According to the official dates, spring is 21 September to 20 December, summer is 21 December to 20 March, autumn is 21 March to 20 June and winter is 21 June to 20 September. Although there can be long periods of drought, fatal for the crops, there is generally a good level of rainfall, producing a very green landscape. The rain most typically falls in violent thunderstorms, which are not infrequent.
Visiting Paraguay at any time of year you are likely to have good, sunny weather. However, some months are a bit unpredictable, so if nothing else is determining the time of your trip, here are some factors to bear in mind. December to February are the hottest months and June to August are the coldest ones. By the middle of September the cold weather is over. If you are looking for temperate weather, therefore, the ideal time to come is between September and early December before the fares go up for the pre-Christmas rush or between late February and May.
Over Easter would be ideal if it were not the time when all the Paraguayans are enjoying their holiday of Semana Santa, which is Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday. Easter Monday is back to work. Book your hotel ahead for those crucial three days if you want to be in Paraguay over Easter, and be prepared for everywhere to be closed.
If you cannot come in spring or autumn it is up to you to decide if you prefer to be hot or cold. Paraguayans have a long summer holiday from December to February, and in January those who can afford it tend to go to the Brazilian beaches, or to the Paraguayan beaches of San Bernardino, Villa Florida or Ayolas. Educational institutions also have a short winter break in the first fortnight of July la quincena de julio. With climate change, that needs to be re-assessed. June and August are generally all right, but cannot be guaranteed.
In the 16th century Paraguay, formerly called "The Giant Province of the Indies", was born as a result of the encounter of Spanish conquerors with the native indigenous groups. The Spaniards started the colonization period which lasted for three centuries.
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On 15 May a revolution ended the Spanish colonial rule and this day is celebrated as Paraguay's independence day. But Paraguay also has a history of wars, having fought with all its neighbours. It was one of the richest countries in the midth century the only one in America to have railways at that time before the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance.
Paraguay was invaded by the allied forces of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay and after 5 years of heavy fighting and utter destruction, the country surrendered. The result was the loss of two-thirds of all adult males and a great part of its territory. A unique event was the scene of the first attempt at Communism when people sailed from Sydney, Australia, in to found "New Australia. To complete the fighting with its neighbors, in the s another war broke out, the Chaco War of engaged Paraguay with Bolivia over the possession of the Chaco region.
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When the war ended, large and economically important areas of the Chaco that belonged to Paraguay were given to Bolivia as part of the peace treaty of New colonies of Germans, Russians, Italians, Ukrainians, Japanese and Mennonites were established in different parts of the countryside areas of Paraguay. The year military dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner was overthrown in and, despite a marked increase in political infighting, democratic governments have been in power since then.
Modern Paraguay is largely based upon political uncertainty and economic hardship. Since the early s, Paraguay is making the difficult decision to move to a more modern market economy. The economy has grown and democratic elections have taken place. While Asuncion is filled with new economic prospects and construction, much of the country remains underdeveloped, consisting of deficient infrastructure.
Although Paraguay is landlocked, the country is watered by numerous rivers, streams, and lakes, which are all part of the Rio de la Plata river basin. Paraguay is generally hot for most of the year. Eastern Paraguay can be very humid, while western Paraguay the Chaco is dry. There is no real rainy season, but from September to November electric storms become more frequent and travelling off-road can be more difficult. The climate generally follows the prevailing winds, viento sur southerly winds bringing cooler temperatures from Patagonia and viento norte northern winds bringing hotter weather from the tropics.
Most travellers "of" the beaten track will not enjoy Paraguay nor recommend it to others. However, for people that disgust the commercialisation of travelling and are in the search of the journey to themselves and the authentic side of South America, Paraguay offers many gems, a laid-back and inexpensive journey, and a way to the warm heart of South American people. All other visitors travelling to Paraguay are required to carry a valid passport. All tourists are granted a tourist stamp for 90 days. In case you leave the country via one of the many land borders, an exit stamp is not necessarily required if you travel visa-free and receive a proper entry stamp in the following country.
