Wildlife

With over 700 species of birds recorded and a contrasting landscape of different habitats, from the superdry Chaco to the superhumid Atlantic Forest, Paraguay is a fascinating place to get to know the regional wildlife.

Parque Nacional San Rafael The most biodiverse reserve in the country.

Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve A vast forest with a professionally managed lodge.

Laguna Capitán Center of the Chaco saline lakes, a paradise for waterbirds.

Para La Tierra Volunteer with trained biologists on real scientific projects.

FAUNA Paraguay Professional ecotours to remote destinations with zoologist guides.

Craft Beer

The Paraguayan craft-beer scene is growing in the bigger cities, and local breweries such as Herken, Sajonia and Sapucai are experimenting with mixing traditional Paraguayan ingredients – like manioc and cedron leaves – to produce some unique and charismatic flavors. Local ales can be sampled in Asunción and Encarnación.

Sacramento Brewing Co. A mega microbrewery in Asunción.

Palo Santo Brewing Co. Flights, pints and a huge selection of South American beers.

Peltzer Artesanal Draft beers in Encarnación, the capital of Carnaval.

Acervapy Creative beer-themed events organized by the local brewers' association.

Jesuits

The Jesuits were so successful in establishing their reducciones (settlements established to try to control the indigenous people) that they made the King of Spain jealous enough to expel them from his kingdom. Their work with the Guaraní created a unique new artistic and architectural style known as Guaraní Baroque. A series of Jesuit sites are dotted around Paraquaria, the name they gave to their area of influence in southern Paraguay and adjacent Argentina and Brazil.

Trinidad The most famous of the reducciones and rightly so.

Jesús de Tavarangüe Understated and undervisited.

Santa María de Fe Glorious wooden carvings.

Santa Rosa de Lima Fantastically ornate little chapel.

San Cosme y Damian The only Jesuit church that is still in use.

Colonial Architecture

Paraguay is brimming over with sleepy colonial towns seemingly lost in time. Horse-drawn carriages, fruit markets and relaxing days in the shade drinking tereré (iced herbal tea) are the hallmarks of these centers of tranquility.

Pilar Surrounded by the Ñeembucú wetlands, Pilar is as traditional a town as they come.

Yaguarón Home to one of the most beautiful churches in Christendom and also, apparently, to Saint Thomas!

Itauguá The place to buy your ñandutí lace, and maybe even watch it getting made.

Concepción Stroll around town, then take a lazy boat upriver.