Paraguay Destinations Travel Guide  

Flag of Paraguay

Language: Spanish, Guaraní

Currency: Guaraní (PYG)

Calling Code: 595


Paraguay, officially the Republic of Paraguay (Guarani: Paraguái Tavakuairetã), is an American landlocked country located in the central area of South America departments. Its capital and most populous city is Asunción.The form of government of Paraguay is the republic ruled by the presidential system and is also organized as a rule of law,It is a founding member of Mercosur along with Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

With an area of 406,752 km2, it is the 5.0 least extensive country in South America. According to the 2022 Paraguayan Census, it has more than 6,100,000 inhabitants, of which 40% of the population lives in Gran Asunción. It is bordered by Argentina to the southeast, south, southwest and west; with Bolivia to the north and northwest; and with Brazil to the east and northeast. Its territory is characterized by two different regions separated by the Paraguay River, the Eastern, which is the most populous, and the Western, which forms part of the Boreal Chaco. Although it is a landlocked state, it has coasts, beaches and ports on the Paraná and Paraguay rivers, which give it outlet to the Atlantic Ocean through the Paraná-Paraguay Waterway.

The Paraguayan Constitution declares it a pluricultural and bilingual country, establishing Spanish and Guarani as official languages. Paraguay has a literacy rate of 96% , and a life expectancy of 78,1 years according to the CIA World Factbook. It ranks 105th globally in the human development index, with 0.717 points in 2021, being its high HDI. For its part, the structure of the Paraguayan economy consists of 11.4% in the agricultural sector, 33.5% in the industrial sector, 47.5% in the services sector and 7.6% in tariffs.

Human presence dates back to the Neolithic, which dates back to about 3200 BC.During the pre-Hispanic period it was inhabited by indigenous peoples of the Tupí-Guarani and Mataco-Guaicurú groups. The arrival of the Spaniards marked the beginning of the Spanish domination of this territory, until the nineteenth century, when on the morning of May 14 and 15, 1811 Paraguay gained its independence. The history of the incipient nation was marked by an economy that boomed in its early days, until the advent of two major international wars that ravaged the country. Successive political struggles for power, along with two civil wars, culminated in an iron dictatorship that was finally overthrown and from there, the democratic period was established that continues to this day.



Paraguay is mostly divided into two regions:
the Oriente, east of the Río Paraguay, a hilly, fertile landscape where more than 90 percent of all Paraguayans live.
the Paraguayan Chaco, west of the Río Paraguay, a sparsely populated plain that is very hot in summer.



Asuncion - Capital
Ciudad del Este - The most famous shopping city in South America with the character of a bazaar, near the Itaipu Dam.
Encarnación on the Río Paraná with an old town that is worth seeing and is half sunken in the river.
Filadelfia, the capital of the Mennonite colonies of the Chaco Plains.


Travel Destinations in Paraguay

Cerro Cora National Park is located in Amambay Department and contains a series of rock painting in several caves inside the park. Battle of Cerro Cora was fought within boundaries of the park.

Nacunday National Park in Paraguay is famous for its beautiful and majestic waterfall.


Getting here

entry requirements
All EU and EFTA citizens can enter the country without a visa for 90 days.

By plane
Air Europa currently offers the only non-stop connection from Europe to Paraguay from Madrid. Transfer flights usually go via Sao Paolo, including with TAM Airlines.

By train
There are no international rail connections to Paraguay.

By bus
From the neighboring countries Argentina and Brazil, the bus is a popular means of transport. Asunción is approached by almost all major cities in southern Brazil and Argentina. The bus connection to Bolivia via the Chaco, on the other hand, is less recommended, since the road is very bad and still often sinks into the mud in the humid summer.

Largest bus companies are NSA and La Encarnacena.

In the street
The international driving license is recognized for 90 days.

Travelers traveling by land must ensure their passport is entry stamped by Paraguayan immigration authorities at border crossings. This is where personal initiative is required, since vehicles are often not stopped at the larger crossings. If the stamp is missing, a fine is due upon departure.

The most important border crossings are:
Puente Internacional de la Amistad (Ciudad del Este and Foz de Iguazú)
Pedro Juan Caballero and Ponta Pora
Salto del Guaira and Mundo Novo
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for certain regions when traveling to Brazil.

It takes 45 minutes to drive from Asunción over the bridge to Puerto Falcón, on the Argentine side is Clorinda.
Encarnacion and Posadas (ARG)

One gets to Bolivia on the Ruta Transchaco (9) near General Eugenio A. Garay across the border.

By boat
A daytime ferry across the river connects Asunción to Clorinda in Argentina via Chacoí, then Puerto Falcón.

In the south of Asunción is Puerto Ita Enramada, here the exit control is not signposted. There are water taxis and car ferries to the Puerto Pilcomayo dock. On the way to the village is a checkpoint of the Argentine border guards.


Getting around

By plane
Domestic flights are available in Paraguay with the military airline SETAM. These offer partly irregular and very weather-prone flights to many smaller airports in Paraguay. The airline TAM also makes a stopover in Ciudad del Este on two daily flights to and from Asunción. Since small turboprop aircraft are used, luggage is limited to 10 kg + 2 kg hand luggage, the passengers in the 24-seat CASA C-212 are weighed.

There is also the possibility to rent an air taxi:
Airmen S.A., Hangars DECSA, Aeropuerto Internacional Silvio Pettirossi, Luque. Tel: (021) 645 990, Mobile: (0991) 203 971, (0981) 415 473, Fax: (021) 645 980, Email:
Helitactica, headquarters: Shopping Villa Morra, 3er piso, San Roque González e/ Mcal. Lopez, Asuncion. Tel: (021) 661 921, Mobile: (0971) 911 000, Fax: (021) 661 921, Email:

By bus
The main means of transport in Paraguay is the bus. In the larger cities there are city buses, so-called colectivos, whose route network also includes suburbs or small towns that are further away. Longer distances and trips to neighboring countries are served by intercity buses, which are not only the cheapest but also by far the most comfortable means of transport. There are different price ranges, in the best ones the seats can be folded almost horizontally into a bed, the legroom is far more than in European coaches. However, long-distance buses in Paraguay are significantly worse and sometimes more expensive than in neighboring countries such as Bolivia or Argentina.

In the street
Driving in Paraguay takes some getting used to. Only the country's main routes, which are subject to tolls (between 5,000 and 10,000 Gs each way), are asphalted and in reasonably good condition. In smaller villages there are often only dirt roads, which are sometimes no longer passable even for off-road vehicles after the usual rainfall in the country. The general right-of-way rules are set according to the road conditions: asphalt road before cobblestone road and cobblestone road before dirt road.

Since street signs are not given much attention by the Paraguayos, so-called "speed bumps" (Lomadas) are often used to calm traffic in the cities, although these are not always signposted. These speed bumps can either surveys or such. For example, in Encarnación there may also be depressions in the street.

The following rules should be observed, as non-compliance with them is usually considered with a fine (multa):
When driving overland, it should be noted that the dipped headlights must also be switched on during the day!
Even if nobody seems to stick to it, seatbelts are compulsory!
Speed limits should definitely be observed, as police checks are frequent, especially in rural areas.
In the event of a police check, the car documents (from the rental company), international driver's license and passport must normally be presented.
First aid equipment is not mandatory, but a working fire extinguisher and two (!) warning triangles must be carried. It is best to have the car rental company show you these before you leave.

There are a few other peculiarities in Paraguayan traffic that could irritate Europeans who are used to the rules:
In the big cities, each street has as many lanes as cars can fit next to each other, markings are irrelevant.
"Threading" is not done according to the zip system, but the following applies: whoever is further ahead gets to ride first.
The horn and flashing headlights signal: "Here I come!" not "You may drive". These are sometimes also used when the traffic lights have already switched to red. That's why it's common to wait for the first few seconds of your own green phase to see if someone on the other lane is "shot" at you.
From time to time traffic lights are only on the opposite side of the street, here you have to be careful not to overlook them.
A gas station attendant does the filling up, the driver stays in the car and simply says how much he wants to fill up - full, a liter or for a certain amount.
Although traffic in Paraguay is generally right-hand, it is common to drive on the left on dual carriageways. Especially drivers in old, slow vehicles seem to have a fondness for it; in such a case, you can overtake on the right.
Liability insurance is not required by law. In case of doubt, you are left with the costs of an accident that is not your fault.

The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years; an international driver's license must be presented. Addresses of car rental companies are listed in the city articles. If you want to drive to the Iguazu Falls in a rental car, you should inquire with the rental company beforehand whether you can drive it in Argentina.



The official languages are Spanish and Guarani. If you would like to learn more about Guaraní, you can download a free language course in PDF format here.

The Mennonite colonies in the northwest are German-speaking, but in daily life a dialect similar to Low German is spoken that is difficult for southern Germans, Austrians and Swiss to understand. However, since High German is taught in the schools, as a tourist you normally have no communication problems.

In some areas, Italian and Japanese are also spoken.



The official currency in Paraguay is the Guaraní (character: ₲), but in most shops in larger cities the dollar is also accepted as a means of payment - for a percentage surcharge on the purchase price. It should be noted that $100 bills with certain 2003 serial numbers will not be accepted in stores, banks, or bureaux de change. Euros can easily be exchanged. Some ATMs in Asunción offer the choice between Guaraníes and Dollars when withdrawing, debit and credit cards can be used.

In Nov 2021 there was ₲6800 for one US dollar and ₲7900 for one euro.

Outside of the larger cities, it is difficult to find ATMs or pay with dollars or credit cards. The maximum limit for cash withdrawals is usually ₲1.5-3 million per day.

Current exchange rates can be found on the website of the Paraguayan Central Bank.

Popular Paraguayan souvenirs include:
Ñandutí: finely woven cotton tablecloths and towels with traditional patterns
Teréré mug: made of cow horn, silver or rosewood with the corresponding drinking tube
Ao-Poí: embroidered blouses, shirts or dresses made of cotton
Leather goods: e.g. B. bags, jackets, belts...
wooden carved figures, icons or objects of daily use



The main food in Paraguay is beef - usually grilled or fried. Sausages, poultry and the river fish surubí and dorado are also popular. Mandioca is often served as a side dish. This root tastes similar to potato and is prepared in the same way.

Common snacks include chipa, a pastry made from cornmeal, eggs, and cheese, which tastes best warm and fresh, and empanadas - dumplings filled with meat, fish, cheese, corn, and the like.

Because of its favorable location, bananas, pineapples, papayas and other tropical fruits grow in Paraguay. These are offered cheaply on markets and in supermarkets and are a real taste experience.

Yerba mate
Paraguay is the home of yerba mate. The dried or ground leaves of the tree species Ilex Paraguayensis are used for this. They are infused with hot water (mate) in winter and with ice-cold water (teréré) in summer. You can buy special thermos flasks and suitably shaped ice cream everywhere.

The word mate has its origin in the Quechua language and originally referred to the container made from a dry gourd (calabash). The origin of this drink lies in the Guarani culture in the pre-Hispanic period. But it was not until the 18th century, when the habit of drinking tea became fashionable in Europe, that the habit of drinking mate became established in South America and especially in Uruguay. The brown-green bitter drink quickly became the companion of farm workers. Over the years, mate has carved its place in the city, and today mate drinking is common throughout Uruguay, as well as Argentina, Paraguay, and southern Brazil. The meaning of mate depends on the place, the moment or with whom you drink mate. It can be just a drink, or it can be the companion of idle hours, groups of friends, family, colleagues. Or it is a symbol of welcome for the visitor at the door of the house.

Mate is generally drunk together and always uses the same container and bombilla, passed from one person to another. This fact makes it significantly different from the way other beverages like tea or coffee are drunk. The bombilla is a drinking tube, generally made of metal, which dates back to the 18th century in this form. At its ends are the filter and the mouthpiece.

Preparation: Fill the vessel about 2/3 full with hot, non-boiling water, let it steep until the mate leaves are swollen, then fill the vessel. The first infusion can be quite bitter, the tea can be infused 2-4 times.



Paraguay has strict curfew laws. It's usually over after 1 or 2 a.m. Nevertheless, there are numerous nightclubs in the cities.



Especially in Asunción there is accommodation in every category and for every budget.

In Paraguay as well as in many other countries, e.g. B. Brazil, there are no stars for hotels, but categories. These are officially awarded by the Ministry of Tourism. Many hotels give stars so as not to confuse the international tourist. So-called non-representative hotel ratings on the Internet should not be trusted. Such sites are often put online for personal reasons, in order to harm others!

Aparthotels with small, fully equipped kitchens are particularly popular with long-term renters.

Inland, accommodation is inexpensive and often very basic.

On the weekends more and more people go to small farms where you can ride and swim, sometimes carriage rides are offered.



Paraguay has one of the most liberal immigration laws in the world. You have to prove an amount of money of currently around 5000 euros in a bank account in Paraguay, then you can go to the immigration authorities -
Dirección General de Migraciones, Caballero e/ Eligio Ayala, 3er Piso, Asunción. Tel: (021) 446 066, (021) 492 908, (021) 446 673, email: edit info
- apply for a residence/work permit. However, that does not mean that you will get a job.



Compared to other Latin American countries, Paraguay is relatively safe for tourists. If you stick to the usual rules and don't carry jewelry, cameras and money too obviously with you, you usually have nothing to fear. Pickpocketing does occur, this is often committed by the poorer part of the population and serves primarily to "cover expenses," i. H. Violence is relatively rare.

There are armed robberies on public transport from time to time. Here you should not defend yourself and hand over your mobile phone and money, as the perpetrators can be quite aggressive.

If you want to report a theft or robbery to the police, dial the emergency number 911 or go to a police station. A log is then created here, which can be helpful if e.g. B. the passport fell victim to theft.

Despite allegations of corruption, the Paraguayan police are not as bad as their reputation, especially when it comes to recovering stolen goods, and they have been able to record greater success time and again.



Since the state health system primarily ensures basic care for the population, foreigners will go to a private hospital in an emergency. Here, as is usually the case abroad, the treatment must be paid for immediately, i. H. A foreign health insurance makes sense in any case.

If you need special medication, you should bring a sufficient supply with you, as supply cannot be guaranteed in the interior of the country. Most of the medicines offered in Paraguay are imported from neighboring countries, rarely from North America or even Europe. Therefore, the mode of action can be different from what you are used to, despite the same ingredients.

