The landlocked nation of Paraguay often gets overlooked when it comes to South American travel. But this is one reason why Paraguay is an awesome place to discover authenticity, learn about a unique culture, and have unique experiences away from large tourist crowds. To help you get to know this beautiful and fascinating place a bit better, here are 10 great things to see and do on a vacation to Paraguay.
Jesus and Trinidad Jesuit Ruins
Locally known as La Santisima Trinidad de Paraná and Ruinas Jesuiticas de Jesús de Tavarangué, these ruins were left behind by Jesuit colonies and built by 17th-century missionaries. The ruins are one of the most-visited places in Paraguay and offer an interesting peek into what life was like after the Guaraní War. There’s a museum here where you can learn about the site’s history and even a light show after dark. The Jesus and Trinidad Jesuit Ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and examples of some of the finest works of the Jesuits still standing today.
While still somewhat unknown to Israelis, Paraguay has become the fastest-growing tourist destination in South America.
The post-army trip – commonly to India, Southeast Asia or South America – is an important milestone for many. But ask any of those who went to South America about Paraguay, and you will receive a puzzled look, followed by “Para-what?” Figures from a 2015 Central Bureau of Statistics report found that 410,000 Israelis between the ages of 20 and 24 go abroad every year. But tourists, especially Israelis, are uncommon in landlocked Paraguay, which has been overshadowed by its giant, high-profile South American neighbors.
Asunción, Paraguay’s, hadn’t impressed us on our first visit. Maybe it was because it had been the region’s coldest winter in 80 years and the city looked quite depressing. After we’d run our errands — namely, replacing car batteries that had caught fire — we quickly drove on to Argentina.
A year later, we were back in Asunción with more car issues. With its dodgy tax system, Paraguay is not only the ultimate place to go shopping for electronics — especially in Ciudad del Este — but also car tires. This time it was sunny, warm, and nice to be outside. The city emanated pleasant, relaxed vibes. It felt good to be there, and our expected quick border crossing for car parts turned into a seven-week stay.
This episode taught us it’s important to give a place a second chance.