Traveling to Paraguay implies getting lost in its forests, exploring its caves and observing its waterfalls that are the anteroom to great lakes. Enjoying Paraguay tourist attractions means traveling along the tranquil Paraná River and contemplating the Iguazú Falls.
It also means seeing the engineering work of the Itapú dam, the second largest hydroelectric plant in the world. Without a doubt, this country is much more than nature.
It is a culture that advances at a less frenetic pace than that of Brazil, Chile (we have Machu Picchu guide too) or Colombia, but for this reason it preserves its traditions more firmly. It is the country of the Guarani and the indigenous tribes that still fight against globalization so that they do not lose their essence.
So without further ado, let’s start with the list of the best tourist attractions in Paraguay.
- 1. Salto Cristal (Paraguarí)
- 2. Saltos del Monday (Alto Paraná)
- 3. San Bernardino (Cordillera)
- 4. The dam of Itaipú (Alto Paraná)
- 5. The Lopez Palace (Asunción)
- 6. Lake Ypacaraí (Cordillera)
- 7. Ybycuí National Park (Paraguarí)
- 8. Museum of mud (Asunción)
- 9. Basilica of Caacupe (Cordillera)
- 10. Cerro Lambaré (Asunción)
- 11. Dunes of San Cosme y Damián (Itapúa)
- 12. Caves of Vallemí (Concepción)
- 13. Eco Reserve Mbatovi (Paraguarí)
- 14. Asunción Botanical Garden (Asunción)
- 15. Villa Florida (Paraguarí)
- 16. Cerro Cora National Park (Amambay)
- 17. Ojo de Mar (Amambay)
- 18. Triple Frontera (Alto Paraná)
- 19. Beach of San José (Itapúa)
- 20. International Bridge of Friendship (Ciudad del Este)
- 21. Yacyretá Hydroelectric Dam (Misiones)
- 22. Pantanal Paraguayo (Alto Paraguay)
- 23. Asunción Zoo (Asunción)
- 24. Costanera de Encarnación (Itapúa)
- 25. Laguna Blanca (San Pedro)
1. Salto Cristal (Paraguarí)
Salto Cristal is one of the tourist places of Paraguay, it is located in the Department of Paraguarí, 150 kilometers from the well-known city of Asunción. It is 45 meters high and falls in love with all tourists for its majestic crystal clear waterfall.
This is one of the Paraguay tourist attractions in which since 2015 improvements have been made so that travelers can easily access. Previously, the descent was done among stones, but now the site has stairs and a marked path to enjoy nature.
This place also has streams and forests. It is a perfect place for tourists who want to do eco-adventure. The extreme sports that are practiced in this area are: rappel, snorkel, streams and climbing. The air there could be pretty humid, so if you are a cigar aficionado you will need the best travel humidor if you want to keep your cigars fresh and in a perfect condition.
Read also: All best places to visit in South America
2. Saltos del Monday (Alto Paraná)
Saltos del Monday are one of the most important natural wonders of Paraguay. It is located in the district of Presidente Franco, department of Alto Paraná. This place was an old station of the pre-Hispanic road of the Guarani people.
The Saltos del Monday are one of the best tourist attractions to visit in Paraguay. They have a drop of 40 meters and its name comes from the Guarani language and means “water that steals”. It has viewpoints, a circuit of ecotourism (arborism), guided tours and a bar-restaurant with exquisite food.
If you have your own car in this place you can park without any problem and do tourism in Paraguay and visit this beautiful place. The park also has a thick vegetation with unique species of flora and fauna, very characteristic and representative of the region.
3. San Bernardino (Cordillera)
San Bernardino is one of the main tourist sites of the high Paraguay, was known for a long time as “The city of the Summer”. It was founded in 1880 by German immigrants after the War of the Triple Alliance. It is located in the Department of Cordillera, on the shores of the famous Lake Ypacaraí and 40 kilometers from Asunción.
This city has its tourist peak from the month of December until mid-February. In this time this is one of the best places of Paraguay where the young people of the neighboring towns agglutinate around the main points of meeting: clubs, public spaces and discos.