In the summer of 2007, cases of yellow fever became known in Paraguay for the first time in several decades.

The standard vaccinations for polio, diphtheria and tetanus should be refreshed before departure if necessary. Hepatitis A/B and typhoid vaccinations are also recommended.

Insect repellent
Every year there are numerous cases of dengue fever, which is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. So far there is neither a vaccination nor a specific treatment option, so insect repellent should also be used during the day.

There is no increased risk of malaria in large parts of Paraguay. If you want to travel north to the Chaco and the jungle on the Brazilian border, you should take a prophylactic with you.

heat and sun
Especially in summer, temperatures in the southern part of the country can rise to 45 °C and in the northern Chaco to over 50 °C. Sunscreen and hats protect against sunburn, great exertion should be avoided in order not to overload the body, and it is essential to regularly compensate for lost fluids with water or tea. Those who have a "siesta" around midday can avoid the greatest heat.


Post and telecommunications

To Europe: The best way to post mail is in Asunción at the Correo Central or at the airport. A letter or postcard to Germany costs about 16,000 Gs.
To Paraguay: In Paraguay, there is no postal service like in Europe. Important mail should always be sent by registered mail. Thicker letters tend to get "lost" especially at Christmas time. If you want to send valuables to Paraguay, forwarding agencies such as DHL or UPS are ideal. In addition to the address, consignments should always be clearly labeled with the recipient's telephone number, otherwise they may be considered undeliverable.

Land line: You can make phone calls to Europe from any hotel, but this is expensive. Normally you go to one of the many offices of the telephone company COPACO. You can choose domestic calls from there, international calls are often arranged. The country code from Paraguay to Germany is +49, to Austria +43 and to Switzerland +41. There are also many shops marked "Cabinas" or "Fax" where you can make phone calls and send faxes.
Cellular: Handy is called Celular here, the largest cellphone providers are Tigo and Personal, with a combined 85% market share. Vox and Claro share the rest. The network coverage is generally relatively good, and LTE is even offered in larger cities (especially Asunción). There is also a mobile phone payment system, Tigo Money, which costs the user 4% of the amount transferred.

For telephoning with a European card/number using the roaming method, correspondingly high fees are incurred. For longer stays, it makes sense in any case to get a suitable SIM card from one of the providers mentioned above. With these, however, it is not possible to make calls abroad as standard, but incoming calls are possible. Paraguay is planning to join Mercosur roaming, which started in mid-2021 at no extra cost. When buying a SIM, the passport must be presented, and since 2018 a fingerprint has been taken on the form from the regulatory authority.

Internet cafes are becoming increasingly popular. You can now find them in almost all shopping centers and on the big streets. The fees are about one euro per hour. Most hotels, especially urban ones, now offer WiFi (free/paid) or provide computers with internet access.



The original name comes from the Paraguayan Guaraní toponym, considering that the letter "Y" in Guaraní represents the sound [ɨ] (a central closed non-rounded type guttural vowel) in the International Phonetic Alphabet and, therefore, does not have the same pronunciation in Spanish. No definitive conclusion has been reached about the origin of the name Paraguay. The most common interpretations throughout national history suggest
River that creates a sea.
Water of the payaguaes (payaguá-y, payaguá-i): The Spanish soldier and scientist Félix de Azara stated these two versions, the first referred to the native payaguaes who lived on the banks of the river; and the other refers to the fact that it was due to the name of a great chief called 'Paraguaio'.
River that passes through the sea (Great Pantanal): Version by the Franco-Argentine historian and writer Paul Groussac.
River of the sea dwellers: The former Paraguayan president and politician Juan Natalicio González supported this version.
Coronado River: Interpretation by Brother Antonio Ruiz de Montoya.

In Guaraní, the place name Paraguay refers to the area where the city of Asunción is located, while Paraguái is the name of the national territory.



Prehispanic era

The territory of Eastern Paraguay, made up of the area located between the Paraná River to the southeast and the Paraguay River to the northwest, was inhabited by various Indo-American ethnic groups that were in a state of war among themselves. It is not yet known if the lagids were the first to occupy the territory or if they were preceded by the pampids (agaces, payaguás, etc.).

What is documented is that towards the 15th century the Amazonian Avas commonly known as Guaraníes managed to advance from the north and east thanks to their numerical superiority and the possession of a more developed material culture, since they practiced the horticulture of manioc, corn and peanuts. The practice of slash-and-burn agriculture allowed them surpluses to support a population in continuous demographic increase that required new territories.

Thanks to their basic economic organization and their demography, the Guaraní came to organize themselves quasi-stately, with chiefs called mburuvichás or tuvichás. There is talk of a pre-Columbian civilization in what is now Eastern Paraguay. In fact, graphics have been found in various areas of Paraguay, in what are now cities, such as Tacuatí and Paraguarí among others; although it is not possible to specify exactly the ethnic groups that carried them out.

What is now Eastern Paraguay consisted of numerous semi-nomadic Amerindian tribes speaking mainly of the Avañe'e or Guaraní language, who were renowned for their fierce warrior traditions. They practiced a mythical polytheistic religion, which later mixed with Christianity. At first, the Spaniards and other Europeans were called karaý or caraí, a word that formerly in Guaraní referred to someone who was supposed to be endowed with supernatural powers; Later the word Karai-Guasu was resignified as a synonym for great lord.


Spanish viceregal era

Century XVI

The documented history of Paraguay began indirectly in 1516 with the failed expedition of Juan Díaz de Solís to the Río de la Plata. After Solís' death, the expedition sailed back to Spain, but one of the ships was wrecked near the coast Brazilian. Among the survivors was Alejo García, a Portuguese adventurer naturalized Spanish who led a contingent of 2,000 Guaraní warriors that reached the borders of the Inca Empire before 1533. García's entourage managed to obtain a considerable amount of silver, but eventually his Indigenous allies murdered him along with the other Europeans. However, news of the incursion into Inca territory attracted other explorers such as Sebastián Caboto, who arrived at the Paraguay River two years later.

In 1536, the arrival of Pedro de Mendoza, the first advance of the Río de la Plata, took place, who after fulfilling his objectives set in the capitulation signed with the crown in 1534, was forced to return to Spain due to the illness that affected him. afflicted Before leaving, he had let Juan de Ayolas leave with the order to find a way to Upper Peru. Due to Ayolas' delay, Juan de Salazar set sail on his search, which would be fruitless, and in 1537 he founded Asunción.

After an interregnum, Domingo Martínez de Irala prevails and takes the place left by Mendoza. He arrives in Asunción and almost immediately must face an attempted Carian uprising in 1539, which is discovered and defeated. In 1541 the remainder of the population of Buenos Aires arrived in Asunción and it acquired the rank of city. However, a huge fire almost destroyed the entire city in 1543.

The Spanish monarchy appointed Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca governor of Paraguay (1542), but his power was usurped by Domingo Martínez de Irala, who imprisoned him and deported him to Spain in 1545. Shortly before Irala's death in 1556, he implements the indigenous encomienda system.

Between 1550 and 1590, Asunción was the center of Spanish colonization in the Río de la Plata, with several founding expeditions starting from this city, such as Villa de Ontiveros (1554), Ciudad Real (1557), Nueva Asunción (1559), Santa Cruz de la Sierra (1561), Villa Rica (1570), Santa Fe (1573), the refoundation of Buenos Aires (1580), Concepción de Buena Esperanza (1585), Corrientes (1588) and Santiago de Jerez (1593).

Hernando Arias de Saavedra was elected interim governor in 1592, being the first Creole to reach such a high position. In 1598, the viceroy of Peru appointed him titular governor. His internal policy was aimed at the defense of the indigenous people in a situation of encomienda and the exploration of the territory.


XVII century

In 1607, Hernandarias wanted to remedy the situation of isolation, distance and threat in which the cities of Guayrá, Santiago de Jerez, Villa Rica and Ciudad Real found themselves, which were isolated from commercial currents and cut off, for which he requested the king's permission. division of said provinces with a governor for each of them. The king requested a report from the viceroy of Peru, Marquis of Montesclaros, who deemed it appropriate to create a new governorate by adding the three cities of Guayrá to that of Asunción, each governorate would have four cities.

The division was carried out in 1617, thus resulting in the Governorate of the Río de la Plata, with Buenos Aires as the capital, as well as Santa Fe, Concepción de Buena Esperanza and Corrientes; while the Government of Paraguay would have Asunción as its capital, plus the cities of Villa Rica, Santiago de Jerez and Ciudad Real.

In 1628, bandeirantes incursions occurred in the area of the new governorate, affecting several reductions and towns in Guayrá and Itatín, whose areas were gradually depopulated since 1632. However, the bandeirantes suffered a setback at the hands of the Guaraníes of the Jesuit missions in the battle of Mbororé (1641). Even so, the bandeirantes continued with several episodes of attacks, the destruction of Villa Rica in 1676 being of greatest resonance.

The end of this century and the next are characterized by the constant struggles that the governors waged against the Guaicurúes of Chaco and the Portuguese of Brazil.


Century XVIII

The first half of this century would be marked by the so-called communal revolution. Previously, this conflict already appeared between 1644 and 1650, when the residents of Asunción under the command of Bishop Bernardino de Cárdenas confronted the Jesuits, which led to the expulsion of the former by an army of Indians from the Missions.

Subsequently, the second communal revolution emerged in 1717 when the residents of Asunción raised complaints of abuse of authority by Governor Diego de los Reyes Balmaceda. For this purpose, the investigating judge José de Antequera y Castro is sent, who finds the accusations true and overthrows Balmaceda, taking over the government of the province in 1721. The fight spreads between the Asuncion and the Jesuits, until the viceroy of Peru , a sympathizer of the latter, ordered Bruno Mauricio de Zabala to march to Asunción with a large army of Indians, managing to occupy it in 1725. Antequera fled to Lima, where he was arrested and sentenced to death in 1731. Spirits were not pacified in Paraguay but until 1735, when Zabala marched again towards Asunción, managing to defeat the community members in the battle of Tavapy and imposing harsh sanctions on the province.

The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, created in 1776 with its capital in Buenos Aires, integrated Paraguay into its jurisdiction, separating it from the Viceroyalty of Peru. Thus, in 1782, Asunción was, in the Municipality of Paraguay, the only population with the category of city. The area south of the Tebicuary River and east of the Caaguazú mountain range, for its part, corresponded to the Governorate of the Guaraní Missions, constituted with the remains of the Jesuit Missions under Spanish control.

In 1806 and 1807, the English Invasions occurred, occupying the areas of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata corresponding to the Eastern Band and a large part of Buenos Aires; Troops from Asunción and Córdoba marched towards the capital and successfully dislodged the invaders.


Independence and formation of the Paraguayan state

The beginning

In 1810, the Spanish War of Independence allowed the Argentines to establish the First Junta with the objective of forming a Congress of all the provinces of the Viceroyalty of the Río de La Plata. The Municipality of Paraguay refused to subordinate itself to the Junta, later managing to defeat the army sent to make it independent. Months later, the winning troops began the May Revolution of 1811. On June 17, a Paraguayan congress appointed a government board chaired by Fulgencio Yegros, and on October 12, a Treaty of Friendship, Assistance and Assistance was signed with Buenos Aires. Trade.

The Second National Congress met on September 30, 1813. There, a new form of government was elected, the Consulate led by Yegros and José Gaspar Rodríguez of Francia; and the name Republic was adopted. Shortly after, Yegros left the government. Then, the Congress meeting on October 3, 1814 resolved to grant the title of temporary dictator of the Republic of Paraguay to José Gaspar Rodríguez of Francia.

The Fourth National Congress, meeting in May 1816, declared José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia perpetual dictator, a position he held until his death in 1840. His intensely personal regime and policy of self-sufficiency left the country isolated and without alternatives in the institutions. policies.​ In addition, it prohibited river traffic to Argentina, as well as all foreign trade, and few people could enter or leave the territory.

He introduced modern methods of agriculture and livestock, and organized the army. Most of the large properties on which food was grown and supplied to the population free of charge were confiscated. He abolished the Inquisition, suppressed the faculty of theology, tithes, and deprived the nobility of their privileges.

The French regime laid the foundations for a strong and directing State to undertake the economic modernization of the country. Paraguay thus established rigorous protectionism at a time when most other countries were adopting the free trade system promoted by the United Kingdom. This model, continued after the death of France by his successors Carlos Antonio López and then Francisco Solano López, made Paraguay one of the most modern and socially advanced countries in Latin America: the redistribution of wealth was so extensive that many foreign travelers reported that in the country there was no begging, hunger or conflicts. Agrarian reform has made possible an equitable distribution of land. Asunción was one of the first capitals on the continent to inaugurate a railway network. The country had a growing industry and a merchant fleet of ships built in national shipyards, a trade surplus and no debt.

José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia died without leaving any provision regarding his succession. After a brief period of anarchy, a congress reestablished a second consulate in 1841, composed in the same way as the first, by a military man, the commander general of arms Mariano Roque Alonso and a civilian, Carlos Antonio López (nephew of Rodríguez de Francia).

In 1842, the General Congress formally declared the independence of Paraguay from the Argentine Confederation. López was elected president in 1844 and the country's first constitution was proclaimed, enshrining a presidential regime. During his government, Paraguay opened to trade. international. With the help of the army, which he had considerably strengthened, he tried to have the country's independence recognized by Brazil and Argentina.


War against the Triple Alliance

Paraguay had maintained border disputes with Argentina and Brazil for several years. While with Uruguay, the change of political command in the government of that country - and in the middle of the civil war - was the cause of the alliance with these two countries. It is in that context that the War against the Triple Alliance was unleashed ( 1864-1870) which was the deadliest war in the history of Latin America. President Francisco Solano López was the Paraguayan leader during the conflict, in which Paraguay fought against the forces of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

The Paraguayan Army, after an initial attack towards the end of 1864, had to return to its borders a year later and face the defense of its territory. After the final Paraguayan defeat in 1870, Brazilian troops occupied the country until 1876. Paraguay lost a large part of its territory (199,992 km²) and was forced to pay a large war indemnity. Industry and free public education disappeared, as well as the so-called “stancias de la patria” (homeland ranches), which supplied food to the population. The railway and telegraph line were confiscated as a means of paying the war debt.

