One Of The Buttiful Place In The World
Paraguay is a country that has endless possibilities for tourism, due to privileged conditions condensed into a varied geography, an inviting tropical climate and a history and folk art that adorn its towns with an identity that enchants any visitor.
Divided into two large regions that are markedly different due to the emblematic Paraguay River, the country offers to the traveler two geographically and culturally rich universes, rich in attractions: the Eastern Region, that includes rolling hills, with their green countryside bordered by mountain foothills, shady valleys dotted by streams and lakes, dense forests, along with the majority of the country’s cities and towns, whose architecture maintains strong colonial and pioneer traits; the Western Region, which represents the most vast and least populated territory in the country, including the great arid and dry Chaco, with extensive and valuable ecological and biological reserves, vast stretches of land dedicated to stockbreeding and prosperous foreign colonies.
In present-day Paraguay, 17 indigenous ethnic groups survive, corresponding to various linguistic branches, the most important of which is Guaraní, which left modern Paraguayans one of the most admired American languages for its richness and flexibility, spoken today by 90% of the population. The indigenous peoples of the country, which number approximately some 100,000 inhabitants, add their unique effect to the diverse cultural spectrum along with German, Japanese, Brazilian, Argentine and Bolivian colonies and communities, among others. All of this comprises a broad cultural spectrum that reflects the country in its literature, its art, its music, its dance and its traditional and modern expressions, which the visitor to Paraguay can appreciate.
Located in the center of South America, with dimensions of 157,048 square miles, Paraguay has a small population of nearly 6,000,000 people well into the 21st Century, according to the latest statistical data. This is reflected in its cities, with a more relaxed lifestyle, without the rush and bustle found in modern metropolises, which is an excellent characteristic for the enjoyment of the tourist.
In recent years, authorities and the private citizenry have achieved notable successes in what Paraguayan tourism has to offer potential visitors. Hotel infrastructures, as well as the new options for tourism at ranches, such as tours and specific packages that try to promote natural and cultural attractions that the country has to offer, all demonstrate a growing improvement.
Paraguay Biggest City
Asunción has a historic downtown and has been coming around and now shows signs of its rich history. It has important architectural groupings, such as the “Riviera Block,” a well-preserved entire city block of the city that is site of the oldest house in the city, the Cathedral, López Palace, the Railroad, and the House of Independence, all of them being quite old. In regard to its modern attractions, one must mention its services, the magnificent Lírico Theater, numerous nightlife spots, huge shopping malls, restaurants and first-class hotels.
It is located less than an hour from the Jesuit Ruins of Jesús y Trinidad, declared a Treasure of Humanity by UNESCO. It also has natural attractions, such as its banks on the Paraná River and its green countryside, adorned throughout with beautiful streams. It has intense business activity, connected to its Argentine neighbor Posadas.
Ciudad del Este
This is the city with the heaviest commercial activity in the country, where you can find any variety of items at the lowest prices, from small kitchen appliances and electronics to clothes and cosmetics. It is located only an hour from the marvelous Iguazu Falls, by crossing the Bridge of Friendship into Brazil. It is also locates close to Itaipú Dam, the largest of its kind in the world, and it has great natural attractions.
This is considered the “Cultured City” of Paraguay and historically it is nicknamed “La Andariega,” or “keen on walking,” as it has changed its location several times. With a rich history and noteworthy academic and cultural activity, it is stately and hospitable. It has diverse nearby attractions, such as the beautiful town of Yataity, where they make the delicate handicraft of Ao Po’I, and the German colonies where delicious wines and other quality products are produced.
Paraguay's Soccer Team
When you think of Paraguay, you think of...well...a guay, then you imagine a pair of guays. We don't know. We're useless. But we know the country's in South America and the people speak Spanish. And they're probably pretty upset that no one knows anything about them.
Not that they haven't tried to share themselves with us. This little landlocked nation of 6 million has produced quality national football sides for almost a century. They're not intimidated by the big boys in their backyard, and they know how to win big tournaments. But they've got an uphill challenge at this World Cup. They're not considered a threat.
Yet in reality, Paraguay has 'em right where they want 'em. With everyone worried about other opponents, this pair of guays can play with abandon, go for broke. We think they might surprise us all.
So here's the top 10 facts you need to know about the Paraguayan football team:
10. Paraguay's football team is nicknamed the Guaraníes (an indigenous people in the country) & La Albirroja (White & Red), after the flag's colours. We like Guaraníes - it's all about heritage, right.
9. Paraguay played in the first World Cup in 1930, in Montevideo, Uruguay. They beat Belgium 1-0 but were sent home by the United States 3-0. But in 2010, this will be Paraguay's 8th World Cup qualification. And they earned it by beating Maradona's Argentina team 1-0. Good stuff!
8. Gerardo Martino coaches the Paraguay team. A former midfielder on the national team, he was given the job in 2007. He's already gotten them to the World Cup. Not bad.
7. Paraguay's captain is Denis Caniza. A defender who has been with the national team since 1996, he tried to retire a few years ago, but the new coach Martino called him back. He shrugged, came back, and is now the team's leader.
6. José Saturnino Cardozo is Paraguay's top scorer with 25 goals. A striker on the national team from 1991-2006, he took his time getting his goals. It took him 83 caps to get the 25, but we know that they were hard fought goals. So, well done.
5. Paraguay has made it to the Second Round in three World Cups, their best effort so far. That may be the best we can reasonably expect from this squad as well, but we're hoping for a little surprise.
4. Paulo da Silva and Roque Santa Cruz both play in the English Premier League, with Sunderland and Manchester City. A few others play in Europe while most of the rest play either in Argentina or Mexico.
3. FIFA ranked Paraguay 30th before the 2010 World Cup, a far cry from the 8th place they once had in 2001. But they'll have to beat some outstanding teams to move up the ranks. C'mon Guaraníes!
2. Paraguay has won the Copa América twice. In 1953 they beat Brazil in Peru. And in 1979, they beat Chile to claim the crown. So they've got the history, but what about the future?
1. Paraguay won the Silver Medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. They faced old rivals Argentina in the final, to whom they lost 1-0. It was a valiant effort against a good team: Argentina didn't concede a single point the whole tournament. Maybe Paraguay will change that in the 2010 World Cup!