Paraguay

 

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Paraguay is a landlocked country surrounded by Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil, lying some 1440km (900 miles) up the River Paraná from the Atlantic. The River Paraguya, a tributary of the Paraná, divides the country in two widely differing regions. The east, where the Paraná forms a natural border with Brazil, has rolling hills, fertile plains, grasslands and heavily wooded areas. Asunción, the capital, is situated on the Bay of Asunción, an inlet off the Paraguay River in a former estate of the Lopez family on the Paraguay River. Paraguay’s university is in San Lorenzo, founded in 1775. A popular tourist itinerary is the ‘Central Circuit’, a route of some 200km (125 miles) that takes in some of the country’s most interesting sites, including the famous Iguazú and Monday waterfalls located near Paraguay’s fastest developing town, Ciudad del Este on the Brazilian border. In the west, the scarcely populated Chaco area, consisting mainly of empty plains and forests, provides a habitat for hundreds of wildlife and bird species. After the Amazon, this is America’s second largest forest area, whose national parts and biological reserves are popular among enthusiasts of ecotourism. Typical local dishes include chipas (maize bread flavored with egg and cheese) and palmitos (palm hearts). In Asunción there are numerous bars, casinos and discotheques. The parrilladas or open-air restaurants offer by far the best atmosphere, especially in Asunción. There are casinos in the border towns of Ciudad Del Este and Encarnacion.