San Bernardino offers many options such as beautiful views, colonial houses, bike paths and pedestrian streets. Currently, the Municipality of this city launched the project “San Bernardino 365” so travelers frequent it every day of the year to enjoy with family, friends or a couple.
Discover when is the best time to visit Argentina
4. The dam of Itaipú (Alto Paraná)
The Itaipu dam is shared by Paraguay and Brazil and is located on the Paraná River, which is the border between those countries. The Itaipu hydroelectric dam is the second largest in the world, after the Three Gorges Dam in China.
To visit the Itaipu Dam you can come from Ciudad del Este in Paraguay or from Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil. The dam is the combination of concrete, rock and earth structures that serve to dam the water and obtain the 120 m difference in level. (the nominal gross drop) that drives the operation of the turbines.
This is one of the Paraguay tourist attractions where travelers can take an educational and entertaining tour. This tour begins at the visitor center, where a film with the history and technical data of the dam will be shown. Finally, the tour ends at the power plant, the spillway and the sites where the turbines are installed.
5. The Lopez Palace (Asunción)
If you still don’t know what to do in Paraguay, you have to visit El Palacio de los López, considered one of the icons of Asunción. It is known as the Government Palace or the Presidential Palace and is located on the banks of the Paraguay River in front of the Asuncion Bay.
To travel to Paraguay and to visit this site to contemplate it is an unforgettable experience. The construction of the palace required materials from the interior of the country.
The stones were extracted from the quarries of Emboscada and Altos, the woods and works of Ñeembucú and Yaguarón. In addition, the elaboration of the bricks of Tacumbú and the iron pieces were cast in Ybycuí
The decoration of one of the places to visit in Paraguay was left in the hands of European artists who came to the country hired by Francisco Solano López. The style that represents this construction is the neoclassical with certain Palladian influence.
6. Lake Ypacaraí (Cordillera)
Ypacaraí is a lake located between the Central and Cordillera departments of Paraguay. It is known as “The City of the Lake” because its waters were immortalized in one of the most famous and beautiful guaranias in the country, written by Zulema Mirkin and set to music by Demetrio Ortíz.
It is a city of peaceful rhythm that in remote times maintained the central axis of its activities around the Train Station. In this city you can also find the House of Culture “Teodoro S. Mongelós”, making it one of the best cultural and tourist attractions of Paraguay.
In addition, in this city the Festival of the Lake Ypacaraí is celebrated every year in the Club 24 of May or in front of the railway station. In this celebration you can enjoy long days of traditional Paraguayan music, folkloric dances and thematic nights.
Read also: Best places to visit in Colombia
7. Ybycuí National Park (Paraguarí)
Ybycuí National Park is located in the city of the same name, in the Department of Paraguarí, 150 kilometers from Asunción. It has a wooded vegetation and hills that offer a varied and captivating landscape. This site was created on May 16, 1973.
It is one of the sites in Paraguay that protects spaces of great scenic beauty and ecological importance. The streams and waterfalls, the rocky areas and the high and low forests are found in this conservation unit inhabited by many endangered species such as the chachi, the yvyra katú, the tejutará and the blue dancer.
The trails enabled to appreciate and value the biodiversity of the park are Salto Mina Trail, Guarani Trail, Trail to the Historic Zone and Trail to the Mirador. This last one concludes in a viewpoint from which you can observe an impressive view of the park’s forest.
8. Museum of mud (Asunción)
Located in the city of Asuncion, the Museo del Barro is officially called the Centro de Artes Visuales Museo del Barro and was founded in 1979 as a private institution.
This place is also known as the museum of clay, because a large part of its collection are the pieces of clay and mud made by Indians. In addition, it contains pieces of pre-Columbian ceramics and woodwork, lace and contemporary art materials.
It is one of the cultural destinations of Paraguay where works of popular art, indigenous, suburban and scholars work on the same level. Thus, its concept of “contemporary art” has been expanded. There are permanent and temporary exhibitions and educational activities: seminars and guided tours.
