Asuncion is the capital city of Paraguay and has many popular museums, botanical gardens, festivals, and cathedrals for tourists to visit.
This building was completed in 2002 and has daily English tours throughout the mirrored interior.
This cultural center has many rotating exhibitions as well as a library, garden, and evening performances.
Walk through this city park, which has many trails for jogging. It is also perfect for picnics.
This museum houses paintings, statues, and artifacts pertaining to Christianity.
It is in this house-turned-museum that Paraguay declared its independence. The museum now details the history of Paraguay for visitors.
One of the most sacred historical attractions in South America, at first glance the Casa de la Indepencia is really nothing special. But looks can be deceptive, because in this humble little house in 1811, a clandestine meeting of nationalists launched their campaign for Paraguayan independence from Spain. These days, the house has become a shrine to national freedom, with plenty of artifacts relating to the country's founding fathers, as well as a sumptuous portrait of Charles V (a 16th century Holy Roman Emperor).
The civic core of Asuncion, Plaza de los Héroes is a great starting point for anyone's exploration of the city. At the heart of the area is the national "Panteon" - which pays further tribute to Paraguay's independence heroes and military greats. Elsewhere on the square, you'll also find a somber memorial to Paraguay's 20th century dictatorship, and there's an excellent chance of encountering some boisterous folk musicians, as well as a lively arts and crafts market.
Paraguay's most charming museum can be found in Asuncion's suburbs, a short bus journey from most central hotels, and it's a journey worth making. Why? Simply put, the quality of the ceramics, fabrics, and artworks on display at this small but beautifully turned out museum is exceptional. Initially set up to focus on pottery created by indigenous peoples, it's now become a much broader collection of native crafts and historical objects, and provides an amazing window onto ancient life in the country. Oh, and there's also a sublime section of Latin American contemporary art to devour, making it an artistic essential.
Asuncion is full of markets (mercados), but this is easily the most exciting. Located in the central Pettirossi neighborhood, Mercado 4 stretches over the equivalent of three or four blocks, and offers a dizzying array of products. Much of the space is given over to fresh produce and cooked food (so it's a good place to try Paraguayan street food), but there are craft, clothing, and even electronics vendors on the massive market as well. If you want to try some roasted chicken skewers, tenderloin "lomito" sandwiches, or "sopa Paraguaya" (a kind of cornbread), this is the place to go.
When you've seen the museums and markets of Paraguay's capital, there's really only one place to chill out: the city's magnificent Botanical Gardens and Zoo. Situated by the river, not far north of the city center, the complex covers some 270 acres, and provides a comprehensive showcase of South America's remarkable biodiversity - including tagua, a kind of pig that biologists once thought extinct. The gardens are home to 500 or more animal species, and provide a shady, relaxing place to finish your day.
The best time to visit is between May and September when the weather isn't as hot and humid.
Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (ASU) is the main airport servicing Asuncion and is located in nearby Luque. Most visitors choose to transfer by private taxi to Asuncion city center for ₲110,000.
Highway infrastructure in Asuncion is underdeveloped, and as such it can be unsafe to drive around if not you are properly oriented to the landscape. However, you can take the BR-324 highway from Sao Paulo to reach Paraguay's capital in just over 17 hours.
The bus terminal is three miles outside the city center, and services many bus companies such as Sol del Paraguay, Expreso Guarani, and Crucero del Norte, which connect you to Argentina and Brazil. A one-way ticket from Sao Paulo costs ₲420,000 and takes 21 hours.
Hotel Palmas del Sol near Plaza Uruguaya has a pool and breakfast included, while La Misión Hotel Boutique has a gym and sauna with more modern facilities.
Carmelitas - this neighborhood in the center has lots of entertainment possibilities, restaurants, and shopping malls.
Areguá - this popular lakeside town is a great place to escape the bustle of the city and is located just 17 miles outside of Asuncion.
Sajonia - this area located along the Paraguay River is popular for its beachfront cafes and swimming opportunities.
There are many buses servicing the city center, however there are not many formal stops as riders typically signal when they want to stop. A single fare costs ₲2,300.
There are many taxis in Asuncion that are relatively cheap. The meter drop is ₲5,000 and then ₲4,600 per 0.62 miles.
Hertz, Avis, and National Car rentals offer daily car rentals starting at ₲160,000.
Plaza de los Héroes has many artisan shops where you can buy handcrafted souvenirs. Shopping Mariscal López and Shopping del Sol are the two biggest shopping malls selling clothes and accessories from big name stores.
Casa Rica and Supermercado Espana are the biggest grocery markets in Asuncion. A dozen eggs costs ₲6,000.
El cafe de Aca serves traditional Paraguayan cuisine such as Mbeju and empanadas. A typical meal for two costs ₲100,000.