Although there has been controversy over the number of victims Paraguay suffered during the war, it is estimated that between 60% and 70% of the country's total population disappeared. The male population was decimated, as it is estimated that up to 95% of them died in the defense of their homeland. A good part died in combat, and the rest died from crimes and, above all, disease, hunger and exhaustion. Of the country's 156,000 to 169,000 inhabitants at the end of the war, only approximately 28,600 were adult men.


Between two wars

Until 1876, Paraguay—devastated in every sense—was practically a satellite state of the Brazilian Empire. That same year, the definitive Peace Treaty on the Triple Alliance War was signed. In addition, a Treaty of Boundaries, Peace, Trade and Navigation was signed with Argentina. That country recognized Paraguayan sovereignty over the territory of the Chaco, from the Río Verde to Bahía Negra.

During the government of Bernardino Caballero (1880-1886), institutions were reorganized, railroad lines and the telegraph were extended. He was succeeded by General Patricio Escobar, who continued his policy. His opponents founded the first modern party in Paraguay in 1887, the Liberal Party, which followed the tradition of the opponents of the López government. That same year, supporters of the government founded the Colorado Party, which vindicated the nationalist tradition and Paraguayan action during the Triple Alliance War; This would retain the government until the beginning of the next century.

In the following years the Liberal Party led the country; However, it was divided into factions, which led to constant political instability. Successive revolutions led by both dissident liberals and Colorados led to short periods of government, none of which managed to complete the four years prescribed by the Constitution. The first to do so since Escobar's presidency was Eduardo Schaerer, between 1912 and 1916; His period of government was marked by great economic growth, caused by the commercial advantages brought by the First World War. Then, supporters of former President Schaerer, allied with the Colorados, led the country into the Paraguayan civil war of 1922-1923, in which they were defeated. Only after 1924 did a period of stability begin in which three consecutive presidents completed their four-year terms.


Chaco War and last civil war

Until the late 1920s, the Chaco Boreal was a territory inhabited by sovereign indigenous communities. No country had effective control of the territory except its borders. Paraguay, for geographical reasons, was responsible for the western sector of the territory and Bolivia was responsible for the eastern sector, although it was difficult to specify specific limits. The problems of determining boundaries between Paraguay and Bolivia already dated back to the viceregal era. Other causes also include the alleged oil interests that would exist in the area, and an access to the sea through the Paraguay River on the part of Bolivia - which had lost its access to the sea during the Pacific War -, among others.

After four years of isolated skirmishes between small Bolivian and Paraguayan squads since 1928, the Paraguayan Army managed to win the Battle of Boquerón in 1932 – the year in which the war officially began – but the official declaration of war did not come until 1933. on the part of Paraguay. After three years of conflict, Paraguay took extensive territories but its intention to mark the border from where the Paraguayan army forced the Bolivian army to retreat did not prosper. The question of limits was established with the treaty of July 21, 1938. Despite the Paraguayan triumph, the country was devastated humanly and economically and the loss of its territory of about 100,000 km², as well as 30,000 deaths among civilians and military.​

After the Chaco War (which ceased hostilities in 1935), until the beginning of Alfredo Stroessner's government (in 1954), there was a period of great political instability in Paraguay: there were at least ten presidents (most of them facto') in less than twenty years, and a Paraguayan civil war that led to the death of around thirty thousand Paraguayans, and hundreds of thousands of exiles who emigrated abroad.

In 1946 a coalition government was formed between the Colorado Party and the Febrerista Revolutionary Party. In January 1947, the Colorado Party expelled the Febrerista Party from the government, leading to a new civil war in which a coalition of the Liberal Party , the Febrerista Revolutionary Party and the Paraguayan Communist Party rose up against the government. The Colorado Party achieved victory. From then on, the full hegemony of this party was consolidated, which would bring the then Colonel Alfredo Stroessner to power. The prevailing system during the period 1947-1962 was a single party, in which the Colorado Party was the only legal one.


Stroessner military dictatorship

The beginning

General Alfredo Stroessner seized power through a coup in May 1954. Elected to complete the unexpired term of his predecessor, he was re-elected president six times, ruling almost continuously under a state of siege.

Already in power, with the purpose of putting an end to 50 years of what he called anarchy but which was really a controversial succession of constitutionalist presidents, among them President Federico Chaves himself, democratically elected by the Colorado Party, which he destroyed through his dictatorship to turn it into a simple group of sycophants, Stroessner immediately suppressed constitutional guarantees, kept the activities of political parties under control and exercised harsh repression. He governed with the support of the Army and the Colorado Party. In the latter he carried out a series of purges that facilitated his control, with the aim of staying in power.



During the nearly thirty-five years of Stroessner's rule, political freedoms were severely limited, and opponents of the regime were systematically tortured, harassed, and persecuted under the banner of national security and anti-communism. Although a 1967 constitution gave institutional legitimacy to Stroessner's control, Paraguay became progressively isolated from the world community.

Every four years, the regime organizes elections, which each time result in the re-election of the president. The Constitution is modified to allow a presidency for life. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are murdered for political reasons, at least 20,000 people are tortured, 1.8 million Paraguayans (approximately a third of the population) are exiled for political or economic reasons.

He received strong support from the United States, Brazil, then under a military dictatorship, and Chile after the Pinochet coup. President Richard Nixon went so far as to declare that Stroessner's regime was a "viable model of democracy for Latin America." "Guided by the expert hand of General Stroessner," declared Gustavo Leigh, one of the members of the Chilean Junta that supported Pinochet, at the opening of the third congress of the Latin American anti-communist Confederation in 1977, "Paraguay was one of the first to America in raising barricades to defend itself from the communist germ, in an exemplary attitude for the American people. US officers participate in training their Paraguayan counterparts in torture techniques. The most famous, the pool, consisted of submerging the opponents in a bathtub full of excrement, to the limit of their strength.

The regime is also responsible for the forced and brutal sedentarization of the Ache indigenous people beginning in 1967, which was accompanied by murders and during which the indigenous people were subjected to slavery-like working conditions and children were stolen. In 2013, the Aché filed a complaint against the Paraguayan State for crimes against humanity and genocide before the Argentine justice system.


Socioeconomic impacts

It completely modified the nature of Paraguayan politics at that time, by controlling the Colorado Party, delimiting the role of the opposition, and pleasing the Armed Forces. The government party also became a network dedicated to the distribution of favors. Corruption spread in this way in what is remembered as "the trilogy": Government-party-armed forces. In a nation with enough historical figures, Stroessner practically became the symbol of Paraguay: cities, streets, buildings, the currency, the postage stamps, everything had his name printed on it. When various groups attempted to come to power, Stroessner ended their ambitions by either controlling or co-opting their leaders. Between 1954 and 1989, some 8 million hectares (a third of the country's agricultural land) were distributed among those close to the government, mainly officials, some of whom amassed considerable fortunes. The high concentration of wealth and land made Paraguay one of the most unequal countries in the world during this period. It subsequently enacted laws to persecute those who opposed its government, achieving one of the worst records of human rights violations. in Latin America.​

In addition to the financial support received from the United States, the Paraguayan State, thanks to its geographical location, makes smuggling one of its main sources of income. From alcohol to exotic animals, drugs and automobiles, the volume of smuggling triples the official export figure.​

In the 1950s, great social inequality was experienced, such that more than 6% of the Paraguayan population was made up of rural peasant laborers, while only 1,500 landowners owned 85% of the arable land. Stroessner received the country in the middle of a political crisis, due to consecutive years of political confrontations between different groups and coups d'état. He in turn inherited a primary agricultural economy, an almost non-existent industrial sector with a small internal market - at that time Paraguay had barely one million inhabitants, mostly of rural origin - which discouraged industrial businesses.



During the 1980s, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay returned to democracy and the Paraguayan people took advantage of that political climate to take to the streets to demonstrate. Such demonstrations were led by the National Accord (PLRA, Febrerista) and the unions, but were violently repressed, despite being peaceful. Therefore, Stroessner was abandoned by his former allies, such as the United States, and the economy worsened. In 1987, the Colorado Party Convention was held. His party was planning to choose his eldest son, Gustavo Stroessner, as its candidate, due to rumors that the elderly dictator was suffering from an illness, but they chose him, initiating an internal crisis in his party, dividing it into two factions: militants (Stronistas ) and traditionalists. In the fraudulent elections of 1988 he obtained 88.8% of the votes. That same year he received Pope John Paul II in Paraguay. Due to the brutality of his dictatorship, the traditionalist faction of his party, the military and especially the Catholic Church, began to demonstrate their discomfort towards the regime, so they discreetly joined the opposition to prepare the overthrow. of the dictator.

On February 3, 1989, the coup d'état was carried out by General Andrés Rodríguez, chief of the General Staff, and his own son-in-law, against Alfredo Stroessner. With him the longest dictatorship in Paraguayan history ended. After dissolving Parliament, General Rodríguez called elections for May 1 and announced the legalization of all parties, except the communist party.


Current democratic era

Transition to democracy

In May 1989 (three months after the coup d'état), Andrés Rodríguez called elections and was subsequently elected president representing the Colorado Party, which also held the election for deputies and senators. As president, Rodríguez instituted political, legal and economic reforms. On March 26, 1991, the Treaty of Asunción was signed, an agreement by which Mercosur was created.

Paraguay has never brought to justice those mainly responsible for torture and murder during the dictatorship (only some police officers and one civilian have been convicted).​

In addition, the 1992 constitution (current constitution) came into force, which established provisions for the protection of political and civil rights, the independence of the powers of the State, and the creation of electoral justice, among other institutions, and declared the abolition of the death penalty.​ At the end of that same year, Martín Almada - an opponent of the dictatorship - and the newspaper Noticias - through the journalists Christian Torres, Zulia Giménez, Alberto Ledesma and José Gregor, among others - discovered the so-called "Files of Terror", documents that demonstrated that Stroessner had participated in Operation Condor, an anti-communist military agreement for the persecution of exiles, with the support of the military dictatorships of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay, which led to the torture, kidnapping and murder of thousands of Paraguayans and citizens of the aforementioned countries.

During the term of Juan Carlos Wasmosy, the first civilian president of Paraguay in almost forty years, the country suffered the worst financial crisis in its history, with the bankruptcy of more than twenty banks between 1995 and 1998. Political achievements were also affected. obtained after the 1989 coup. Wasmosy removed General Lino Oviedo from the army under the accusation of wanting to lead a coup against him in April 1996, and in 1997, after Oviedo won the presidential race of the Colorado Party, he had him imprisoned and tried by a military court for the same crime. The conviction disqualified Oviedo from the 1998 presidential elections, and in his place Raúl Cubas was named candidate, who, thanks to the support of Oviedo, who was very popular at that time, He won the elections and three days after assuming the presidential office he pardoned Oviedo, freeing him from prison. The opposition contested the fact and obtained from the Supreme Court an annulment of the pardon that Cubas did not comply with.



The territory of Paraguay is the eighth largest in South America and the sixtieth largest on Earth. It is exclusively integrated into American territory, and its surface totals 406,752 km². This amount does not include any ocean strip, nor continental shelf since it is a landlocked state.

Located in the center of South America,105​ Paraguay is located between the parallels 19º 10′ and 27º 50′ south latitude and the meridians 54º 10′ and 62° 50′ west longitude.​ The Tropic of Capricorn crosses the territory , at the level of the town of Belén (Department of Concepción), that is, as far as latitudes are concerned, it passes almost exactly over the middle part of Paraguay. The territory is 611 km from the Atlantic Ocean and about 819 km from the Atlantic Ocean. km from the Pacific.​ It borders to the north with Brazil and Bolivia, to the east with Brazil and Argentina, to the south with Argentina and to the west with Bolivia and Argentina.



Borders with Argentina
The border between Argentina and Paraguay is an international land boundary with a length of 1690 km that separates the Argentine Republic from the Republic of Paraguay.
Diplomatic relations between these two neighbors were established in 1811, with the signing of an agreement on Friendship, Assistance and Trade. Both countries were at war during the War of the Triple Alliance between 1864 and 1870 (with Paraguay alone against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay), and have not warred against each other since.

Argentina has an embassy in Asunción and 2 Consulates General, one in Ciudad del Este, and the other in Encarnación. Paraguay has an embassy in Buenos Aires and 7 consulates: one in Clorinda, in Corrientes, in Formosa, in Posadas, in Resistencia, in Rosario and in Puerto Iguazú.

Both countries are full members of Mercosur, the Union of South American Nations, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Rio Group, Group of 77, Latin American Economic System and Latin American Integration Association. Both are co-owners of the Yacyretá Hydroelectric Dam.

In border cities, such as Posadas-Encarnación, Clorinda-Nanawa/Asunción, Formosa-Alberdi, Ciudad del Este-Puerto Iguazú, among other cities; There is a great commercial exchange between these cities, in addition to other types of exchanges at a sociocultural level. Around half a million Paraguayan citizens reside in Argentina, making this the largest foreign community in Argentina. On the other hand, nearly one hundred thousand Argentine citizens live in Paraguay, making it one of the main destinations for Argentine immigrants to live.

Borders with Brazil
The border between the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of Paraguay is a continuous international boundary that delimits the territories of both neighboring countries. Throughout its entire length of 1,367 kilometers, it crosses a variety of terrain, from large urban areas to inhospitable deserts and wetlands.​ It begins at the Triple Border landmark between Foz do Iguaçu and Presidente Franco,​ and ends at the trifinio on the border with Bolivia. , near the Paraguayan city of Bahía Negra.​ On the border between Brazil and Paraguay, there is the Itaipú Hydroelectric Power Plant, which is the largest hydroelectric dam in the world that generates energy. The International Friendship Bridge is located on this border, connecting the cities of Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) and Ciudad del Este (Paraguay). The dry border has a total length of 438 kilometers, while the river border is 929 kilometers. The latter is made up of the Paraguay, Paraná and Apa rivers, and the Estrella stream, and has a total of 23 islands of which 13 belong to Brazil and 10 to Paraguay.

The establishment of the border occurred after the War of the Triple Alliance, when in 1872 a peace treaty was signed with Paraguay, which also contained its limits with Brazil, and which according to Hélio Viana, respected the agreements of the colonial era. and claimed from Brazil the lands occupied and explored by the Portuguese and Brazilians.