9. Basilica of Caacupe (Cordillera)
The sanctuary of the Virgin of Caacupé is a Catholic basilica in Paraguay that was inaugurated on December 8, 1765 and has become a place of pilgrimage for many believers in the city of Caacupé.
For several years it was mistakenly called a Basilica, when in fact it was a Shrine. But the visit of Pope Francis in 2015 gave it the category of Minor Basilica. In this way the dream of the first bishop of Paraguay, Juan Sinforiano Bogarín, was fulfilled.
The architect who built this building was Miguel Angel Alfaro. Currently, this temple has a capacity for 2,000 people. It continues to be, year after year, one of the best Paraguay tourist attractions where they find thousands of faithful who come on pilgrimage every December 8.
10. Cerro Lambaré (Asunción)
Cerro Lambaré is an elevation or mound located on the banks of the Paraguay River within the urban radius of the city of Asunción in a neighborhood known as Itá Enramada.
On March 31, 1948 it was declared a “National Reserve Zone”. This hill is one of the attractions of Paraguay that you can not miss.
It is surrounded by a small forest mass and on it there is an open viewpoint for tourists and a monument that represents the figure of the Cacique Lambaré, indigenous leader in the time of the Spanish Colony.
The Guyrá Paraguay Association identified and registered more than 113 species of birds that nest and frequent the Lambaré Hill, some of them under serious threat of extinction. This characteristic makes this site one of the tourist destinations of Paraguay, a refuge of nature in the city.
Are 10 of the best places to visit in Paraguay not enough?
Then read on to discover more Paraguay tourist attractions.
You can also read our Costa Rica travel guide here.
11. Dunes of San Cosme y Damián (Itapúa)
San Cosme y Damián is a city and district of Paraguay, located in the south of Itapúa. It is important because it belongs to one of the Jesuit Reductions at the time when these clergymen worked in South America for the conversion of the Indians.
The name is a tribute to the Cosme and Damian twins, medical apothecaries who were martyred centuries ago in Sicily, Italy. The Dunes of San Cosme and Damián are one of those paradisiacal places in Paraguay.
Many years ago, they were simply some dunes on top of some hill on the Paraná River, but with the rise of the river, through the reservoir of the Yacyretá Dam, they became like islands of white sands in the middle of the water.
The immensity of these islands will take you back to the image of a desert surrounded by transparent water where, due to the crystalline nature of the lake, you can visualize the fish approaching the very base of the dunes.
12. Caves of Vallemí (Concepción)
These magical caves are located in the town of Vallemí in the Department of Concepción. They are formed by limestone rock as a result of the accumulation of sediments, bones and shells of marine animals of all kinds. These deposits were gradually compacted over millions of years.
These caves are one of the most exotic places in Paraguay because in them you can see the stalactites. These have embroidered a rigid mantle that hangs from the roofs. One of them is more than 6 meters high.
Among the tourist attractions of Paraguay that travelers can find is one of the caves known as the “Crystal Ball”. You can see it if you approach it with a flashlight, the semi-translucent rock formation allows light to pass through it.
13. Eco Reserve Mbatovi (Paraguarí)
Mbatovi Natural Reserve is located in the Serrania de Paraguarí. It is one of the places to visit in Paraguay as a private protected area, preserved by its owners for the protection of biological diversity and natural processes.
It was declared “Of National Tourist Interest” by SENATUR in 2006. Numerous species of birds and a still undetermined variety of reptiles and mammals have been identified in this site. Among them are the agouti paca, the acutí sayju, the aguara’í, the tapití and several species of armadillos.
This is one of the most beautiful places in Paraguay where you can contemplate from a natural balcony the treetops or listen to the dialogue between water and stones. For the more adventurous you can also climb vertical slopes in a moss environment.
And here are the best tourist attractions in Brazil
14. Asunción Botanical Garden (Asunción)
The Botanical Garden of the city of Asunción is a beautifully wooded space of 245 hectares that works as one of the green lungs of the Paraguayan capital. The land was owned by Carlos A. Lopez, the first president of Paraguay between 1842 and 1862.
