NewsWorldThis travel influencer says that Paraguay is the “best...

This travel influencer says that Paraguay is the “best kept treasure in South America”. We tell you why

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(CNN Spanish) – “The best kept treasure in South America”, this is how Carlos Espinola, the influencer behind the travel platform, describes Paraguay Discover Paraguay.

The page, which highlights the tourist beauty of Paraguay, currently has more than 133,000 followers on Instagram, where it defines the country as “the land of wonderful waterfalls, lakes, rivers, hills, incredible sunsets, rich history and happy people.”

However, Espinola, who works as a labor lawyer and dedicates his weekends to reconnect with his country, believes that these tourist attractions “are not being exploited as they should.”

The inspiration to disseminate the tourist sites of his country came to him after being on the other side of the world, when he made an exchange in New Zealand to study English. There he was surprised by the organization and diffusion of tourism, where each city seeks to exploit its own attractions, and realized that his classmates, “most of Japan, Korea, Switzerland and Germany, knew absolutely nothing about Paraguay. “.

Therefore, for a few years, Discover Paraguay Its mission is to “show Paraguay to the world.”

“Despite being a landlocked country, Paraguay has abundant water, because it is on one of the largest reserves in the world: the Guaraní aquifer,” Espinola told CNN en Español.

These lakes, rivers and waterfalls are treasures for ecotourism or adventure tourism, but tourists, whether local or foreign, can also enjoy hiking through various hills or learn a little more about the history of Paraguay.

For the creator of Discover Paraguay, the top 5 places to visit are:

  • The mighty Monday Falls
  • Cerro Corá National Park and the sunsets from the mountain range
  • The majestic Jesuit Missions
  • Ybycuí National Park
  • The beautiful Crystal Falls

The Crystal Falls is around 160 kms, about 3 hours, from Asunción. Photo: Carlos Espinola

‘Where you go, see water’

“Many tourists come to the capital, but I always say that Paraguay is not only the capital, that its essence is in the interior,” says Espinola.

The Paraguayan influencer says that the first thing many people see when they enter the country is Ciudad del Este, on the Triple Border with Brazil and Argentina, but he insists that foreign tourists are not left alone with that impression, that they go inside to see the “true essence of Paraguay”.

This, he says, because there “the Hispanic-Guarani culture is not perceived as much as it is perceived in the rest of the country.”

Espinola says that to go beyond the capital, Asunción, and Ciudad del Este, and see “something wild and a lot of nature, you don’t have to stop going to the Crystal Falls.”

This, located in the district of Ybycuí, and with “a 45 meter drop, in the very middle of the jungle, and a natural pool”, is one of those places where you can reconnect with the nature of Paraguay.

With 5,000 hectares of ecological reserve, the Ybycuí National Park It is one of the must-sees according to the creator of Discover Paraguay, as “it has more than 16 waterfalls, a virgin forest, a waterfall more beautiful than the other and streams throughout the park.”

In addition, there is also the La Rosada Museum, the old iron foundry that played a role in the modernization of Paraguay in the mid-1800s and that carries the story of the bombing in the War of the Triple Alliance (1865-1870) against Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

On the other hand, in the Alto Paraná Department, you can also find waterfalls with strong flows of water, as is the case of Salto Ñacunday, in the homonymous national park.

Likewise, although the Iguazú Falls, in the trinational region, may be the best known, in the city of Presidente Franco, near Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil), are the Monday Falls.

There “there are two complexes: a panoramic elevator from where you can see and feel the flow of water and another complex that offers rafting on the Monday River, zip-lining and rappelling,” explains Carlos.

The richness of the Hispanic-Guaraní culture

The travel influencer highlights the linguistic and cultural richness of Paraguay.

“Paraguay not only offers nature for tourism, we have a very rich Spanish-Guarani culture and a gastronomy very different from the rest of Latin America,” Espinola tells CNN en Español.

He says he heard “some English or European-speaking foreigners say that in Paraguay one can notice the essence of what Latin America is, due to the cultural shock we had, the fusion of the Spanish and the Guarani.”

“Between 80 and 90% [de la población paraguaya] speaks or understands Guaraní or Jopará, the mix between Guaraní and Spanish, “he adds.

And one of the tourist places that Discover Paraguay recommends show precisely that cultural wealth: the Jesuit Missions.

Travel Paraguay

The Jesuit Missions of Santísima Trinidad and Jesús de Tavarangüé in Paraguay were declared by Unesco Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Photo: Carlos Espinola

In the Jesuit Missions of Santísima Trinidad and Jesús de Tavarangüé, declared by Unesco Cultural Heritage of Humanity, “you can appreciate the ornamental work that the indigenous people did, the Baroque-Guarani style of their architecture,” says Espinola.

Both can also be visited at night, so that visitors can enjoy a show of lights and sounds in the buildings “that recreate the sound of the environment of the time.”

“It transports you back in time: you can hear the songs of the natives, the animals, the birds in the center of the jungle,” says Carlos.

Travel to Paraguay

Paraguay has multiple agreements with countries around the world so that its citizens can enter the country without the need for a visa.

Currently, the Paraguayan authorities are advancing in the Visa Elimination Bill for Citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, to encourage tourism and promote economic reactivation.

On June 9, the Chamber of Deputies approved exempt from visas, which cost about US $ 160, to tourists from those countries. On June 22, the Senate he also gave his approval.

The deputy Rodrigo Blanco, according to a release of the Chamber, affirmed that “some 60,000 tourists come to the border area, but only 1% cross into the country, due to the requirement of a visa. We must give the possibility to the gastronomic and hotel sectors, so that they can be part of the economic reactivation “.

You can check the entry and exit requirements from Paraguay of the General Directorate of Migration here.

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