Latin America Travel & Tour Information
Asuncion Travel Information
When strolling along the streets of Asunción, Paraguay's capital, you may listen to the tunes of a 'polca' or a 'galopa' coming out of a theater or a party. At close range, there is probably a dancer clad in a typical dress performing elegant moves, while she keeps perfect balance of up to 12 bottles over her head. That's the Bottle's Dance, whose origin remains a mystery, but was possibly born from the old habit of carrying baskets, bottles and packs on the head.
This practice was surely commonplace by the time the city was founded in 1537 and continued for longer afterwards. Asunción began growing rapidly to become the settlement of South America's first Council in 1541 and later one of the main cities in the West Indies. Today, it is still possible to admire this glamorous past, ingrained in the buildings of the capital's old section.
'Manzana de la Rivera' (The Shore's Neighborhood), the House of Independence, López Palace and the Cathedral are some of the places to visit there. Another good suggestion to spend a morning is to visit the train station and get on the steam locomotive, operational since the 19th century.
For the afternoons and evenings, modern life awaits in top-quality restaurants, shopping malls and the Lyrical Theater, among other options. Don't worry about prices; Asunción is considered one of the world's cheapest capitals.
There are plenty of places to explore around its surroundings. Several smaller towns lie nearby, most of them founded by the Franciscans. They treasure the old colonial world and at the same time offer a wide choice of their local cuisine and crafts: Luque, Areguá, Tobatí, Itauguá, Yaguarón, Atyrá, Altos, Ypané, Itá, Capiatá, Trinidad and Piribebuy.
Besides, it is worth to get to know other important cities in Paraguay like Encarnación and Villarrica. The first is nestled on the shores of the Paraná River and stands out for its charming landscapes. The second is a renowned cultural center and famous wine producer.