It has more than 500 species of plants, many of them medicinal and are used to teach visitors about the properties of herbs. In addition, it is one of the unmissable destinations in Paraguay to visit with the children of the house.
This is one of the most beautiful tourist places in Asuncion because tourists can see a Japanese garden, a rose garden and a Roman park.
In addition, in this site you can find a zoo that has more than 70 species of animals, mammals, birds and reptiles. It also has a Natural History museum and a vegetable garden where different species of vegetables and fruits are grown.
15. Villa Florida (Paraguarí)
Villa Florida is located on the banks of the Tebicuary River, 161 kilometers from the city of Asuncion. It is one of the places of interest in Paraguay where the locals live mainly from commercial and tourist activities linked to the beautiful Tebicuary River.
This bank has coast guards and agents of the National Police to guarantee the security of the vacationers. In addition, this is one of the best places to enjoy as a couple in Paraguay since very close to this beach there are a variety of romantic establishments to spend the night, such as the Cabaña San Francisco.
However, for travelers who prefer to camp can do so in a wooded area that is located a few meters from the beach. In addition, it was founded on September 6, 1880 under the government of General Bernardino Caballero.
12 kilometers from Villa Florida is the museum “Cabañas”, a construction of more than 130 years that belonged to General Atanasio Cabañas, hero in the battle of Cerro Porteño and Tacuary in 1810.
Discover also the best things to do in Mexico city.
16. Cerro Cora National Park (Amambay)
If you are going to do several tours in Paraguay, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Cerro Cora National Park. It is located 494 kilometers from Asuncion and 40 kilometers from the city of Pedro Juan Caballero. It was the scene of the last battle of the War against the Triple Alliance.
This is one of the most interesting Paraguay tourist attractions because it is said that in previous centuries the Vikings apparently inhabited this region, leaving some traces of their culture.
The Cerro Corá National Park protects some inscriptions on the walls of Cerro Tuyá. It also protects the representative samples of the vegetation of the Amambay ecoregion.
In addition, this site has a visitors’ center, an auditorium for 70 people, a recreational area on the banks of the Aquidabá River, and a lookout point on Cerro Muralla.
17. Ojo de Mar (Amambay)
Ojo de Mar is considered one of the paradisiacal places in Paraguay. It is located 58 kilometers from the center of Bella Vista Norte, in a company called “Rinconada”. This lake is hidden within a subtropical vegetation so dense that only entering the place you can see.
It has crystalline waters but of half greenish color. Geologists and specialists say that this site would have arisen more than 250 million years BC. In addition, it is inhabited by a variety of fish.
The lake does not have any facilities or services to accommodate tourists. However, it has a small lookout point and a small staircase to facilitate access. As it is one of the most beautiful sites in Paraguay it is perfect for adventurers who wish to go on a photo safari.
18. Triple Frontera (Alto Paraná)
The new Three Borders Landmark was inaugurated in 1903. It is the meeting of three great nations of South America: Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. It consists of three structures, one in Foz do Iguaçu, one in Ciudad del Este and the other in Puerto Iguazú.
This is one of the places in Paraguay most frequented by travelers because the new buildings in honor of the Jesuit Missions and the sound environment allow visitors to learn about the history of the exploration of the region of Foz do Iguaçu in a more didactic way.
It is one of Paraguay’s cultural and tourist attractions since it also includes a beautiful 12-minute projection about Cabeza de Vaca, the first white man to visit the Iguaçu Falls in 1542.
In addition, in this site there is a restaurant and a playground that allow other options for travelers. Hito de las Tres Fronteras is an alternative for the afternoons of the tourists because in it you can see the most beautiful sunsets.
19. Beach of San José (Itapúa)
San Jose is the main beach of the city of Encarnacion, is located on the coast Republic of Paraguay. It is one of the sites in Paraguay that was named after the old barn and mill of the same name, which are still preserved in the area as a testimony to history.
In front of this coast a Gastronomic Walk was created, where there are food places and restaurants specialized in local and foreign dishes.
In this resort it is common to hold artistic events and it is also one of the places to go shopping in Paraguay. In addition, nautical sports like sailing and kayaking are always present in this beach.
