Paraguay holidays : introduction
Scene of Graham Greene’s mysterious thriller The Honorary Consul, Paraguay charms visitors with its relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
The indigenous people love to share their history and culture over a cup of tereré, refreshing iced herbal tea. Guaraní is still the main language despite a long period under colonial rule - the vestiges of which can be seen in the capital Asunción’s cobbled centre and several sleepy old towns nearby, or in great steam engines rusting beside abandoned workshops.
In the south, among lush forests, are the ruins of great Jesuit missions, progressive communities that integrated with the local people, promoting literacy and healthy living. Trinidad, the least-visited of UNESCO world heritage sites, is extremely impressive, needing little effort to imagine these splendid buildings and churches in their heyday.
Elsewhere, the semi-arid Chaco region is scattered with indigenous villages and Mennonite communities. Both here and in the far north wildlife outnumbers the human population, with everything from jaguars and pumas, to tapirs, peccaries, giant otters and vast flocks of water birds.
Tourism in Paraguay is in its infancy, so whilst you will be unlikely to find enough to occupy you for a two week stay, a few well-spent days will be very rewarding.
Climate and when to go
Temperatures are hot in summer - the average high in December, January and February is 35°C, with daily temperatures ranging between 25°C and 43°C. Winter temperatures are more variable and can reach freezing or hover at 6°C, though the average high in July (the coldest month) is 22°C. Rainfall is moderate throughout the year with the winter months usually being a bit drier. The east is wetter and in the south the climate is humid, with rainfall distributed fairly evenly throughout the year.
“Thank you very much for organising an excellent tour of Paraguay. The guides were helpful and friendly and I liked the food. My most expensive meal out was £8 and that included beers! The carnival in Encarnacion was an experience too. Overall it all went very well.” - CJ