Wedged in between Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil, Paraguay is less frequented than its neighbouring countries but, it offers the intrepid traveler an opportunity to experience its rich history with a warm, open heart and plenty of Paraguay hostel options for those on a budget. What stands out the most about this unique country is its friendliness. Strangers are greeted with smiles and if you’re lucky, an invitation to share the local drink, yerba, a type of tea that can be drunk either hot or cold.
The capital, Asuncion, lies on the banks of the Paraguay River. Visitors to the city can wander the streets for hours taking in the Colonial-style architecture and street art, or enjoying a walk along the riverfront. A must-see while you’re here is the Botanical Garden, Zoo, and History Museum just a short bus ride from the city centre. Entrance to the gardens and museum is free, and the fee to enter the zoo is nominal. Take food and water, as nothing is sold onsite, and marvel at the two-headed cow fetus and the incredibly awful taxidermy. Paraguay hostels in the city are reasonably priced and comfortable, probably more so than other destinations within Paraguay.
In the north of the country, travelers can visit Filadelfia and the Chaco region to spot exotic animals or to experience the culture of the Mennonite immigrants who settled here in the thirties. There are limited options for Paraguay hostels, however, and tours are on the pricier side, but it’s worth a short visit even if for nothing more than to visit the History Museum to learn more about the different people who live in the area.
To the northeast lies the rustic port city of Concepcion. With very little to see or do here, most people pass through on their way to the Pantanal. Paraguay hostels here are practically nonexistent so you may find yourself in a hotel -- which, if you’re traveling with another person, will generally work out cheaper anyway. You can expect to be the only foreigner in town.
One of the more popular destinations in Paraguay is Ciudad del Este. Bordering both Brazil and Argentina, this is an excellent city to base yourself from to visit both sides of Iguazu Falls. Travelers can also visit the Itaipu Dam, one of the seven wonders of the modern world, or, spend their days traipsing through the seamlessly never-ending markets of electronics and other goodies. A variety of Paraguay hostels are on offer and are mostly located around the bus terminal area.
To the south and bordering Argentina is the city of Encarnacion. With wide riverfront beaches and a mild climate, the city is very popular with locals on weekends. The city hosts regular concerts and festivals; February is the busiest month, thanks to Carnival. Visitors to the city can explore the nearby UNESCO Heritage-listed Jesuit ruins or relax at one of the many restaurants and bars along the Malecon. Paraguay hostels are widely available, but it’s recommended to book in advance during high season.
For the average tourist, Paraguay doesn’t offer much in terms of sightseeing. Instead, it is a place to come and experience the culture that is strangely unique to this area from the rest of Latin America.
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