Near this shore are two of the most important historical buildings of the city: the old San José mill and its silos, built in 1960.
20. International Bridge of Friendship (Ciudad del Este)
The International Bridge of Friendship was inaugurated in 1965. This work allows the union of Paraguay with Brazil over the Paraná River through the cities of Ciudad del Este and Foz do Iguaçu. This viaduct represented the strengthening of cultural and commercial exchange between the two countries.
This bridge is one of the most interesting places in Paraguay, because it has the largest concrete span in the world (303 meters). In addition, due to its geographical importance, it was the scene of demonstrations by various workers and social movements.
It is one of the tourist attractions of Paraguay that in July 2016 received improvements in the asphalt with new paint, repairs to the concrete slabs, grids on the sides and roof on the pedestrian walkways. Official data estimate that about 40 thousand people cross it every day.
21. Yacyretá Hydroelectric Dam (Misiones)
The Yacyretá Dam is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Paraguay. It is a group of civil works carried out between Argentina and Paraguay. It is located in Saltos de Apipe, on the Paraná River, about 20 kilometers from the city of Ituzaingó.
The main purpose of this dam is the transformation of water energy into electrical energy. Tourists who approach the river currents will be able to enjoy this majestic pharaonic work.
For the construction of one of the tourist places of Alto Paraguay it was necessary to close the river, to dam it and in this way to raise the level of the waters. The height gained allows the water to be discharged with great force through the turbines, which generate energy as they move.
22. Pantanal Paraguayo (Alto Paraguay)
The Paraguayan Pantanal is the largest wetland system in the world. It covers approximately 150 thousand square kilometers in the upper basin of the Paraguay River. This is one of the exotic places of Paraguay that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.
It constitutes a large inland delta where annually the waters rise several meters, flooding an extensive territory, and then retreat, to give life to a majestic natural scenery refuge for all types of birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
On your vacation in Paraguay you can rent a boat to fish or simply enjoy the scenery. In addition, in this excursion you will have the possibility of taking the most beautiful and incredible photographs.
23. Asunción Zoo (Asunción)
The Asuncion City Zoo was created by Dr. Carlos Fiebreig in 1914. It is not a park like any other, it is a national historical, ecological and scientific heritage.
It has more than 70 species of animals: mammals, birds, reptiles and others. In addition, this is one of the tourist sites of Paraguay that has the icon of the Taguá, a species of mountain pig that is extinct and that lives in the Paraguayan Chaco.
This is one of the best tourist attractions of Paraguay that you can not miss because it has a priceless vegetation. It has a native forest that represents the flora of this country. It also has swamps, grasslands and areas completely covered with trees.
24. Costanera de Encarnación (Itapúa)
The construction of the Costanera Avenue started in 2008 with an approximate duration of 4 years with more than 10 thousand workers working tirelessly. On December 17, 2011, it was opened to the public. It is located in the downtown area of the city of Encarnación.
When traveling to Paraguay you will be able to see in this bank pedestrian paths, special for cycling or walking. You can also enjoy the refreshing waters of the Parana River and appreciate the skyline of the city of Posadas.
Constantly this is one of the tourist places of the mountain range of Paraguay where concerts, marathons, plays are carried out near this Costanera. In addition, at night the lights in line visually impact and the old buildings that remain are maintained to give that air that combines the old and modern.
25. Laguna Blanca (San Pedro)
The Laguna Blanca is located in the north of Paraguay, it has a crystalline water of 147 hectares. Its sand is white and has a very particular vegetation.
It was declared a Wilderness Area and Protected Under Private Domain in February 2010. Visiting this lagoon you can clearly see fish and plants.
In addition, there is a bird in danger of extinction: the YbyYaúMorotî or Ataja Caminos Ala Blanca. Here you can also find the green anaconda MboiJaguá.
This became one of the most exotic sites in Paraguay and one of the most visited by foreigners. The complex has places for accommodation, food service, space for camping, boat and kayak trips, snorkeling, volleyball courts and much more.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite backpack with lots of pockets and explore all the best tourist attractions in Paraguay!