What is Paraguay Known For? (18 Things It’s Famous For)

Paraguay is a South American country with a low population density and an area of 406,752 km². It is surrounded by Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia on three sides and has no direct access to the sea. Going there may be more difficult, but it is worth the trip. The unique Paraguayan heritage and history of colonization contribute to its colorful culture. Moreover, Paraguay has a low population density. You can choose from various outdoor activities, such as watching the wildlife, experiencing the waterfalls, or visiting UNESCO structures. Aside from that, the country’s diverse landscape and pleasant tropical climate make it home to abundant animal and plant species. 

Paraguay is known for its stunning landscapes, kind locals, the Parana River, and rich cultural heritage. Paraguay is a great travel destination where you can explore diverse adventures, such as bird-watching or celebrating carnivals. It’s also famous for its water reserve and the Itaipu Dam, supplying electricity to the continent. 

Paraguay Versus Three Powerful Nations

Paraguay was heavily involved in the triple alliance war, also called the Paraguayan war. It was a conflict that raged over South America for around six years, from 1864 to 1870. The triple alliance compromised Argentina, the Empire of Brazil, and Uruguay and fought against Paraguay. It was the deadliest battle between Latin American states in history. Many people died in Paraguay. The conflict killed most males, which changed the gender gap in the population. Ultimately, they had little choice but to give up some of the lands in question to Argentina and Brazil.

Paraguay is a Parrot

Paraguay’s history as a nation is fascinating. A parrot may have inspired the country’s name. According to legend, the first group of Jesuit settlers in the region became friends with a parrot called Frank. The name “Parrot” appears on ancient maps of the area. Sadly, the settlers devoured Frank, but his legacy endures in the form of the country’s name. Although it was not verified, the parrot was used as Paraguay’s emblem on maps in the 16th century.

Guarani Aquifer, the Largest Water Reserve

When discussing Paraguayan culture, water is an integral part that we cannot overlook. With its Guarani aquifer water reserve, Paraguay boasts the title of the World’s Largest Water Reserve. A substantial portion of this reserve is outside Paraguay, in neighboring Argentina and Brazil. At 1.2 million square kilometers in size and 40 million cubic kilometers in volume, it could provide potable water for almost 200 years. As a whole, it’s larger than both Texas and California put together. When water scarcity becomes a global problem in the future, the Guarani Aquifer might be a lifeline for millions of people.

Paraguay’s Wildlife

Paraguay is a haven for bird watchers and enthusiasts. The nation is home to more than a thousand bird species. You can also find Jaguars here, the continent’s biggest cat. The Jaguar Rescue Center is located at the Jardn Zoológico. Panthers and ocelots are also roaming the countryside. Most of Paraguay’s hundreds of snake species, besides the country’s eight coral snake species, are completely harmless. Even though we know from movies that piranha is dangerous, the species is perfectly safe to swim with in Paraguay. These animals are found in Cerrado, the Pantanal, Atlantic Forest, Chaco, and the Mesopotamian Grasslands.

The Mother of Cities

Asuncion is one of the oldest settlements in South America, earning it the nickname Mother of Cities. Asuncion is Paraguay’s capital, and it welcomes visitors from all over the world. You can find many cultural and historical monuments in this area. These historic landmarks include the National Pantheon of the Heroes, the cultural center Cabildo, and the Calle Palma. The Casa de la Independencia, a mansion constructed in 1772 that played a pivotal part in the country’s independence, is one such historic site. Aside from those, you will surely enjoy Asuncion’s nightlife, restaurants, adventures, and entertainment scenes. 

A Bilingual Nation

Many individuals in Paraguay are bilingual in Guaran and Spanish. It is one of the few South American nations to maintain its indigenous language. Guarani is the primary language. About 4,650,000 people in Paraguay speak Guaran as their primary language, or more than 90% of the country’s population. This language has a sizeable non-indigenous speaker population, making it unusual in the Americas. Guaran is interesting since it is an onomatopoeic language. Most of its vocabulary comprises musical imitations of animal and environmental noises. Moreover, South America, especially Paraguay, is influenced by Spain. Almost 90% of the country’s citizens speak Spanish.

The Itaipu Dam, One of the Largest Hydro Powerplants

Itaipu Dam is the world’s second-largest operational hydroelectric power station. It is located on the Paraná River. Almost all of Paraguay’s power comes from this plant. Brazil also consumes over 90% of the electricity produced. The Itaipu Dam was built for $196 billion in 1971. It began producing electricity in May 1984 and, in 2016, broke a global record by creating 103.1 million MWh of electricity in a single year. Since its construction in 1971, this power plant has successfully provided the country’s electricity demands. The concrete required to create this Paraguayan resource would fill at least 210 football stadiums.

Mouthwatering Cuisine 

Paraguay is a country that is wealthy in biodiversity, magnificent landscapes, and mouthwatering dishes. Travelers may satisfy their hunger with dishes like the yerba mate infusion, its tereré version, and the delicious chipa guasu. You can start your day with a traditional chipa and coffee and then have lunch at a milanesa. We highly suggest the Mbeju, a delicious afternoon snack, and pira caldo, a go-to option for supper. You can take kosereva for a late or midnight snake. Paraguay also offers many delicious dishes, including tender meats and juicy delicacies made of fruits.

