Paraguay - The Lost Heart of Latin America
A surprising insight into South America’s hidden jewel, Paraguay. This often-overlooked, but warm and unique country boasts a fascinating, turbulent history, a diverse range of cultures and extreme landscapes.
Visit the crumbling city of Asuncion, now experiencing a slow, but glorious transformation – a mixture of Spanish colonial architecture and a new, evolving creative scene. After exploring the capital we follow the ‘circuito de oro’ through local traditional towns, home to local artisans and gold and silversmiths before seeing the impressive Franciscan church at Capiata and Sapucai’s railway workshop.
Our next destination is the remote region of the Chaco, where we will stay for two nights at a Paraguayan ‘estancia’ – a typical ranch. The welcome is warm and the sights within the vast area are many – we will visit Mennonite communities, learn about the unique history of the region and search for wildlife including tapir, armadillo and more.
After a brief return to Asuncion, we drive south to explore the Jesuit Missions, an important aspect of Paraguayan history and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The dilapidated but intriguing ruins are lesser-known and often relatively unexplored, so expect unspoilt photo opportunities.
We then continue to the mesmerising Iguazu Falls, experiencing both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides. Spend two days exploring the falls to the maximum. It’s incredible to think that this rich, forested area is home to 275 separate waterfalls that make up the UNESCO site of Iguazu. You will have the opportunity to trek along scenic walking trails on both borders, including viewing the 3km-wide cascade from an incredible frontal position, standing on the Brazilian side. The falls are a stunning highlight to end your journey.
From vast salt-flats and swamplands to lush, tropical forests and enchanting waterfalls, from traditional villages to crumbling Jesuit ruins, this trip to Paraguay truly is a journey into the unknown.