Paraguay is perhaps one of the least-known countries in South America, playing second fiddle to its more popular neighbors Brazil and Argentina. In fact, the country does not rely much on its tourism industry. Instead, it dotes on its export industry - it is the 5th largest soya bean and 2nd largest energy exporter in the world.
The country also styles itself as “Corazon de America,” or “Heart of America.” This is largely due to its location at the geographical heart of South America, more so than anything else. A land of semi-nomadic tribes during the pre-Colombian era, it was colonized by Spanish forces in the 16th century, leaving an indelible mark on its culture and history. Even as it gained independence in 1811, Paraguay still bears colonial marks on its architecture and festivals.
Country of Contrasts
Paraguay can be described as a country of contrasts. It is both wealthy and poor. Wealthy, because of its rich natural resources, especially in agriculture, which makes up around 27 percent of its annual GDP. Poor, because it has not yet been able to harness its resources properly and realize its potential. More than 35 percent of its population lives in poverty, with much of its export income going to the select elite.
It is also a place where sophisticated modern cities coexist with quaint rural villages and indigenous tribes. In Paraguay, it is not a rare sight to still see horse-drawn carriages ply the routes around high-rise buildings and bustling shopping centers. Chaos meets laid-back here, as busy city streets give way to nearby rural dirt roads.
Another appropriate way to describe Paraguay is being a backpacking haven. Given its pretty much unexplored and undeveloped landscape - forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers - the country makes for an ideal destination for the adventure junkies. Wildlife tours and treks are activities for tourists in the country, especially in spots like Cordillera de los Altos, Cerro Cora, and Mbaracayu.
The country is bisected by the rough Rio Paraguay, and is popular for leisurely rides or white-water rafting aboard rickety boats and homemade rafts. Even beach lovers can find something to do in Paraguay, owing to the resorts at San Bernardino, Chololo, and Lake Ypacarai.
Paraguay Traveler Advice
Sikkim, a vertical land in India
One of the smallest states in India (which was slightly less than Friuli) had an independent history as far back as 1642, under the dynasty of kings Chogyal, Tibetan term translated from the Sanskrit "Dharmaraja" or "King defender of the dharma." In 1975, through a referendum, it became part of India. In the territory of Sikkim entirely mountainous and with only a few green houses ... Read full Blog post
An Aerial fiesta in Clark Pampanga
Its a party in the sky as multi colored hot air balloons piloted ny different pilots from various partso of the world participated in this annual gathering. As early as 5am, the 2,500 hectare aviation complex at Clar Economic Zone in Pampanga was already crammedi with excitement. Clusters of hot air balloon participants busily prepare their own balloons for liftoff as they need to take advantage of ... Read full Blog post
Laos seems like a long shot to become Southeast Asia’s next big thing. The food doesn’t win any prizes, the roads are severely potholed by frequent flooding and locals regard the prospect of increased tourism with a sunny indifference that exceeds even Mediterranean proportions. Laos is the least developed and most enigmatic of the three former French Indochinese states ... Read full Blog post