On re- entry into Paraguay, no one will check your existing stamps for completeness. Also, in case you visit Ciudad del Este , you might travel forth and back between the border for various reasons, hence just having entry stamps of both countries Brazil and Paraguay is convenient. Travellers of all other nationalities should check the visa requirements for their country with the nearest Paraguayan Embassy before travelling to Paraguay. Except for the countries named above, visas must be obtained in advance through the Paraguayan Embassy or Consulate, as they are not available upon entry to the country.
Best Cities in Paraguay: Popular Places and Hidden Gems
Paraguay has many land border crossings and allows for easy entry from Bolivia , Brazil and Argentina if you have a valid visa or can enter visa-free. Although it is in the centre of South America, there isn't an abundance of flights. Bus service is available to and from a wide range of South American cities. Buses are very modern and some buses have seats that fully recline into beds.
In Spanish they are called coche-cama. Semi-cama recline most of the way. The bus to and from Bolivia crosses the Chaco. The trip takes at least a full day, and easily more. The bus coming from Santa Cruz passes Villamontes at about Best visit the border in advance to get an exit stamp for Paraguay because not all buses make a stop, otherwise ask before jumping on a bus. These boats were not designed to carry a great number of passengers, but have private cabins for up to 4 people.
So, expect a sticky crowded experience, but you can buy just about anything on board, even cold beer. Check out the maps OpenStreetMap and satellite pictures. Buses, also called Colectivos in Paraguay, are the most common public transport. There are many companies running different lines. You must check which one serves your destination.
The site is in Spanish only and there's no information about travel times nor schedules for trips towards Asuncion. Tipping in taxis is not customary among locals although drivers do appreciate it. Expect to pay a small surcharge on top of the fare if you are taking a taxi late in the evening, or on a Sunday.
Bargaining on a price may be useful, as tourists have been asked for USD10 for a five-minute ride. To prevent any disputes, always ask your hotel concierge how much the real cost of the fare should be.
There are highways connecting all the major regions of Paraguay, but most of them are one lane each way. You may hit toll booths along the way. Police may pull you over for any reason and will expect bribes. Also, it is advised that, when they ask you, play dumb until they let you go with a warning and do not admit to travelling through Paraguay for the first time. Refrain from handing out bribes known as coimas in Paraguay since it is only harmful for the country. If you have actually committed something wrong, you should pay the fine and always ask for a receipt.
You will probably only face this kind of problem with the police on the country roads. These problems do not generally occur in any of the wealthier areas of the major cities where you can keep a somewhat 'nicer' relationship with the police. Contrary to expectations, tugged between Northern Argentina, Bolivia and Western Brazil, which are not very popular with hitch-hikers, travelling by thumb in Paraguay is possible and surprisingly easy for tourists, even though not generally common.
Along the main roads with much traffic you will always find the odd helper that takes you along the way, even couples and women. Often, you will not have to wait longer than 15 min, but barely an hour. Nevertheless, on rural road traffic can be very light, and often people use motorbikes or cover only short distances, thus hesitant to pick you up. But you can always try and opt for the bus if the thumb does not work.
Tips for travelling to Paraguay
Do not expect big conversations with locals like in Southern Argentina—the attitude of people is more like in Chile. But Paraguay offers far better access to passing cars than Chile with its major and complicated highways in the center. Most people in Paraguay speak Spanish and use of English is very limited. Due to the extensive use of Guarani, even those who have managed to learn Spanish do not always speak it very well.
Tips for travelling to Paraguay
In Paraguay, Guarani is almost always spoken as a mix of Guarani and Spanish, known as Jopara, meaning "mixed" in Guarani. The number system in Guarani is rarely used, and is almost always replaced with the Spanish number system. In Paraguay vos is used instead of tu. There is a slight change in conjugation but not big enough that you won't be understood using tu.
This vos is not the same as vosotros. Stems do not change in verbs when using "vos", and the ending is always stressed.