Paraguay the land of Tereré
Kumar | 05 Apr 2010

Travel to Paraguay allows visitors to experience strokes of untouched nature, the rough gaucho, the old and new, the historical and modern prosperity of Paraguay, SouthAmerica.Travel

Almost unexplored and nearly forgotten, Paraguay is a fascinating and mysterious country. Surrounded by Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia, Paraguay is an ideal destination to lend a rustic touch to any South America travel itinerary, a land full of contrasts. As an example, in the northern region, known as El Chaco, you'll discover a fascinating, hot and semi-arid lowland region of the Rio de la Plata river basin. The south, as contrast, borders on the world-renowned Iguassu Falls - the weather is influenced by the sub-tropical forest.

This tropical warmth, combined with the locals' openness and generosity, belies the fact that Paraguay is practically unknown to the tourist crowd. Drinking a tereré, an infusion of yerba mate, similar to mate but prepared with cold water (rather than with hot water), is the key to starting a chat with the locals, and practicing your Spanish or - even better - learn some words of Guarani, the officially recognized indigenous language.

Guaraní means "warrior" in English. Nowadays we don't know much about these people, who lived throughout South America during the 16th Century. In Paraguay, the focal point of the Guarani, only 1% of this population is left. However their culture and way of life is noticeable everywhere. More then 80% of the Paraguayans speak Yopara a mixture of Spanish and Guaraní. Guaraní and Spanish are the official languages of Paraguay; the currency of Paraguay is even known as the Guaraní.

The first governor of Paraguay demanded the amalgamation between the Spanish and the Indians, resulting in most of today’s Paraguayans having both Spanish and Guaraní ancestry. Today most citizens in Paraguay are very proud of their roots, and they try to preserve this culture. Many tour operators in Paraguay offer a variety of short trips as a perfect add-on to any multi-facetted vacation in South America.

Besides Guarani and Spanish, the German culture has a significant presence in Paraguay. It is customary to hear people speaking southern German dialects, as Paraguay was in the 19th century one of the favorite destinations of German immigrants to South America. A visit to Asuncion – the capital city- , Filadelfia or Villarica it is strongly recommended to discover and experience the Paraguayan-German history.

The locals, friendly and always open for a talk, make any visit for Paraguay Tours a unique opportunity to discover a green and agrarian country. As Paraguay is relatively small and it is located at the heart of the Southern Cone, it is easy to include this exciting destination as part of any multi- country tour or as an extension far from the classical tourist circuit.