Holidays To Paraguay
Paraguay is a Latin American country bordered by Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil and is probably the size of California. The country is one of the richest in natural resources and natural wonders and is a treasure for outdoor activities. It’s full of exuberant wildlife, lovely waterfalls and the ancient Jesuit ruins is one of the largest attractions Paraguay has to offer. The ruins of the Jesuit Missions of La Santisima Trinidad de Parana and Jesus de Tavarangue, have been declared world heritage sites by UNESCO.
Getting to Paraguay seemed to be a daunting prospect owing to the distance, but since we were three of us the journey was fun. We landed into Asuncion, which is the main city of Paraguay. The first day we were all a bit jet lagged and decided to have an early night and start afresh in the morning.
Me and my husband decided to start our holiday by going to see the famous Iguazu Falls. The junction of the waterfalls marks the border between Brazil , Argentina and Paraguay. The borders of all three nations can be seen from this view in Paraguay. The Iguaza falls is the second largest in the world and has also been declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. It was truly a spectacular sight to see the absolute intensity of the falls. We were totally dumb struck by the sheer beauty and natural wonder. The force of the water and the intensity of the drop is truly spectacular.
The next day we decided to do an overnight trip on a cargo boat to view some wildlife and get to also experience the Paraguayan river life. It was a fun thing to do since we were three of us together it was quite safe. We had to sleep on the floor in our sleeping bags and enjoyed seeing some wildlife along the river .Sleeping under the stars at night was really exciting for all of us. We managed to find a boat, where few of the crew spoke smattering English so it was easy to be able to partially communicate. It was different and adventurous. But I would recommend a trip like this only when in a group and not alone!
After this very adventurous trip we were told that we should visit the Botanical Garden and Zoo or "El Jardin Botanico y Zoologico de Asuncion" in Spanish. The zoo basically sprawls over 270 odd acres of the capital and is a natural forest set partly on the banks of the Parana River. The zoo is home to about 70 species of birds, mammals and reptiles and the Botanical Garden is home to large family of over 500 native species of flora and fauna and some spectacular old trees. We spent an entire day there almost and even did a quick tour of the Museum of Natural History. Since the Asuncion Golf Club was close we managed to get a good game of golf in the time we were there.
After spending an entire day walking around we decided the next day that fishing would be an ideal way to enjoy a different city of Paraguay and hence headed off to Villa Florida. Villa Florida is located on the banks of the Tebicuary River and is best known for its angling possibilities. Most of Paraguays river fish is excellent to eat ,thus making fishing a very popular sport. Paraguay is considered to be one of the world best places to fish. We had heard so much about Villa Florida and very keen on catching the spectacular Dorado – fighter fish that leaps high into the air when hooked or Surubi- a giant cat fish that literally takes off like an express train when being reeled in. The three of us absolutely enjoyed the time we spent at Villa Florida.
“When in Paraguay ,do as the Paraguayans do!!” And with that in mind we all decided to go watch a football game. Since many of the Paraguayans play in the Premiership like Roque Santa Cruz ,who plays for Manchester City, we managed to get tickets for a game between two of the biggest teams in Asuncion- Olimpia and Cerro Porteño. The whole experience of watching a football game in Paraguay was brilliant! The atmosphere was spectacular .The whole stadium was jam packed and the crowds were cheering for their respective teams while we just shouted and cheered for both teams. It was an incredible afternoon.
We wanted something more adventurous and decided to take a trip to the Eco Reserve Mbatovi. They have various activities they offer within the complex. We were told that if we wanted to boost our adrenalin we should try out the eco adventure circuit. The Eco Reserva Mbatovi is a protected area. It consists of a series of activities carried out on tree tops and in few cases above them. We were first given an extensive talk on security and then our adventure began. It started with a walk through an attractive Yvaropy path which is about 1700 mts long and offers many surprises along the way. After the lovely walk we had to make our way through a three cabled bridge and finally onto a hanging bridge .The entire circuit demanded a high level of physical energy and we totally enjoyed. Along the circuit we walked through waterfalls and enjoyed the lovely flight path of the gorgeous birds and butterflies. The best part of the circuit was the mobile bridge which goes into a Canopy platform from where we could throw ourselves 40 mts high over the forests rich flora and fauna. We decided to continue on the circuit and rappel down a 25 meter wall. We took a little break ,only to find the way back was going upwards a path that was 700 mts long. Towards the end of the adventure we got to enjoy the marvelous view of the Mbatoví hills and de Pirayú Valleys. The entire adventure circuit is a must do for people who want to be adventurous and love a certain amount of physical activity.
Trekking through the rain forests in Paraguay was something we really wanted to do. The trekking path lead to the waterfalls. We took a local guide with us more as precaution. Walking through the amazing rain forests of Paraguay was an indeed an experience of its own.
Wanting to see the city as well we did what was called the Central Circuit Route, which is about 200 kms which took us through some the country’s interesting sites and clusters around the city. We went to San Lorenzo, which is where the university halls and residences are and also is filled with many interesting gothic buildings.
Towards the end of our holiday we decided to visit the holiday resort overlooking the vast and beautiful Lake Ypacarai ,which is about 28 kilometers away from the capital. We got to do a bit of water sports and scuba diving. San Bernardino is a popular summer vacation spot and we got to pitch tents and have a lot of fun. We took bike rides and a lot of other extreme adventure with the San Bernardino based Xtreme Adventure. It was lovely to camp and enjoy an adventure of a different kind.
We also went to one of the local ranches or estancias where we got to experience the local rural life and got to ride with the cow boys. We got to take a cart tour and then sat down to enjoy a drink and the surroundings.
Paraguay was a holiday experience like none other .It was a lot of fun and we got home fitter and full of life!!