A Travellerspoint blog

Paraguay

South America - Goodbye!

34 °C

After almost 12 months, sadly our time in South America has come to an end. We've explored hundreds of towns and hostels, rode countless buses, and met brilliant people along the way. We have seen and experienced so much. This continent truly has everything, we only really scratched the surface!

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Some of our great hightlights that we recommend have been:
1. Patagonia in both Argentina and Chile including: Ushuaia, Torres del Paine, El Chalten, El Calafate
2. Carretera Austral, Pucon, Santiago and Valparaiso in Chile
3. Salta and Cafayate in Argentina
4. Salt Flats tour from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni in Bolivia
5. Potosi and Sucre in Bolivia
6. The 'Ride and River' journey from Sorata to the Bolivian jungle
7. Machu Picchu and Cusco in Peru
8. Huaraz and Chachapoyas in north Peru
9. Ecuador journey from Vilcabamba to Otavalo, exploring markets, colonial towns, Banõs, Quito and Mindo
10. Galapagos Islands
11. Colombian coffee region near Salento
12. Tayrona National Park and Cartagena on the Colombian Caribbean
13. Rio de Janeiro, in our opinion, South America's best capital city
14. Iguazu Falls

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or would like any advise. Goodbye South America, you will be missed! Next up, Panama...

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 01:02 Archived in Paraguay Comments (3)

Paraguay - Asuncion

34 °C

Paraguay - Asunciontal of Paraguay and we weren't really sure what to expect. First impressions weren't the greatest as we trudged down a main street loaded with our packs in scorching humid heat surrounded by loud and smoggy buses racing past! Once we stepped into El Jardin hostel, our view changed. A lovely hostel complete with garden and pool it felt like a different world.

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Ascuncion is unlike any other South American capital city, it feels less hectic and you can sense a great divide between the rich and poor. The roads were packed with Mercedes-Benz cars both brand new and others from the 70's still chugging along. This was mirrored by the housing, shanty areas and opulent houses akin to Toorak in Melbourne.

There were some nice buildings to explore, South America's first train station and once interesting place was the huge 'Mercado Quatro'. The market was packed with alleyways and sold everything from hanging tripe to clothing and owls! Sadly this is the last city for us to explore on our journey through South America.

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 00:44 Archived in Paraguay Comments (0)

Paraguay - Encarnación

32 °C

A hot and humid walk across the Parana river and we found ourselves in Paraguay, South America's second poorest country. Our last country to be explored on this trip in South America. Ciudad del Este borders Brazil and is famous for manic shopping. Thanks to less tax and cheaper goods, Brazillians and Argentinians frequently cross the border to snap up a bargain. We did some shopping and before we knew it, our packs were fuller.

We took a 5 hour rickety and very hot bus south to the city of Encarnación, the gateway to one of Paraguay´s main attractions, the Jesuit Ruins. Paraguay receives a small number of travellers due to it´s lack of ´big´ sights so we decided to find our accommodation when we arrived...Lonely Planet in hand, two cheap hotels are right next to the bus station. Easy. So we thought...Paraguayans don`t have access to the ocean but love their beaches, and it turns out at this time of year the river beach in Encarnación is the most popular place to be.

First hotel, fully booked, second, fully booked, the third, simply had a sign up - booked. After calling at least a dozen others (no one in town knew of any more!), trapsing from one edge of Encarnation to another and four hours later at midnight...we eventually found somewhere to stay (thanks Parana Hotel).

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The Jesuit Ruins, a day trip from the city centre were well worth the visit. Founded by the Jesuit missionaries during the colonization of South America in the 17th century, the sight must have been very impressive until the Spanish, threatened by their power came and put an end to that. The ruins we visited are spread over two sites 12km apart and are in good condition. They are certainly unique to other ruins we have visited in South America and the special thing was that we almost had them entirely to ourselves. To get from one to the other we took a tuk tuk which demonstrated just how genuinely nice Paraguayan people are. Our friendly smiling driver chauffeured us around and asked us to write in his personal book, full of travellers messages and names. It seemed like his proudest posession. We also grabbed ourselves a few mangoes, which are abundent in Paraguay, the trees are brimming, with ripe mangos carpeting the sandy red ground.

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 16:00 Archived in Paraguay Comments (2)

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