The Paraguay Navy

Despite the lack of a coastline, Paraguay has the greatest navy fleet of any landlocked nation. It also has a coast guard, river defense corps, and naval aviation. The river system of Paraguay is crucial to the country’s economy, culture, and living. That is why a country needs sizable naval forces for protection and governance. Only the Paraguayan Navy is authorized to police the law on the country’s waterways. The navy utilizes the nation’s rivers and has access to the ocean. More than 30 governments participated in the first-ever conference of landlocked countries, which was held in Paraguay in 2005. 

The Ycua Bolanos Fire That Killed 400 People

The Ycua Bolanos fire catastrophe is one of Paraguay’s infamous calamities. It happened in 2004 in the Ycua Bolanos supermarket blaze in Asuncion. More than 400 persons perished in the fire, while over 500 more were wounded. An alleged guard was instructed to close exits during the fire, presumably to prevent customers from fleeing without paying, raising the death toll from the fire. The store did not have sufficient exits and did not comply with basic safety requirements, including a fire detection system. The negligence resulted in one of the deadliest fires recorded.

Numerous Rivers for Sportfishing 

Sportfishing is famous not only among locals but also among tourists. Its terrain is crisscrossed by rivers and streams, including the Parana, Paraguay, Apa, and Tebicuary. Anglers may catch dorados, catfish, and pacu, a cousin of piranhas, in the Tebicuary, a well-known tributary. Catfish and ray-finned fish, including endemics, live in the Paraguay River, making it an excellent destination for anglers of all skill levels. You can bring or rent the necessary equipment. Taking boat cruises on the rivers during the day and the full moon is also a great item to add to your list if you like fishing.

The Ruins of Jesuit Missions

Every country in Latin America has a unique story about its colonial rulers’ remnants. In the 16th century, Jesuits spread Christianity across Paraguay. They came to convert the natives to Christianity and shielded them from the Spanish colonizers’ abuse and slavery. The Jesuit missions built along the Guaran are among the most popular sites tourists visit in Paraguay. Construction of this historic landmark started in the 17th century and ended in the 18th. These five distinct missions are shown in the well-preserved remains. UNESCO considers these ruins to be of exceptional cultural or historical significance.

The Spectacular Saltos del Monday Waterefalls

You can find one of Paraguay’s natural beauties in Ciudad del Este. Three enormous waterfalls known as Saltos del Monday sits along the Monday River. The waterfalls reach a height of 45 meters and a width of 120 meters. It is a fantastic tourist destination, but getting there may take a lot of work. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, there are places where you can climb or go down. You may also see the Great Dusky Swift, a rare bird swapping in and out of the waterfall. Swifts nest under the shade of flowing water to shelter their young from threats. 

Mate is Their National Drink

It’s hardly surprising that mate is the national drink of Paraguay since it is one of the few South American countries to retain its Guarani heritage. The Guarani tribe consumes mates as part of their culture. The yerba mate plant is used to create an infusion poured over hot water. It would be best if you heated it before serving. Many people prefer the tereré, which is the cold version during the warmer months. Sharing a mate with good friends is a popular Paraguayan pastime. It is seen as a social activity and an essential aspect of culture.

Carnivals Showcasing a Unique Culture

A spectacular part of the Paraguayan culture is celebrated with a vibrant festival. This carnival has served as the city’s unifying event for almost a century. It’s a chance for the people of Paraguay to show off their ancestry and traditions. Encarnación is a city on the banks of the Parana River. Carnival makes this laid-back city the Carnival Capital with its yearly burst of carnival enthusiasm, music, and dancing. It also features incredible samba parades with dancers in stunning costumes. The celebration lasts for a month. Over 300,000 people attend this event, making it Paraguay’s most popular tourist celebration. 

The Parana River Stretches 4,881 Kilometers

The second biggest river in all of South America is located in Paraguay. Beginning in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, this river travels through Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay to the Atlantic Ocean. It has a total length of 4,881 kilometers. Nearly 80% of Paraguay’s commerce travels via this route, which connects the nation’s interior with the Atlantic Ocean. The water systems in the Parana river are a major thoroughfare for the shipment of food, manufactured goods, and petroleum products. Its waters are also utilized to irrigate the fields in the vicinity.

The Heart of the South

The Spanish phrase “the Heart of America” is often used to refer to Paraguay. The country, which has a population of about 7.3 million, can be found in the center of South America’s southern half. The country is landlocked, yet it has some beautiful natural areas. The Guarani had lived in Paraguay for at least 1,000 years before the Spanish arrived. In The Spanish explorers were the first known Europeans to set foot in the area in 1516. Juan de Salazar de Espinosa, a Spanish adventurer, founded the town of Asuncion in the area in August 1537. 

Paraguay is a Green Country

Agriculture is a significant source of the country’s economy. Because of the abundance of water, farming is one of Paraguay’s primary industries. Organic sugar, stevia, cattle, soybeans, and maize are just a handful of Paraguay’s main exports. The agricultural industry also helps maintain the country’s appearance by keeping it green. Furthermore, there are around 3,400 different kinds of trees and plants in Paraguay. Unique trees include the Quebracho and the Lapacho. Locals use Quebracho as a raw material in several sectors, including the leatherworking industry. But among the trees of Paraguay, lapacho, the pink trumpet tree, stands out the most.