Brazil into darkness) is one of the world's biggest.
  • The Jesuit Missions of Trinidad and Jesús are not touristy and are as impressive as any in Argentina.
  • The Gran Chaco, settled by Mennonites, is a vast stretch of savannah, scrub and swamp.
  • Parque Nacional Ybicuy, the last rainforest in the country, has some good hiking trails.
  • A passenger boat ride down the Río Paraguay, from Asunción to Concepción – take a rod and hook a huge dorado.

Best city 
Asunción, a capital but with the proportions of a small town and possessed of a somewhat decadent beauty; quite a large number of elegant 19th-century buildings remain, as well as imposing monuments – many of them honouring dictators.

Souvenir to buy 
Colourful doilies called ñanduti.

Quirky Paraguay 
Everything in Paraguay is pretty quirky, but one colourful moment in history was the founding in the late 1880s, by Elisabeth Nietzsche (sister of the philosopher) and Bernhard Foerster, of Nueva Germania, a pure Aryan community, in the Paraguayan jungle.

Read 
‘At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig’ by John Gimlette. Witty, fact-packed narrative written after extensive travels in this much-ignored nation.

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  • Charlotte
    Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert

    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

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    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

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    Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert

    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

  • Lina
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Sophie
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

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