The border between Brazil and Paraguay has been one of the main trafficking routes for firearms and drugs in South America, in addition to smuggling of stolen goods and vehicles, especially due to transit in the Triple Border (border point between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay). This historically occurred due to the geographical difficulty in controlling the region by the border authorities of both countries, something that has been mitigated with the joint effort of Brazilian and Paraguayan law enforcement forces.

On the Paraguayan side of the border, there are a large number of Brazilian immigrants, and these are popularly known as "brasiguayos."

Borders with Bolivia
The border between Bolivia and Paraguay is the 750 km long limit that separates the territories of Bolivia and Paraguay.

It extends from the triple border of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay (near the town of La Esmeralda on the Pilcomayo River) in a north-northeast direction towards the summit of the Capitán Ustares hill, where it turns east, to the town of Fortín Galpón, in which it follows a line south with the Paraguay River, where it ends at the triple limits of Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay.

It is demarcated by 11 markers (Landmark I to Landmark X plus the tripartite landmark). Markers I to Most of these have names, and are near a military detachment on the Paraguayan side.

There is a border post near the Paraguayan town of Infante Rivarola.

The current layout of the border has existed since 1938 and was established by a treaty concluded in Buenos Aires after the end of the Chaco War (1932-1935) between both countries.


Natural regions

The Paraguay River divides the country into two large geographic regions, with different geology and topography. While the Eastern Region or Paraná has 39% of the national territory, and consists of ferralitic and mostly acidic soils on ancient crystalline rocks, presenting an undulating landscape of hills with abundant rainfall (up to 1700 mm/year), the Western Region o Chaco, with 61% of the national territory, geologically young with neutral to alkaline soils, constitutes an extensive semi-arid to subhumid alluvial plain with sediments from the Andes.

In the Paraguayan Chaco, altitudes range between 91m in the southeast and 390m in the northwest. The Bajo Chaco (humid Chaco) is a floodplain, influenced by the Pilcomayo and Paraguay rivers (annual rainfall of 910 to 1,300 mm); the Chaco Boreal (dry Chaco) with an average rainfall of 403 to 910 mm.​ Its territory is formed by a seabed that emerged in the Quaternary era, this region is populated by extensive scrublands and palm groves, estuaries, lagoons and streams. The average annual temperature is around 25 °C.

The Eastern Region is subdivided into two subregions, the largest corresponds to the Paraguay River basin itself, and a smaller one corresponds to the Paraná River basin. Tropical and subtropical forests and rainfall predominate. Their altitudes range from more than 611 m above sea level. n. m. (meters above sea level) in the northeastern area up to 65 m above sea level. n. m. in the southwest.​ In this region the average annual temperature varies between 20 and 24 °C. It is the smallest but most populated and fertile region.



Most of the Paraguayan territory is located between 104 and 507 m of elevation, which correspond to large areas of the departments of Alto Paraguay, Boquerón, Presidente Hayes, Concepción, San Pedro, Paraguarí and Itapúa, mainly. The lower elevation areas, with averages below 104 m in height, are mainly located in the southeast of the departments of Presidente Hayes, Central, Paraguarí, Ñeembucú, Misiones and Itapúa. In general, the slopes of the terrain are gentle, so water erosion is limited.The high points are located in the vicinity of Pedro Juan Caballero in the northern center of the eastern region.

The geomorphology of the western region has a repetitive undulating of the terrain from north to south, which allows the genesis of at least sixteen tributaries of the Paraguay River. Each of these rivers presents low-slope conditions, therefore favoring the formation of meanders. A smaller portion of this region drains directly into the Pilcomayo River.They are relatively flat lands of a plateau crossed by sparse currents favored by ripples. The highest elevation terrains lie to the west of this region and their lowest points correspond to the eastern boundary of this region on the Paraguay River. The region forms part of the Chacopampean Plain, and presents a shallow inclination heading southeast with an average elevation of 130 m above sea level.

The relief of the Eastern Region is a result of the Brazilian Plateau extending northwards to the Amazonian plain and eastwards to the Atlantic Ocean. This plain possesses several hills, some ranges of reduced height and valleys through which flow rivers and streams. The average elevation of the region is 286 m. Three mountain systems are present in this region: the Sierra de Amambay, the Maracayú and the Caaguazú. The highest heights are located in the Ybytyruzú range, where Tres Kandu hill stands out with 842 m above sea level.



Paraguay has no coastline but its two main rivers, the Paraguay and the Paraná, which form part of the Río de la Plata basin, communicate it with the Atlantic Ocean. The Paraguay is born in Mato Grosso (Brazil) and after a journey of about 2695 km, it empties into the Paraná River through three arms: Atajo, Humaitá and Paso de Patria

The valley of the Alto Paraná forms an undulating plain, which rises westward. This area has numerous water courses, all draining into the Paraná, which flows through a deep gorge and is dammed at the Itaipú power plant.

In addition to rivers, Paraguay possesses wetlands and lakes. The set of wetlands of Lake Ypoá, consisting of four lakes, and Lake Ypacaraí, are the largest lakes in Paraguay. In addition, Paraguay has a considerable amount of estuaries such as the Paraguayan Pantanal, and has registered six wetlands in the Ramsar Convention, whose areas add up to a total of 793,910 ha


Protected wildlife areas

Paraguay promotes strategies for environmental protection and mainly the defense of species that serve to defend ecological processes, with the aim of making resources available for future generations. The Secretariat of the Environment of the Republic of Paraguay (SEAM), now the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADES), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with Global funds implements the Wild Paraguay Project.

Among the protected wildlife areas are the following: Defensores del Chaco National Park, Teniente Enciso National Park, Río Negro National Park, Cerro Chovoreca Natural Monument, Cabrera-Timane Nature Reserve, Tinfunqué National Park, Paso Bravo National Park, Serranía San National Park Luis, Bella Vista National Park, Cerro Corá National Park, San Rafael Managed Resources Reserve, Caaguazú National Park, Ybytyruzú Managed Resources Reserve, Ybycuí National Park, Ypoá National Park, Yabebyry Wildlife Refuge, Acahay Massif Natural Monument, National Reserve Kuri'y, Ñacunday National Park, Ypacaraí Lake National Park, Köi Hills and Chororí Natural Monuments.



The Köppen climate classification divides Paraguay into practically three climate types: the humid subtropical climate (Cfa), predominant in the south of the Eastern Region; the tropical savannah climate (Aw), predominant in the Chaco (Western Region) and northern Eastern Region; and the semi-arid warm climate (BSh) to the northwest of the Chaco (Boquerón department).

The mean annual temperature round between 20 and 25 °C in the country, increasing from south to north. Rainfall is variable depending on the region. For example towards southeastern Paraguay, precipitation is abundant in all months (>1700 mm/year). Towards the centre-northern region of the Oriental Region, and the tropical region of the Chaco, precipitation decreases considerably during the winter season (1300 mm/year). In the semi-arid region of the Chaco, precipitation is practically nil in the winter season (<800 mm/year). Generally, in summer falls the greatest rainfall accumulation of the year.

Extreme maximum temperatures in summer can exceed 40 °C (record 45 °C in 2014), and minimum temperatures in winter can fall below 0 °C (record −7.5 °C in 2000). The seasons are not well defined due to the reigning heat given much of the year and the proximity to the tropic of capricorn. The temperature difference between the warmest and coldest month is approximately 10 °C.



The Paraguayan summer is hot and humid. Both nights and afternoons are very warm throughout the country, and due to the high humidity, the sensation of heat exceeds the actual temperature. Average highs exceed 30°C from November to March. This is the rainiest season of the year, in which precipitation generally occurs through isolated storms and downpours. The dominant influence on the climate is the warm north wind that blows from Brazil, although from time to time "southern winds" usually blow, bringing more pleasant temperatures, generally with the passage of isolated storms.

The Paraguayan winter is characterized by being mild and irregular, as there can be days of intense cold (minimums below 0 °C) as well as hot days of more than 30 °C. The average winter temperature is between 15 and 20 °C, being cooler towards the south of the country. A typical winter day is usually cool between night and morning, then mild in the afternoon. It is the least rainy season of the year, but precipitation can still occur in the form of drizzle or short storms caused by the polar fronts coming from Argentina. Fog and mist banks usually occur in this season due to the high ambient humidity, a factor that tends to increase the feeling of cold. The dominant influence on the climate is the cool southerly wind that blows from Argentina, although from time to time "northern winds" usually blow, bringing warmer temperatures for a few days.

On average, frosts in the central-north of the eastern and western region occur one to two times a year and every other year inclusive, while towards the south of the eastern region the average increases to 3 times a year; This occurs in conjunction with the polar-type cold fronts coming from Argentina, between the winter months of June, July and August. Frost can occur in practically the entire national territory, although it usually occurs in those areas where a humid subtropical and warm semi-arid climate predominates.

Autumn and spring are transitional and unstable seasons, with great variations in temperature, between cool and hot, in which even severe storms can occur. Normally at the beginning of autumn and late spring, the weather is similar to summer.


Climate change

Climate change places Paraguay among the most vulnerable countries to climate change, and certain regions of the country are more exposed than others to the consequences, so they are prone to suffer greater damage.​ This vulnerability responds to the massive deforestation that places the country as one of the largest destroyers of forests at the regional level, the weakness of state entities, little control and monitoring, soil degradation due to the radical change in land use, and extreme poverty.​ The high The deforestation rate is strongly related to different microclimatic alterations that develop at the local level: the modification of the hydrological balance that causes the alteration of rainfall, linked in turn to the increase in thermal sensation and alteration of the winds, as well as the increase in risk of erosion and desertification.



Paraguay has a high wealth of fauna and flora because the six ecoregions that converge in its territory register notable biodiversity.​

The different ecoregions are very differentiated, the west is characterized by being a semi-arid region, the northeast is characterized by the immense flood zones that make up the Pantanal, while along the banks of the Paraguay River subtropical wetlands develop, characterized by large bodies of water such as Lake Ypoá. In the northern part of the Eastern Region there are the subtropical savannahs of the Cerrado, while in the east of the country up to the banks of the Paraná River the Atlantic Forest develops, one of the most diverse and biologically rich forests on the planet. Finally the southern zone, characterized by plains with a more temperate climate.

In the last five decades, the country lost almost 90% of the original forest cover of its territory, mainly due to the expansion of livestock and agricultural activities. It is estimated that between 1945 and 1997, 76.3% of the forest cover forest of the Eastern Region was transformed into land for agricultural production.

Paraguay has less strict environmental rules in the Chaco than in Brazil. The owners can clear approximately 50% of their forest, while in Brazil only 20% can be (legally) cleared, therefore, the pressure of livestock farming on the virgin forest advanced towards Paraguay. The loss of forests In Alto Paraguay alone, the most ecologically intact department, it was 220,000 hectares in 2008 alone.

In March 2009, it was estimated that in the departments: Boquerón and Alto Paraguay, between 1000 and 1500 hectares were deforested per day, while the "Zero Deforestation" bill - which was going to prohibit deforestation in the Alto Paraguay—was rejected by the Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay.


Flora and fauna

Paraguay has a wide variety of tropical and subtropical plant and animal species. According to records from the Ministry of the Environment of Paraguay (SEAM), it is estimated that in the country there are between 8,000 and 13,000 species of plants, of which 800 are tree species. As for animal species, there are an estimated 100,000 of them. invertebrates and 1,498 vertebrates. Among these quantities, 81 species of flora and 128 species of fauna are recognized, considered in danger of extinction mainly due to the destruction of their habitats and poaching.

Paraguay is one of the greatest exponents of the faunal wealth of South America. It has more than 100,000 species of invertebrates, 200 species of fish, 60 of amphibians, 100 of reptiles, 700 of birds and 167 of mammals.

Among the dominant plant species in the Chaco are lapachos, quebrachos, urundey, timbó, guayacán, palo santo, samuhu, guayaibi, the caranday palm, several lauraceae, among others.

In the Chaco fauna, nocturnal life predominates, the abundance of cryptic habits (life hidden under different elements), diapause and dormancy. This is because invertebrates present the highest diversity and greatest abundance of individuals. In wetlands, fish are not abundant, except in the Pilcomayo and Paraguay river basins. Compared to other temperate subtropical areas, its mammal fauna is not very diverse.

The Eastern Region has a great variety of birds such as the vulture, the chimango, the hawk, the owl, the macaw, the bell bird, the calandria, and the Pitogüe. There are several species of thrushes, the swallow, the hummingbird family and the kingfisher, among others. It also has mammals such as the howler monkey, the jaguar, the puma, the wild cat, the tapir, the wild boar, the anthill and the tatúes.

The most common fish are the surubí, the dorado, the croaker, the stingray, the stingray, the catfish, the pati and the piranha. Reptiles such as the alligator, iguana and chameleon are also found in the aquatic ecosystem. Other notable reptiles in this region are the coral snake and the ñandurire, which is the smallest of all vipers.


Political and economic instability

In March 1999, the political situation became even more complicated after the assassination of the vice president and long-time Oviedo rival, Luis María Argaña. The opposition blamed General Oviedo for the incident. The Congress Square was filled with protesters against the government, which led the Chamber of Deputies to judge Cubas the next day. Furthermore, the shooting of eight protesters by unknown persons during the Paraguayan March made it clear that the Senate would vote to remove Cubas. The president resigned on March 28 and went into exile in Brazil. The same day Oviedo fled to Argentina, where he obtained political asylum, and then continued to Brazil.

Senate President Luis González Macchi, an opponent of Cubas, was sworn in as president on the day of Cubas' resignation. As president he attempted to form a coalition government to encourage cooperation within Paraguay and repair the economy that was damaged by the political crisis. However, the coalition did not last long, as the PLRA left the coalition in 2000, leaving the government without a majority in Congress. González Macchi became very unpopular because of the serious economic crisis and encountered serious problems in Congress, because few legislators were willing to vote in favor of his bills. However, just a year after coming to power, he faced impeachment, accused of having embezzled $16 million for himself. However, he managed to stay in power thanks to a "clan war" within the Colorado party. Very unpopular, he tried to appease the discontent by agreeing to suspend the privatization process. He declared a state of emergency in July 2002. The repression of demonstrations against his government resulted in several deaths and hundreds of arrests.

