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Although Asuncion lacks heavyweight tourist attractions like distinctive geographical landmarks, sandy beaches or significant monuments, it has its own kind of charm for those on holiday in Paraguay.
The downtown area may have seen better days but there is a resilient romance to the neglected colonial and beaux-arts buildings, and some interesting museums and monuments to check out. The suburbs lack the old-world colonial aesthetic of the downtown area but they do boast shopping malls, good restaurants and a fun nightlife, especially in the northeast towards Villa Morra.
Sightseeing in Asuncion is best done on a sunny day on a walking tour of the downtown area. Popular sights include the Versailles-style Palacio de Gobierno, the National Cathedral, the Casa Viola Museum and the beautiful Botanical Gardens. The Mercado Quatro is a whole neighbourhood of market space and is a great place to buy souvenirs in Asuncion.
The political, cultural and economic heart of Paraguay, Asuncion is a lively city and worth a visit for travellers in the region. It also makes a great base for excursions to popular attractions such as Ciudad del Este and Iguazu Falls, located only 201 miles (324km) away, near Paraguay's border with Argentina and Brazil.
Located on the border with Brazil, Ciudad del Este is the second largest city in Paraguay and is considered the top shopping destination in the country. The border crossing gets a steady stream of traffic from neighbouring countries for this reason, with visitors taking advantage of the low taxes. The city may not be particularly attractive to tourists otherwise, though there are some sightseeing options and a variety of good restaurants to enjoy. Ciudad del Este is also conveniently situated for tourists heading to Iguazu Falls or the Salsto del Monday waterwall.
The market town of Encarnacion lies 200 miles (374km) from Asuncion and is Paraguay's most attractive city. Known as the Pearl of the South, the city's main attractions are the ruins of the Jesuit Missions of La Santisima, Trinidad de Parana and Jesus de Tavarangue, listed jointly as a UNESCO World Heritage site and depicted in the famous 1986 film, The Mission. The city also boasts a pleasant artificial beach along the river, which is a popular place for sunning, swimming, and watersports such as boating, jet skiing and wakeboarding. Paraguay's most famous carnival celebrations take place here in January and February, making this a fun time to visit the city and join in the revelry.
Founded as a Mennonite colony in 1930, Filadelfia is a pocket of German culture in Paraguay. This small, neat farming community resembles a German suburb more than it does a Paraguayan city, and life largely revolves around its huge dairy cooperative. Visitors can learn about the colony's history at the Jakob Unger Museum, which offers tours in German and Spanish; and the Haushaltsmuseum, which has a particularly interesting exhibit on the Chaco War. Filadelfia also acts as a sort of gateway to the Chaco region, as it is the last stop for groceries and other essentials before heading into the wild.
Asuncion has a humid subtropical climate characterised by hot, humid summers, and mild winters. The city is relatively rainy throughout the year, but with noticeably less rain between June and September. The climate is hot and humid most of the year, with average high temperatures of between 84°F (29°C) and 92°F (33°C) between October and March.
The coldest time of year is June to August, when average temperatures are between 55°F (13°C) and 76°F (24°C). The cooler, drier months are generally considered more comfortable for travel, with most travellers choosing to visit between March and October.
No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination
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