Asuncion, Paraguay
The Mother of Cities

 

Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion was born in 1537, founded by Juan de Salazar y Espinoza.

It is the longest inhabited settlement on the Rio de la Plata basin.

In fact, back in the days of the Spanish conquest, several colonial expeditions departed from there to establish new settlements in the New World.

This is the case of the 2nd foundation of Buenos Aires, the foundation of Corrientes and Santa Fe (also in Argentina) and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia), hence the name "Mother of cities".


After gaining independence from the Spanish Crown in 1811, the history of Paraguay was marked by a number of tragic, sad events that somehow kept the country isolated from the rest of South America for over a century or so.

First was the Paraguayan war (1865-1870) that nearly decimated the male population. After years of political turmoil, early in the 20th century, Paraguay went to war again, this time against Bolivia (1932-1935), fighting over the Chaco region.

By 1989, Paraguay population managed to get rid of the last dictator, opening the country to a new era. For the last few years, it has become an inviting tourist destination.
In fact, Paraguay is now one of the hidden pearl awaiting to be discovered when you are ready for a very unique South America travel experience.


Asuncion seats on the left bank of the Paraguay river (Ysyry Paraguái in Guaraní), near the point where Paraguay and Pilcomayo rivers meet, being the 2nd largest in the Rio de la Plata basin after the Paraná river.

Asunción is the capital and largest city in Paraguay. See the map here.


Asuncion Attractions


Only recently, in 2009, a survey took place in Paraguay, aiming at chosing the seven treasures of cultural material heritage by popular vote. Out of forty five participants, the top selected sights were...

  • Lopez Presidential Palace:Former home of president Carlos Antonio López (1792-1862) is the current seat of the government of Paraguay.
  • Panteón Nacional de los Héroes: National monument and a landmark of the city, its importance is manifested in the ceremonial changing of the guard held several times a day.
  • Cabildo (City Council): Home of the National Congress, it was established in 1541. It's currently a Cultural Center and a Museum.
  • Metropolitan Cathedral: Located at Plaza Independencia, this religious building dates from 1687.
  • Guarani Hotel: Inaugurated in 1961, it was the first five stars hotel in the city.
  • Teatro Municipal Ignacio A. Pane: It's located in the historic centre of the city. The original building dates from 1889.
  • Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad: Located in the neigborhood of Trinidad, it was built in 1854, under the tenure of president Carlos Antonio López.

When ready to do a bit of sightseeing in the surrounding area, there are a number of attractions to include, mainly day trips to visit places such as...

  • Itauguá (35km): Very well known for its Ñandutí lace, a needle-woven lace that imitates the appearance of a spider web. In fact, its name comes from Guaraní language meaning spider web. Provably the most famous Paraguayan craft.
  • Caacupé (51km): Very well known for its imposing Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Milagros. The main religious celebration takes place on December 8th.
  • Ypacaraí Lake (28km): With the cities of San Bernardino and Areguá, it's a popular summer retreat and week-end escapes for locals and travelers.
  • Villa Florida (130km): On the Tebicuary river, favoured for fishing, camping and water sports.
  • Iguazu (Iguassu) Falls (312km): Provably the most impressive waterfalls in South America, a sight you definitely wouldn't want to miss.

Asuncion climate is classified as humid subtropical and tropical, hot and humid for the most part of the year. June and July are the cooler month.

Before flying back home, make sure you try some of the most traditional dishes of Paraguayan cuisine, such as Sopa Paraguaya (not a soup, as the translation may convey), the popular Chipa bread, Pira caldo (fish soup), Mbejú (very rich starch cake), Asado con achuras (Paraguayan bbq), Soyo (thick soup) and Milanesa (Breaded meat cutlet usually fried).


How to Get There


Silvio Pettirossi Intl Airport (ASU) is located in the greater metropolitan area, in the city of Luque, some 10km away.
As for ground transportation, the main bus terminal (Terminal de Omnibus de Asunción) is found on Av. República Argentina. Buses depart to all Departments in Paraguay as well as international services to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay.


Where to Stay


There is a vast array of accommodation options ranging from hotels, resorts, aparthotels, etc. Find and comparte best hotel rates in Asuncion.
If looking for budget accommodation, book a hostel here.