In May 2000, he had to face an attempted coup d'état, which, although it failed, weakened the power of the president. The following year, he had to face an impeachment attempt against him by the National Congress. This initiative by the opponents failed just like the coup attempt the previous year. Despite being politically weakened, he was able to maintain his government until completing the period left by Cubas. The liberal Julio César Franco won the August 2000 election to fill the vice-presidential vacancy, although two years later he resigned to run for office. 2003 elections.

In 2003, Nicanor Duarte Frutos was elected president, who in the economic order achieved a rebound in the Paraguayan economy and GDP growth, initiating a recovery from the country's economic crisis. However, at the beginning of 2006 there was a new political crisis, due to a controversial resolution of the Supreme Court of Justice, which enabled Duarte Frutos to exercise the presidency of the Colorado Party. Subsequently, Duarte Frutos began a failed campaign to modify the Constitution in order to achieve re-election.

On August 1, 2004, the greatest civil tragedy in the history of Paraguay occurred, with the Ycua Bolaños Tragedy, in which more than 300 people died and the same number were injured in a fire in a supermarket in the capital.


Change of political command and current events

After more than 60 years in power, the Colorado Party lost the presidency to former bishop Fernando Lugo in 2008. This presidential term, during which Paraguay joined the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), was interrupted by the crisis politics of 2012 that began after a political trial in which Lugo was removed from the presidency, accused of poor performance in his duties. Then, Federico Franco, until then vice president of the Republic, assumed the presidency. The Unasur governments were They spoke out in rejection of what they considered a breakdown of the democratic order and refused to recognize the new government. As a consequence, Paraguay was suspended from the Mercosur and Unasur meetings, pending the results of the 2013 general elections in which businessman Horacio Cartes was elected president.

After the 2013 elections, and with the inauguration of Horacio Cartes (for the Colorado Party), the sanctions imposed on Paraguay by Mercorsur and Unasur were lifted. In March 2017, demonstrations (known as the Second Paraguayan March) occurred in response to a constitutional amendment that would allow Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes to run for presidential re-election (considered a violation of the constitution), in which protesters even arrived until setting fire to the Paraguayan Congress building, in addition to dozens of injuries and even one death, after receiving a shotgun blast from the police.

In 2018, businessman Mario Abdo Benítez became president, for the Colorado Party, with more than a million votes achieved in the race. During his government mandate, the COVID-19 Pandemic occurred globally, leaving the country with nearly 20,000 deaths and a severe health crisis, in which the intensive care (ICU) beds have not been enough. as well as a severe economic crisis, as a result of the quarantine decreed and the closure of borders in border cities, with thousands of bankrupt companies; Consequently, protests occurred nationwide in March 2021.

In the last presidential elections in 2023, Santiago Peña was the winner for the Colorado Party.


Government and politics

The Republic of Paraguay, organized in the form of a Unitary State, was fundamentally modified by the 1992 Constitution, which ensures the division of powers. According to this latest constitutional text, it constitutes a social State of law, unitary, indivisible, and decentralized, adopting representative, participatory and pluralistic democracy for its government, based on the recognition of human dignity. The Executive Power is exercised by the President of the Republic. In addition, there is a vice president who, in case of impediment or temporary absence of the president or definitive vacancy of said position, replaces him with all his powers. The president and vice president are jointly elected by popular vote, on the same ballot, for a five-year term, with no possibility of re-election.

The president is the head of state and government of Paraguay. It has, among other powers, the power to appoint and remove at will the ministers of the Executive Branch, who are the heads of the administration of their respective portfolios, in which, under the direction of the President of the Republic, they promote and execute the policy relating to the matters within its jurisdiction. The meeting of all the ministers, at the call of the president, is called the Council of Ministers. The purpose of the cabinet or council of ministers is to coordinate executive tasks, promote government policy and make collective decisions.

The government of each department is exercised by a governor and a Departmental Board, elected by direct vote of the citizens residing in the respective departments, in elections coinciding with the general elections, and they serve for five years in office. The governor represents the Executive Branch in the execution of national policy. The government of the Municipalities is in charge of a mayor and a Municipal Board, popularly elected.

The Legislative Power is exercised by Congress, composed of a Chamber of Senators (upper house), of 45 members, and a Chamber of Deputies (lower house), consisting of 80 deputies. Elections for Congress are held on closed lists (you do not vote for each candidate for deputy or senator, but for a list presented by each political party), simultaneously with the presidential election. Deputies are elected by department, while senators are elected at the national level, both for a period of five years, and can be re-elected.

The Judicial Branch is in charge of the administration of justice and is exercised by the Supreme Court of Justice, and by the other courts and tribunals established by law. The Supreme Court is the highest court in Paraguay. The Senate, with the agreement of the president, appoints its nine members or ministers, based on shortlists presented by the Council of the Judiciary, after selection based on suitability, with consideration of merits and aptitudes.


External relationships

Paraguay maintains different relationships and associations with different countries. It is part of several international organizations as a full member, such as Mercosur (Southern Common Market) and the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

The country also maintains relations with supranational entities, such as the European Union (EU), with which it develops its political, economic and commercial relations at a bilateral level and also within the framework of regional relations between the EU and Mercosur.

A peculiarity of Paraguay's foreign policy is being the only country in South America that maintains active relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Paraguay is a full member and participant of the Inter-American Conference on Social Security (CISS), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS).

Paraguay formally maintains a brotherhood with the Republic of Colombia, which arose from the Colombian offer of its nationality to all Paraguayans, in the event of the country's disappearance within the framework of the Triple Alliance War, an offer that did not materialize, but ended generating a bilateral friendship agreement that establishes facilities to acquire the citizenship of each country on a reciprocal basis.


Armed forces and security

The Armed Forces of Paraguay form a non-deliberative, non-partisan institution, subordinated to civil control whose commander in chief is the president of Paraguay, constituted by the Paraguayan Army, the Paraguayan Air Force and the Paraguayan Navy. It is made up of nearly 20,000 active personnel and more than 100,000 inactive personnel (reservists, and/or those who have completed the S.M.O).

As in other countries, it is structured into an Air Force, an Army (with three Corps, six Infantry Divisions and three Cavalry Divisions) and finally a Navy (3850 members, with Naval Aviation, Marine Infantry) which is large. considering that it is one of the countries in the world without a coast or direct access to the sea. Military service is mandatory for 18-year-old males and consists of one year of service, as dictated in the National Constitution. Currently, a Law was promulgated that regulates the "Conscientious Objection Law" and that establishes the mandatory nature of substitute civil service to replace the military.

For its part, the National Police of Paraguay is a civil institution dependent on the Executive Branch, whose Secretary of State is the Ministry of the Interior, in charge of the internal security of the Nation.


LGBT rights

Sexual minorities face certain legal and social challenges not experienced by other residents. Homosexuality has historically been treated as taboo within Paraguayan society. Both male and female sexual activity is legal, however gay couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for all of the social and legal protections available to heterosexual married couples. Even lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people may face expired legal penalties in other countries.

Public opinion shows a strong conservative tendency with respect to homosexuality, demonstrating a majority rejection of the rights of sexual minorities, even in comparison with other South American countries. The Catholic Church exerted a strong influence opposing homosexual unions in the country, however, during Pope Francis' visit to Paraguay in 2015, representatives of LGBT community organizations were invited to a reception along with other social leaders.

Paraguay is one of the most conservative countries in South America, where issues such as LGBT issues and abortion, to name a few, are largely avoided by both politicians and Paraguayan society in general, due to the great influence it has. the Catholic Church in the country, which in turn is the country with the most faithful in Latin America in percentage terms.


Territorial organization

Paraguay is a unitary State that tends towards decentralization, in the manner established by the Constitution and the laws. For the purposes of the political and administrative structuring of the State, the national territory is divided into departments and districts.

The 17 departments of Paraguay constitute the first administrative political division of the country. The Eastern Region concentrates 14 of them and the Western Region 3. Added to them is the capital Asunción, which is a district, but for census purposes it is considered a department. In addition, the country has 263 municipalities​ that are equivalent to districts, including Asunción.​ These make up each of the subdivisions of a department - except Asunción, which is independent of any department - and are in turn divided into urban and rural areas. ​

The National Constitution of 1992 recognizes the departments and districts' political, administrative and regulatory autonomy for the management of their interests, and autarky in the collection and investment of their resources.



Paraguay has a moderately diversified economy. Over the past four decades, Paraguay has had the highest growth in South America, with an average of 7.2% annual growth since 1970. In 2010 and 2013, Paraguay experienced the largest economic expansion in Latin America, with historic growth of GDP of 14.5% and 13.6% respectively. In 2011, the Central Bank of Paraguay presented the new structure of the country's GDP, which includes the generation of electrical energy from the Binational Entities Itaipú and Yacyretá, which in both cases belong 50% to Paraguay. After this incorporation, the value of the GDP increased 9% and reached 20,042 million dollars, compared to the 18,314 million reached at the end of 2010.

Poverty affects 26.1% of the country's population, according to reports from the Central Bank of Paraguay, in 2017.​ The Paraguayan economy, although it is still below the regional average in several areas, is one of the most thriving in South America. South; Its nominal GDP per capita for 2018 is 6,206 dollars, exceeding that of countries on the subcontinent such as Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, and on par with countries such as Ecuador and Colombia.

Since the 1990s, the country has been intensively developing the industrial and tertiary sectors. Currently, the secondary sector contributes 33% of the GDP, while the primary sector contributes 12% and the tertiary sector, 54%. 12% of GDP growth corresponds to agriculture and livestock; 33.4% to industry (including construction and public utilities); and 55.1% in the services sector.​ The seven most important export products; soybeans and their derivatives (42% of total Paraguayan exports), making it the sixth largest producer of soybeans. Corn, wheat, sesame, sunflower oil and sugar also appear. In relation to the cultivation of stevia in Paraguay, it is highlighted that there was a planted area of 2300 hectares with a production of 3680 tons in 2014 according to estimates from the National Directorate of Censuses and Statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (cited by Acosta, 2015 ). Among non-basic services, the most relevant sectors in the generation of wealth are commercial and financial, with an approximate share between both of 28%.

It is the world's largest exporter of electrical energy, the sixth largest exporter of soybeans, the second largest producer of Stevia, the sixth largest exporter of corn, the tenth largest exporter of wheat, the eighth largest exporter of beef in the world, it has the third largest river fleet in the world (2,600 barges with 200 tugboats), after the United States and China. First world exporter of organic sugar, third world producer and exporter of Yerba Mate (ilex paraguariensis). Likewise, it presents itself as one of the countries with the highest growth rates, where the peak was reached in 2010 with 14.5%, finishing third worldwide behind Qatar and Singapore.

The market economy is distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring the re-export of low-cost imported consumer goods from countries such as China to neighboring countries, as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. However, in the last 10 years, the Paraguayan economy has diversified drastically, with the energy, auto parts, construction and clothing industries. A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, lives from agricultural activity, often subsistence. Due to the importance of the informal sector, it is difficult to obtain precise economic measures. The economy grew rapidly between 2003 and 2013 due to growing global demand for commodities combined with high prices and favorable weather to support the expansion of commodity exports in Paraguay.​

According to the World Innovation Index, carried out by the World Intellectual Property Organization, in 2022, Paraguay was ranked 91st in innovation among 132 countries in the world; ​while in 2023 it ranked 97th.



The industrial sector produces approximately 25% of Paraguay's GDP and employs approximately 31% of the workforce (October 2005). Production grew by 2.9% in 2004, after five years of declining production.

Paraguay's mining industry produces about 25% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about 31% of the workforce. The production of cement, iron ore and steel is part of Paraguay's industrial sector. The growth of the industry was further driven by the maquiladora industry, with large industrial complexes located in the eastern region of the country. Paraguay established many incentives aimed at attracting industries to the country. One of them is the so-called "maquila law" by which companies can move to Paraguay, enjoying low tax rates.

The pharmaceutical industry is replacing foreign drug suppliers in meeting the country's needs. Paraguayan companies now account for 70% of domestic consumption and have also begun to export medicines. Strong growth is also evident in the production of edible oils, dairy, clothing, organic sugar, meat processing and steel. In addition to the large industries producing yerba mate, beer, tobacco, rum and alcohol distillers. However, capital for new investments in the industrial sector of the economy remains scarce.

Paraguay has been considered a poor country in mineral resources. As of 2009, that idea has been discarded as a result of the discovery of large reserves of uranium and the announcement in 2010 of the discovery of what would be the largest reserve of titanium in the world. Gold, nickel, cobalt and chrome.




After 57 years, within the framework of Resolution No. 1090/19, and in compliance with Law No. 5552/2016, the Ministry of Public Works and Communications presents the classification and recategorization of national routes throughout the Paraguay's road network, expanding from 12 to 22 national routes, which would receive their name with the letters PY with their corresponding numbering. This recategorization is expected to be carried out gradually. Since 1962, the extension of the national routes reached an extension of 3588 km, and while from this new decree the extension of the national routes would reach 8762 km, both in paved, gravel, cobbled and in some cases still with dirt roads.

In Paraguay, around 90% of the 65,000 km of interurban routes are dirt and gravel roads, while in urban centers it is asphalt and cobblestone. Public transport is the most used at the urban and interurban level. The service is provided through buses (also called buses) that cover a good part of the country's territory. Long-distance and international buses are dispatched from the Asunción Bus Terminal that connects with all the departments of Paraguay and several cities in South America, where bus companies make daily trips to Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Peru.

Within the Metropolitan Area of Asunción, there is the Silvio Pettirossi International Airport, which has flights to different cities in America. This is the main airport in the country, followed by the Guaraní International Airport, located in Minga Guazú and serving Ciudad del Este, which has direct flights to Asunción, Buenos Aires and São Paulo.

On the other hand, the Paraná - Paraguay waterway is a river transportation strategy along the water system of the same name, from Brazil to Uruguay, passing through Paraguay.​

Paraguay had 1,150 km of railways distributed in different branches throughout the territory; all of them without being linked to each other. The largest one corresponded to the F.C.P.C.A.L. (Carlos Antonio López Railway) that linked the Cities of Asunción with Encarnación; and at the same time it made possible the connection with the Argentine railway system through the San Roque González de Santa Cruz international bridge. Currently the only section of the railway that is in operation is an international line on the border with Argentina, between Encarnación and Posadas that crosses said bridge.



Paraguay does not have large oil or natural gas deposits. Despite numerous extraction attempts, the reserves found would be insufficient for commercial exploitation. Since it does not have reserves, Paraguay depends entirely on imports to satisfy domestic demand. The state subsidizes the import and sale of diesel, while gasoline, alcohol, LPG and other fuels are freely imported.

Until 1970, all the electrical energy used in the country came from thermoelectric plants. In 1970, meanwhile, the Acaray hydroelectric plant was inaugurated, in order to transform the country into an electricity exporter to Brazil and Argentina. The Yguazu Dam was built in 1977, a water accumulation dam to be used in cases of need to supply water to the Acaray Dam, it releases an average volume of water of one hundred cubic meters daily, with a maximum of 200 cubic meters, but in several hours.

In 1984, the Itaipu power plant, the second largest hydroelectric dam in the world, began operating. This power plant was the result of cooperation between Paraguay and Brazil and made Paraguay one of the largest energy exporters. The dam has 20 turbines and an installed capacity of 14,000 MW shared equally between Paraguay and Brazil. In 2004, Paraguay consumed 16% of its share of energy and exported the rest to Brazil.

The other important dam is Yacyretá, equipped with 20 turbines and an installed capacity of 3100 MW. Paraguay and Argentina share energy generated in Yacyretá although almost all of Paraguay's energy is exported to Argentina.

100% of the electrical energy consumed in Paraguay is generated through hydroelectric plants, making it one of the countries with the cleanest energy in the world. The country has an installed electrical capacity of 8,110 MW, which produces 63,000,000,000 kWh (sixty-three billion kilowatt-hours) annually (according to 2016 data), with internal consumption of only 15,000,000,000 kWh ( fifteen billion kilowatt-hours) annually, selling the rest of what is not consumed to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, making Paraguay the world's largest exporter of electrical energy.

The National Electricity Administration (ANDE) controls the entire electricity market including generation, distribution and transportation. It operates 2,100 miles of transportation lines and 670 miles of distribution lines. More than 92% of the country has electricity coverage.​



In Paraguay, freedom of expression and freedom of the press are protected by the National Constitution. According to a study carried out in 2009 by the Reporters Without Borders Organization, Paraguay occupies the best positions in quality and freedom of the press, even surpassing Brazil and occupying the same places as Chile, Uruguay, France and the United States.​



The national newspapers are published in Asunción and are distributed throughout the national territory, while the regional ones are published in their respective departments. The main newspapers are: La Nación, ABC Color, Última Hora, Crónica, Popular, Extra and ADN Paraguayo. In total, the circulation of newspapers and magazines reaches 100 copies per 1,000 inhabitants. Most of the most popular newspapers in the country have their digital website.


Radio and television

The main television channels are transmitted both over the air and on cable, DTT and satellite. They are broadcast from the City and the metropolitan area of Asunción, and to a lesser extent from the interior. From the public sector there are Paraguay TV and TV Cámara, and from the private sector there are SNT, RPC, Sur TV, Telefuturo, Unicanal, NPY, Paravisión, Latele, C9N, ABC TV, Tigo Sports, LOBOTV, Canal 5 Días, Canal PRO, HEi, Venus Media, Troplicalia and GEN. The number of Pay TV subscribers (videocable, DTT or satellite) is around 600,000 subscribers, the majority in Greater Asunción and the other main cities in the interior.​

The state media is made up of Radio Nacional de Paraguay and Paraguay TV, whose programming includes educational, cultural and informative content.


Telephony and internet

The state entity that acts as regulator of the national telecommunications system in the administrative, technical, planning, programming, control, supervision and verification part is the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL).

Most of the fixed telephone lines, provided by the state-owned Copaco, and which reach around 300,000 subscribers, are installed in Asunción, Encarnación, Ciudad del Este and in the main cities of the interior. Each city or urban area has its telephone prefix. For example, in the case of Gran Asunción the prefix is 021, in Ciudad del Este it is 061, in Encarnación it is 071, etc.​

Internet service is provided by numerous private companies and also by the state-owned Copaco. It is provided through ADSL, WiMAX, 3G, 4G and Cable technologies. The number of users with Internet access in Paraguay is around 70%, and the majority of Paraguayans access the Internet through cell phones.

Paraguay has four cell phone provider companies: Telecel S.A. (Tigo), Núcleo S. A. (Personal), América Móvil (Claro) and Hola Paraguay S.A (Vox). In 2018, these companies had 7.4 million lines enabled in the country. According to a study by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2009, in Paraguay there were 928 mobile phones per thousand inhabitants, which places it above Colombia (885), Chile (881) and the United States with 876 cell phones per thousand inhabitants. Currently the number of lines exceeds the population.


Science and Technology

Public institutions:
National Council of Science and Technology (Paraguay)
Paraguayan Space Agency (AEP)
Paraguayan Institute of Agricultural Technology (IPTA)

Civil institutions:
Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology (INBIO)
Center for Analysis and Dissemination of the Paraguayan Economy



According to the 2022 Paraguayan Census, the country has 6,109,644 inhabitants. The population density is 15.02 inhabitants/km², the third lowest in America after Bolivia and Canada. The percentage of men and women is practically similar, made up of 50.4% men and 49.6% women. The urban population reaches just over 60% of the total inhabitants. The average age of the Paraguayan is 27 years, which highlights a large youth population (from 0 to 15 years in the first place, and then from 15 to 29 years).

The distribution of the Paraguayan population throughout the territory is very irregular. The vast majority of people live in the Eastern Region: generally in cities near the national capital, border cities to other countries, or cities located on important routes in the country. This region is where the largest urban areas of Paraguay are located, such as Gran Asunción, Gran Ciudad del Este, Gran Encarnación, Caaguazú, Coronel Oviedo, Pedro Juan Caballero, etc. On the other hand, in the Chaco or Western Region (which covers about 60% of Paraguayan territory), the rural population predominates, since there are no large cities but rather small towns. The majority of its population is located in the south of the Chaco, and in the Central Chaco, where the Mennonites generally settle (less than 5% of the country's total population).

The War of the Triple Alliance (1864-1870), in which Paraguay faced the Triple Alliance (Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay), led Paraguay to an unprecedented demographic disaster, to the point that it is estimated that half (or more) of the Paraguayan population perished during the war (many of them were young adult men). According to several historians, Paraguay before the war reached half a million inhabitants. After the war, a census was carried out in which 116,351 inhabitants were counted, of which only about 10% were young adult men. Therefore, Paraguay remained practically stagnant, both demographically and economically, until the end of the 19th century.

Just beginning the 20th century, during the first years, Paraguay reached the population it had before the War, and it increased progressively, although modestly compared to neighboring countries.176 An important point in the recovery of the Paraguayan population , in addition to European immigration and neighbors to Paraguay, was the high birth rate of the population. This effect in countries marked by devastating wars is known as a baby boom. To this day, Paraguay retains a mostly young population structure.

However, recently the adult population over 65 years of age has increased at the same time as the youth population has decreased, a trend that is currently seen in first world countries, due to the decrease in birth rates and improvements in the quality of life.


Ethnic composition

There is no official data on the ethnic composition of the Paraguayan people, because the National Institute of Statistics of Paraguay does not include the concepts of race or ethnicity in census surveys. However, it does have statistics on the country's indigenous population. .​

The majority of Paraguayans call themselves "mestizo" (European-Spanish and indigenous-Guaraní mixture); while between 20 and 30% of Paraguayans are Caucasian (white). In Paraguay, the definition of white is more cultural than biological or physical, since the majority of the population dominates the Guaraní language, which is why a large number of biologically white people consider themselves mestizo in exaltation of their country's Guaraní past. , which leads to internal sources stating that the percentage of mestizos is 95%. According to the 2011 Latinobarómetro, Paraguayan Caucasians represent 30% of the population, while according to Francisco Lizcano it is around 20%.

The Paraguayan population is the result of a heterogeneous mixture: mestizos, criollos, Spanish immigrants, Italians, Germans, indigenous people of Guaraní descent and pampid indigenous people, etc. After the War of the Triple Alliance (1864-1870), in which The original Paraguayan population was practically exterminated, the country was repopulated with the help of immigrants, especially from European and neighboring countries; which were not many, but were important due to the small number of inhabitants of the country at the time. Because of this, according to studies, the current average Paraguayan individual is genetically: 55.0% European; 38.0% Amerindian; 8.0% African (Fuerst et al, 2016).​

The arrival of Europeans to Paraguay in the last century, mainly men; caused an increase in the European autosomal background, simultaneously with a decrease in the Native American. The low African ancestry is consistent with historical data that recorded the arrival of a restricted number of Africans to Paraguay during the transatlantic slave trade compared to surrounding regions .

Lately, the immigration of Asians (Koreans, Taiwanese, Japanese), and Arabs (Syro-Lebanese) to the country, in addition to neighboring countries, stands out. In the south of the country, especially in the department of Itapúa; There is a large population of immigrants and descendants of Slavs, mainly Ukrainians, Russians and Poles. Most of the Mennonite community is located in the central region of Chaco.

On the other hand, the indigenous population of Paraguay is 140,206 people (2.3% of the population) according to the 2022 census. As well as it has the lowest percentage of Afro-descendants, known as Afro-Paraguayans or Kambás - in Guaraní - (8,013 registered people).​


Indigenous peoples

During the viceregal era, the indigenous people constituted about 60% of the population around the year 1760. In those times, the majority lived in the so-called Guaranític missions, reductions created by the Company of Jesus to evangelize the natives. However, in 1767 the Jesuits were expelled from the Empire by Charles III, so the indigenous people had to disperse and were assimilated by the rest of the population. With constant wars, deaths from diseases, famines and miscegenation, the reduction of its original population would occur over the years.

According to the 2022 indigenous census, there are 853 communities or villages inhabited by 19 indigenous peoples distributed across fourteen departments and the country's capital, grouped mainly into five linguistic families (Guaraní, Lengua Maskoy, Mataco Mataguayo, Guaicurú, and Zamuco).

In 2022, 140,206 indigenous people were censused, corresponding to 2.3% of the Paraguayan population, lower than most other Latin American countries, but higher than previous Paraguayan censuses. The largest linguistic group corresponds to the Guaraní family, with 73,607 members, followed by the Mascoyana family (30,208), the Mataco Mataguayo (20,403), the Zamuco (4,733), the Guaicurú (2,182) and other minorities. linguistics (6,374). In total there are 19 officially recognized Amerindian peoples: the Mbyás (27,835), the Ava Guaraníes (22,235), the Nivaclés (17,845), the Paí Tavyterás (15,609), the Enlhet Norte (9,222), the Enxet Sur (8,070), the Angaités (6,909), the Sanapanás (3,470), the Guaraní ñandévas (3,133), the Aché (2,596), the Ayoreo (2,394), the Western Guaraní (2,199), the Qom (2,182), the Makás (2,129), the Ybytosos (2,126), the Toba Mascoy (2,025), the Guanás (512), the Manjuis (429) and the Tomárahos (213).



Paraguay, due to its Mediterranean condition and distance from the ocean, had never been a receiving country for immigrants, compared to its neighbors, such as Argentina or Brazil. The majority of the Paraguayan population was autochthonous, that is, the majority were indigenous and mestizos, and only a minority was white or creole.

During the 20th century, Paraguay began to receive a large number of immigrants, especially Europeans who fled from the wars that occurred in Europe at that time, seeking better living conditions and peace, sometimes facilitated by the State, a time in which they sought repopulate the country after the War of the Triple Alliance. Various groups of immigrants who settled in Paraguay were Spanish, Germans (some of whom are Mennonites), Italians, French, Poles, Ukrainians, among others.

With the construction of the Itaipú dam, the country experienced accelerated economic growth during the 1970s, which caused massive migration to the Eastern Region. This internal migration was accompanied by external migration coming mainly from Brazil, and a considerable proportion from South Korea and the Middle East (mostly Lebanese Syrians and Taiwanese). The country stopped its high emigration rate to stabilize and obtained a positive immigration rate for the first time in the 20th century.

Growing political instability and a stagnant economy towards the mid-1980s accelerated temporary emigration to Argentina, thus reversing the migration balance. Likewise, at the beginning of the 2000s, cases of emigration to Spain and the United States increased, where 7% of the total emigrants per year went. Currently, the migration balance remains neutral (around 0%), the emigration of Paraguayans abroad being compensated by the arrival of foreigners to Paraguay.

During the entire year 2011 (and until February 2012), the National Institute of Statistics (INE) received 100,000 applications for settlement from Europeans. Of that amount, until January 2012, residences of 16,000 Poles were registered. , 15,200 Germans, 5,140 Spaniards, 3,000 Italians and 2,200 French. To these data must be added the arrival of 5,700 North American citizens, 9,200 Japanese immigrants and 23,000 South Koreans.

According to official source (INE-2002), the foreign population in Paraguay was 3.4%. At that time the foreign population amounted to 173,176 inhabitants; being 81,592 inhabitants. of Brazil, 63,153 inhabitants. from Argentina, 27,679 from other countries and 752 not reported.​ According to the Directorate of the Migration Cabinet (2018), it states that registered foreigners living in Paraguay amount to just over 400,000 inhabitants.​ Practically half of them They are of Brazilian nationality (about 200,000 inhabitants) - many of them without settlement -, followed by Argentines (60,000 inhabitants), Koreans (20,000 inhabitants), Taiwanese (15,000 inhabitants), and important minorities of Syrian-Lebanese, Japanese , Mennonites, Chileans, Uruguayans, Colombians, Bolivians, etc. The registration of foreigners is difficult to specify because many have dual nationality.

On the other hand, Paraguay has one of the highest levels of emigration in the region. It is estimated that around one million Paraguayans reside abroad. The main destinations of Paraguayan emigrants are: Argentina (550,000 Paraguayan residents), Spain (80,000), Brazil (30,000), the United States (30,000), and small minorities in Chile, Japan, etc.



Paraguay has always been characterized as a largely rural country for much of its existence. However, the urban population surpassed the rural population for the first time towards the end of the 20th century, according to data from the 1992 census.

However, urbanization is not the same throughout the country: for example, Asunción (100% urbanized), Central (87% urbanized), contrast with other departments such as Caazapá, which barely has 21% of its total population urbanized. Only six of the seventeen departments are largely urbanized, in which their urbanized population exceeds 50%.

It is estimated that just over 60% of Paraguayans live in urban areas (cities or districts). There are currently 16 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Some of them are Asunción, with 522,287 inhabitants, followed by Ciudad del Este, with 301,815 inhabitants, Luque (277,301 inhabitants), San Lorenzo (257,530 inhabitants), Capiatá (236,828 inhabitants), Lambaré (179,800 inhabitants) , Fernando de la Mora (176,943 inhabitants), Encarnación (134,059 inhabitants) and Pedro Juan Caballero (120,576 inhabitants).

In total, the population of Asunción, added to its metropolitan area, gives a population of more than 2,500,000 inhabitants: it is one of the largest urban areas in South America.



An increase in life expectancy has been recorded in recent years due to the sharp drop in infant mortality, as well as the increase in the number of elderly people over 80 years of age. In 2007, the number of people over 85 years of age represented 17% of the total deaths in 2007, compared to 14% in 2000. Infant mortality is 23 per 1,000 births, having reduced 29% from 1990 to 2008.193 Life expectancy for men is 72 years, while for women it is 78 years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2009, Paraguay had an average life expectancy of 75 years, placing the country in fifth place in Latin America.

The main causes of death for Paraguayans are heart disease, respiratory diseases (pneumonia and tuberculosis), parasitic diseases and cancer.

In 2008, the government established universal free public health services. The Ministry of Health has 12 specialized hospitals, 15 regional hospitals, 137 health centers and 477 health posts. The IPS (Institute of Social Security) maintains a central hospital, 7 regional hospitals, 22 health centers and 70 health posts. Military healthcare has a central hospital, 3 divisional hospitals, 35 health centers and 26 infirmaries. Police Health has 1 central hospital and 22 infirmaries. The National University of Asunción maintains the Hospital de Clínicas and the Neurospiquiátric Hospital. The Catholic University maintains two hospitals, one in Asunción and the other in Villarrica.

There are approximately 10,200 beds between the public and private sectors in the country, half of them are in Greater Asunción. The number of doctors is eight to ten doctors per 10,000 inhabitants, when the WHO recommends one per 1,000 as ideal. The main problem is the poor distribution of doctors nationwide, since they are concentrated in the main metropolitan areas.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Paraguay practically doubled the intensive care (ICU) beds in its public health system, going from 306 ICU beds by March 2020, to 764 ICU beds by June 2021, not including the more than 200 ICU beds from the private sector.​



Paraguay's educational system is made up of four levels: initial, primary, secondary and higher. In Paraguay, primary education is mandatory, requiring nine years. Secondary education, for its part, requires three years. There are 8,295 basic schools: 7,104 public, 590 subsidized and 601 private (data from 2008).​ As for public schools, the Ministry of Education (MEC) enabled 300 in the last five years, the majority in rural areas.​ With approximately 1,750,000 students at the three educational levels (primary, secondary and tertiary), the gross enrollment rate reached 76% in 2007, causing the educational Human Development Index to reach the index of 0.884.

GDP spending for the area of education is 4.3%, one of the lowest in Latin America.​ The literacy rate is 96%.​ Literacy in Paraguay is curious, since you learn to read and write in Spanish in schools, but the majority express themselves better in Guaraní, as it is the mother tongue.

There are 53 universities in Paraguay (8 national and 45 private).​ The largest are the National University of Asunción, the Autonomous University of Asunción and the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Catholic University.​

According to data from the 2022 Census, 4% of the population does not have any type of education and is practically illiterate. On the other hand, the majority of the Paraguayan population only has passed the sixth grade of basic school (50.6 %), evidencing the low educational level of the country. While those who have completed high school and/or are university students barely reach 9.8% of the population.



Paraguay is a predominantly bilingual nation, as the majority of the population uses Spanish and Guarani. The 1992 Paraguayan Constitution declares it a pluricultural and bilingual country, establishing Spanish and Guarani as official languages.Spanish is understood by nearly 90% of the population as a first or second language, while Guarani by 77%. of its inhabitants, and its use is regulated by the Academy of the Guarani Language.

As for the Spanish Language, according to the 2020 Report "Spanish: A Living Language" of the Cervantes Institute, in Paraguay 68.2% of the population (4,946,322 inhabitants) has a good command of the Spanish language. The remaining 31.8% (2,306,350 inhabitants) belong to the Limited Competence Group, which has a sparse command of the Spanish language; Only 7.93% of them are monolingual in Guarani and do not understand Spanish, a figure that has decreased in the last thirty years.

The most outstanding characteristic of the Paraguayan culture is the persistence of the Spanish language along with the Guarani language, these being the two official languages of the Nation; and the pidgin (mixture) of these languages is known as yopará (jopara in the Guarani language). For this reason, the country is often cited as one of the few truly bilingual nations in the world.In addition to Spanish and Guarani, there are 19 other languages of indigenous origin that are spoken by about 50,000 indigenous Paraguayans. Portuguese is also spoken by about 300,000 "brasiguayos", most of whom are located on the border with Brazil. Other minority languages include German, Ukrainian, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, etc.

According to data from the National Population and Housing Census of 2012 conducted by the Directorate General of Statistics, Surveys and Censuses (today National Institute of Statistics), the most spoken languages in Paraguayan households most of the time are: .3% Spanish and Guarani (or Yopará); only Guarani at 34% and only Spanish at 15.3%; The departments where Guarani is most widely spoken at home, according to EPH 2017 data, are: San Pedro (78.87%), Caazapá (77.39%) and Concepción (71.34%) %); while where Guarani is least spoken are: Asunción (8.95%), Central (15.9%) and Alto Paraná (37.75%). In these latter departments Spanish predominates.
Despite the official rank of the Guarani language in the country and despite the high number of Guarani-speakers, the Castilian language remains mostly used in government matters, in official documents, judicial processes, administrative processes, professional, in business, in the in the media and in education—classes are taught mainly in Spanish—Guarani is relegated to being used in a more colloquial setting, for use among family and friends not pure bilingualism

Among bilinguals there is usually a preference for Guarani in intimate (or trusting), personal and family situations. Guarani is used more in rural areas than in urban areas. On the other hand, in Asunción and other major cities, more Spanish and Yopará (Spanish mixed with Guarani) are spoken



According to the 2002 census, 90.0% of the population is Catholic and 7.3% is Protestant (6.2% Evangelical, 1.1% other Christian). The Catholic religion is predominant due, in large part, to to the process of evangelization carried out by missionaries to the indigenous people and other inhabitants of the country during the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries.

Also present are indigenous religions, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and members of Bahaism. Among Protestant groups the Unification Church is criticized but also among The most recognized stand out: the Pentecostal evangelicals, mainly those of the Family Worship Center, a church that has more than 20,000 people and more than 100 temples, and the Christian Congregation in Paraguay, which has about 300 churches. Other notables are the Mennonites, who mainly settle in the Chaco and some experts relate it to the separation of Church and State, from the 1992 National Constitution that establishes the Paraguayan State as non-denominational.

The largest religious manifestation in Paraguay takes place between November 28 and December 8, the day of the Virgin of Caacupé, when thousands of Paraguayans go to venerate her at her basilica. Pilgrimages are also made to the Virgin of Itacua. On Good Friday, in the city of San Ignacio Guasu, the Tañarandy procession takes place, in which the Passion of Christ is remembered with thousands of lamps and candles that illuminate the night of faith.



Paraguay has the particularity of being one of the few officially bilingual nations, and of maintaining a native language (such as Guaraní), in a good state, since it is passed from generation to generation without its loss. The country has a majority mestizo population (about 75%) and relatively homogeneous and autonomous (in appearance and culture); since, despite the use of the Guaraní language predominating in a large part of the Paraguayan population, the people do not look, dress or behave like indigenous people. The terms mestizo and ladino are not used in the Spanish of Paraguay, and there are no concepts of cultural or racial mixing in this country, unlike other American countries.

Paraguayans have several very notable customs such as Paraguayan soup, the only country with "solid soup", the national drink (tereré): along the streets and avenues of the cities you will find yuyeros or sellers of refreshing plants, good for the digestion, which helps quench thirst in the hot Paraguayan climate. Paraguayan society is one of the most conservative in the region, while it is also one of the most religious (practically 98% of the population is Christian, of which 89% is Catholic and the rest Protestant).

The Guarani Jesuit Missions had relevance in the approach of the local native and mestizo to the European cultural manifestations, which he adopted and adapted to his way of feeling; as well as the phenomenon of miscegenation itself, where in the family nucleus composed of an Aboriginal mother and a European father it was allowed to cultivate elements of both cultures.



The most popular instruments of Paraguayan music are the harp and the guitar.The latter is represented by Agustín Barrios "Nitsuga Mangoré", the Paraguayan guitarist and composer of internationally renowned classical music.On the other hand, is Ermelinda Pedroso Rodriguez D'Almeida, known as Pearl, the most famous Paraguayan singer in Brazil. She was consecrated as a radio and television singer in the 1970s, with the success of Fernando. Over the course of his professional career, he sold more than 15 million albums, won 11 gold albums, two platinum, one double platinum, among other awards.

The indigenous genres are the Paraguayan polka and the guarania, characterized by a slow song that was developed by José Asunción Flores around the 1920s. Eladio Martinez, Mauricio Cardozo Ocampo, Teodoro S. Mongelós, Félix Fernández Galeano among others.This generation coincides with the irruption of the radio and phonograph industry which make their creations widely disseminated. One of the most famous broadcasters of Paraguayan music internationally was Luis Alberto del Paraná

In the 1970s and 1980s a genre called Nuevo Cancionero emerged where the name of Maneco Galeano appeared.Since then, Paraguayan music has been marked by various currents of renewal that seek to introduce rhythms and harmonies from jazz, pop, rock, bossa nova and other Latin American styles, such as chamamé, malambo, chacarera, nuevo cancionero and others. Artists such as Rolando Chaparro, "Lobito" Martinez, Oscar Cardozo Ocampo, Victor Riveros, Aldo Meza, Pearl, Hugo Ferreira in addition to contemporary pop groups such as Paiko, La Secreta and others feature in the new songbook.

For the Paraguayan dance there are some live polkas and galloping polkas. The polka in general is a dance performed by pairs consisting of a man and a woman.The galopadas in particular are danced by a group of women called galoperas who turn in a circle, swinging from side to side with a cantaro or vase in their hands.

There is another variant of urban Paraguayan music in which fewer instruments are used: a harp, a requinto and a distinctive guitar. It is sung in harmonies to three voices, where the harpist usually makes the third voice. The themes are sung predominantly in Spanish, although the most famous songs are sung in Guarani and some are also performed in Yopará.

Berta Rojas, with her album Legado won two Latin Grammy Awards in its 23rd edition, the first in the category “Best Classical Music Album”, becoming the first Latin Grammy for Paraguay, and the second award in the category “Best contemporary classical work/composition» by Anido's Portrait: I. Chacarera, composition by Sergio Assad, who was commissioned by the guitarist to write a work in tribute to Maria Luisa Anido

In the present era, Paraguayan artists such as Kchiporros, Underground, Salamander, Flou, Tobacco Pipe, Revolver, Paiko and others stand out. Paraguay, being a Spanish-speaking country, receives a lot of influence from Latin music, such as reguetón; however, the most popular musical trend is the cachaca and the Mexican (norteña) and Colombian (vallenato) types of cachaca and cumbia, represented by musical groups such as Bronco, Lalo and the Barefoot, Grupo Ternura, Refuge of Love, Frequency Trio, Los Roller's de Encarnación and others. In the areas bordering Brazil, Brazilian funky is popular.



Paraguayan literature has two aspects: that produced in Spanish and that created in Guaraní—without detracting from the country's literature in other native languages. However, it must be said that the first has had greater development and diffusion than the second.

The 19th century is a barren field in Paraguayan literary creation. The strict censorship of Doctor Francia's dictatorship was a contributing factor to the stagnation of literary development. To date, only a few authors dedicated primarily to poetry in Guaraní are known, such as Natalicio Talavera, and some isolated literary milestones, such as the creation of the magazine La Aurora. The aggravating circumstance of the War of the Triple Alliance meant the interruption of these incipient literary activities. Thus, with the country dedicated to its reconstruction during the last quarter of the 19th century, the first important Paraguayan productions would appear in the 20th century. The first novel written by a Paraguayan was called Gualberto's Night Trip or The Reflections of an Absentman, written by Colonel Juan Crisóstomo Centurión, published in New York in 1877.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Ignacio A. Pane, Arsenio López Decoud, Juan E. O'Leary, Juan Silvano Godoy and Ricardo Brugada stood out; they turned poetry towards more universal assumptions, but the national political environment ended up weighing them down, which harmed notably to its inspiration and, therefore, to its themes and forms. Modernism had poetic expressions with specific weight in Paraguay, with Raúl Amaral and Enrique Marini Palmieri as exponents, although the Secular Song of Eloy Fariña Núñez is the most notable contribution; In other latitudes the compositions of Fortunato Toranzos Bardel are equally or more modernist. Part of it led to Mundonovism and nativism, well represented by the strengthening of poetry written in Guaraní, especially by Narciso R. Colmán, Natalicio González and Manuel Ortiz Guerrero.

There are writers who stood out for their contribution to Guaraní literature, whether in stories, poems, verses and novels: Constante José Aguer, Néstor Amarilla, Narciso Ramón Colman, Mabel Coronel Cuenca, Julio Correa, Susy Delgado, Félix Fernández Galeano, Rigoberto Fontao Meza, David Galeano Olivera, Félix Giménez Gómez, Darío Gómez Serrato, Anselmo Jover Peralta, Silvano Mosqueira, Clementino Ocampos, Manuel Ortiz Guerrero, Ignacio A. Pane, Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, Natalicio Talavera and Javier Viveros. Most of the works written in Guaraní were set to music through the different genres found in Paraguayan music.



The most emblematic historians were: Efraím Cardozo, Julio César Chaves, Ciriaco Duarte, Francisco Isidoro Resquín, Francisco Gaona, Blas Garay, Juan Natalicio González, Alejandro Hamed, Juan Carlos Herken Krauer, Pedro Lozano, Fulgencio R. Moreno, Juan E. O 'Leary, Carlos Pastore, Margarita Prieto Yegros, Guido Rodríguez Alcalá, Ruy Díaz de Guzmán, Alfredo Seiferheld, Juan Stefanich, Manuel Antonio Talavera, Jorge Thompson and others.



The first film screening in Paraguay was in June 1900, with the Current Views, at the National Theater (later Municipal) in Asunción. The first films were made by the Argentine Ernesto Gunche in 1905. The first Paraguayan to record a short film was Hipólito Carrón, with Alma paraguaya, 10 minutes long, which he made in 1925, during the pilgrimage to Caacupé.

In 1932, Argentine photographer Roque Funes recorded the first feature-length documentary in Paraguay, titled In the Hell of Chaco. In 1937, the first story film Paraguay, Tierra de Promisia was filmed, an unfinished Paraguayan-Argentine co-production. In 1954, the first officially co-production of Argentina and Paraguay was made: Codicia, directed by the Italian Catrano Catrani. With The Trueno Between the Leaves (1958), by the Argentine Armando Bó, a series of co-productions between Argentina and Paraguay began, such as: La sangre y la seed (1959) and En la via (1959, unpublished), both by Alberto Du Bois; The little donkey of Ypacaraí (1962), by Armando Bó; as well as Argentine films with Paraguayan participation such as Sabaleros (1959) and India (1960), by Armando Bó; or Thirst (1961), by Lucas Demare.

Several co-productions were also produced with Brazil, including O Amante de Minha Mulher (1978), by the Italian Alberto Pieralisi; O Último Cão de Guerra (1979), by Tony Vieira; A Cafetina de Meninas Virgens (1981; known in Paraguay as Kapanga), by Agenor Alves and Guillermo Vera Díaz; and O Amigo Dunor (2005), by José Eduardo Alcázar.

In 1969, the Paraguayan director Carlos Saguier made the 40-minute medium-length film, El Pueblo. In 1978, the first feature film of entirely Paraguayan production was released, with government support and in 35 millimeters: Cerro Corá, a warlike fiction, which was also the first national box office success, under the direction of Guillermo Vera Díaz. With the appearance of video, numerous short films were made in the '80s and '90s, as well as the co-productions Miss Ameriguá (1994, with Sweden and Chile), by Luis R. Vera; and The Touch of the Oboe (1998, with Brazil), by Cláudio MacDowell.

Among the main achievements of the 21st century are: María Escobar (2002), by Galia Giménez; Requiem for a soldier (2002), by Galia Giménez; Miramenometokei (2002), by Enrique Collar; Paraguayan hammock (2006, with Argentina, France, Holland), by Paz Encina; Carimea (2006), by Ray Armele; Red Earth (2006, documentary), by Ramiro Gómez; Coupling (2006), by Agu Netto and Rafael Kohan; Gunter's Winter (2007), by Galia Giménez; The reflection (2008), by Gustavo Delgado; Sofía's gift (2008), by Leticia Coronel and Hugo Cataldo; Misprint (2008), by Nilfe Vera y Aragón; Serviette Universe (2010), by Luis A. Aguirre; 18 and a half cigarettes (2010, with Spain and Mexico), by Marcelo Tolces; Ninth (2010), by Enrique Collar; Cuchillo de palo (2010, documentary with Spain), by Renate Costa; Felipe Canasto (2010), by Darío Cardona; Capital Week (2010), by Hugo Cataldo; Che pykasumi (2011), by Ermes Medina Valiente; Tren Paraguay (2011, documentary), by Mauricio Rial; 1811, Jirones de Gloria (2011), by Ramón Ramoa Salcedo; Libertad (2012), by Gustavo Delgado; 7 boxes (2012), by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori; Reading according to Justino (2013, with Argentina), by Arnaldo André; End of the line (2013), by Gustavo Delgado; The sugar of the orange tree (2013), by Galia Giménez; Costa Dulce (2013, with Holland), by Enrique Collar; Empty Cans (2014, by Coronel Oviedo), by Hérib Godoy; Cicada Moon (2014), by Jorge Bedoya.

Since 1990, the International Art and Culture Film Festival - Paraguay has been held, created and directed by Hugo Gamarra. The Coronel Oviedo Cultural Society has also held the National Short Film Competition since 2005; and the Arasá Short Film Awards have been held in Caacupé since 2014.

In addition to the National Audiovisual Directorate, the National Secretariat of Culture; There are entities: Organization of Paraguayan Audiovisual Professionals (OPRAP), which since 2012 has organized the National Audiovisual Congress - Tesape; Paraguayan Chamber of Film and Television Production Companies (CAMPRO), Inter Artis Paraguay, Egeda Paraguay, Audiovisual and Photographic Archive of Paraguay (AAFP), Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Paraguay, House of Visual Arts Ignacio Núñez Soler, National Directorate of Intellectual Property (DINAPI).



The gastronomy derived from the Carioan Guaraní-Spanish fusion is the most characteristic of Paraguayan cuisine, added to the contributions of historical migratory groups, such as Italian cuisine and German cuisine. The city of Asunción is the epicenter of the distinctive gastronomy that extends in current Paraguay and its areas of influence. In Paraguayan society, the exchange of knowledge develops between mestizos, criollos and Guaraníes, from the viceregal era to the present , the first antecedent being contact with the Cario-Guarani in the 16th century.

In an average Paraguayan home, a typical lunch could be puchero (concentrated beef and vegetable soup), soy, beans, rice stew or noodles, all accompanied with tropical fruit juice. Also very popular are noodles, Milanese, gnocchi, ravioli, pizza, roast and various types of empanadas.

Among some traditional foods, the most popular is the chipa, which comes in two forms: one is the chipa piru or chipita that has a shape similar to a donut, and the other comes in the form of bread or ring. Both are made from starch. Asado is also typical on Paraguayan tables; it is generally consumed on Sundays or at special events, always accompanied by manioc. Delicious foods are made from cassava, such as pastel mandi'o, which is an empanada made from cooked cassava. Other typical foods of the country are: mbeyú, kavuré, Paraguayan soup, chipa guazú, payaguá mascada, chipa cuerito, vorí vorí, locro, soy, batiburrillo, sausages (such as choripán, butifarra, missionary chorizo), piracaldo, so'o apu 'a (meatballs), mandi'o chyryry, tykue'i so'o, etc.

Among the typical infusions are mate and tereré; The first is an infusion based on hot water, yerba mate and medicinal weeds such as anise, chamomile, dill, boldo, burrito, etc., while the second is based on water, ice, yerba mate and refreshing roots/weeds such as saffron, urusu he'e, agrial, batatilla, among many others. In general, tereré is more consumed and, more than to calm the heat, it serves to socialize. The mate is prepared in a stainless steel thermos along with the matero, while the tereré requires a plastic jug or thermos that is complemented by the guampa; For these two infusions, the metal or nickel silver bulb is used. Last but not least, there are hot-cold thermoses for uses intended for these drinks, and they are commonly sold in personalized format, whether lined in leather or other types of rustic design.

Apart from tea and coffee, another infusion widely consumed during breakfast or snack is cooked mate or simply "cooked"; This yerba mate-based drink is usually taken pure (cocido negro) or mixed with milk (cocido con leche). Although cooked mate is commercially exploited in soluble sachets, there are still those who prepare it in its most orthodox form, known as cocido quemada. A variant of tereré, which replaces the medicinal plants characteristic of traditional tereré, is Russian tereré; This drink based on citrus juices originates from the Slavic community in southern Paraguay and is popular only in that region of the country.



The National Secretariat of Tourism (Senatur) is in charge of promoting and developing tourism activity in Paraguay. Since the mid-2010s, the increase in tourist flow was approximately 10%. Paraguay was ranked tenth in the classification of South American countries in terms of tourism income.​

Despite the challenges that the country still must face in the area of tourism, the progress of recent years offers a favorable outlook, considering that in 2015 the entry of 1,214,613 foreign tourists to the country was recorded, which represented an increase of 87% compared to the figure for 2014 (Senatur data).​ Argentine and Brazilian tourists are the ones who visit the country the most, generally for shopping tourism, rural tourism and also to visit relatives.

Paraguay leads shopping tourism - especially border cities - as well as rural tourism - expeditions to the Chaco, or eco-adventures in the interior of the country - and visits to historical and modern monuments - the Palacio de los López in Asunción, the Itaipú hydroelectric plant in Hernandarias, the Jesuit Ruins in Itapúa, etc.—.

Commercial tourism has spread widely and Ciudad del Este is the location chosen by tourists in the region for their purchases, this being the main economic income of the city. In Asunción there are various gastronomic services, hotels and first-class shops, preserving to this day the majority of its historic buildings, combined with wide, tree-lined avenues that have the largest infrastructure of shopping centers, bars, cinemas, casinos, theaters and places of leisure in the country.

On the other hand, the Encarnaceno Carnival, the most important in the country, attracts approximately 50,000 tourists. Encarnación at the beginning of the 2010s, has built the waterfront on the edge of the enormous Paraná River, thus transforming its coasts into beautiful beaches in river waters, replacing the constant demands for sea beaches from foreign countries, it has also become the center most important tourist (summer) center in the country for having first-class hotel services, shopping and cultural centers and sports competitions. Near this city are the Jesuit Ruins of Jesús and Trinidad, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.



In general terms, architecture in either of its streams had a presence in Paraguay during at least, a moment in its history. The vernacular architecture is represented by the typology of the Culata Jovai house, typical of rural housing in Paraguay and in the wide Guarani area of South America, prepared to cope with a semitropical climate. During the colonial era (1537-1811) and even after the independence era, Asunción was still a semi-rural community and urban cores did not yet exist in Paraguay. The architecture of this period possessed characteristics of an eminently popular manifestation, with few significant buildings. During the government of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia (1813-1840), little progress was made in the erection of buildings and urban planning of Paraguay, as well as in the capital. It is in the government of Carlos Antonio López that the gradual imposition of cultural patterns that would relegate the colonial tradition begins, such as facade architecture, monuments and other Europeanized features that would continue to be introduced by his son Francisco Solano López in the period 1862-1 1870.

After the Triple Alliance War, restoration of some historic buildings continued as well as the culmination of unfinished works. The restoration was carried out with the help of European immigrants, who imprinted their stamp on the nation’s urban landscape with their remarkable eclecticism of Italian character, a current that uniformed the landscape of urban centers such as Concepcion, Villarrica and also Asuncion. Between 1900 and 1940 an anti-academicist reaction emerges with Enrique Clari, the top representative of Catalan modernism who also stood out for his interesting handling in art nouveau. To a lesser extent other streams of international presence developed, such as the Art-Deco whose most representative work is the Marcopolo Building. Modern architecture has been introduced in Paraguay since the 1940s, while in the 1950s and 1960s it received a renewing blow with the Modern Movement.



The most practiced and most popular sport is soccer. The Paraguayan national team was twice champion of the Copa América, in 1953 and 1979. It also won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, being the only one in the country so far. He also participated eight times in the Soccer World Cup, with his best participation in 2010, reaching the quarterfinals for the first time. On the other hand, Paraguay is the headquarters of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol), in the city of Luque, one of the most powerful confederations in world football.

The most popular clubs are Olimpia, locally nicknamed "The Dean", for having the most titles at the national and international level, it is also the first to be founded. The other team is Cerro Porteño nicknamed "El Ciclón", it is the second team with the most titles at the national level. Libertad nicknamed "El Gumarello" is another of the most important clubs in the country, being the third team with the most official championships. Other relevant clubs are Guaraní, Nacional, Sportivo Luqueño, Sol de América, among others. The best-known players are Arsenio Pastor Erico, José Luis Chilavert, Catalino Rivarola Méndez, Fabián Balbuena, Roque Santa Cruz, Salvador Cabañas, Carlos Gamarra, José Saturnino Cardozo, Gustavo Gómez, Romerito, Roberto Cabañas, Francisco Javier Arce Rolón, among others.

In addition, Paraguay stands out in indoor soccer thanks to its three world championships won; futsal has already managed to participate in four of the six editions of the FIFA Futsal World Championship.

After soccer, the sport with the most fans is the rally, whose most traditional event is the Trans-Chaco Rally that has been held since 1971. The amateur sport with the greatest growth in the country in recent years has been rugby. Other sports practiced are basketball, field hockey, volleyball, handball, rowing, golf, artistic roller skating and swimming, whose main representative is Benjamín Hockin.

In tennis, Víctor Pecci won the Roland Garros Tournament in the junior category in 1973 and the runner-up in the professional category in 1979, Rossana de los Ríos repeated Pecci's performance in 1992 with the junior Roland Garros title. In the Davis Cup Paraguay competed for the first time in the 1931 edition, and then competed again only in 1982. Their best result was reaching the quarterfinals of the World Group four times in 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987.



In addition to national holidays, Paraguay has two holidays that affect important institutions. April 30, Teacher's Day is a holiday for educational institutions and December 31 is a bank holiday established by the Central Bank of Paraguay. Some holidays that fall on work days or during the week are usually moved to Monday, in order to promote domestic tourism.

Throughout the year, popular festivals are held in towns and cities in honor of various saints. The main characteristic of all this is that each district has its own celebration for a certain saint. In these popular festivals, traditions are recreated (games, gastronomy, myths, legends, dances, songs, etc.), which reach their greatest splendor in the San Juan festival, held between June and July. During the festivals in honor of saints, the Jineteada and the Torín are held.



In 1812, the tricolor Paraguayan flag was hoisted for the first time with the three stripes of equal size, just as in the present. In 1842, it was decided to add the national coat of arms to the flag, on the obverse the official coat of arms of Paraguay, while on the reverse the Treasury shield. Thus, the flag of Paraguay is one of only three in the world whose two sides are not equal.

The national anthem of Paraguay was written by the Uruguayan poet Francisco Acuña de Figueroa in 1846. It is not known who composed the music to the poem; The truth is that Remberto Giménez revised the lyrics and music in 1933. It is the current version.

On the other hand, the Passionflower is the Spanish meaning of the national flower of Paraguay, the mburucuyá.