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Paraguay: Casa Rica, Parque Manantial, Jesuit Reduction

March 2023

border Posadas nach Encarnacion

Border Traffic Posadas/Argentina - Encarnacion/Paraguay

Incredible, this border traffic. In addition to the normal border travelers, there are also a large number of gasoline tourists. Although fuel in Argentina is more expensive and limited in the border area for vehicles with foreign license plates, it is apparently still lucrative enough for the Paraguayans to drive across the border to Argentina for it. The number of motorcycles is extremely high. Nevertheless, the formalities are processed very quickly, with the exception of us.

The Argentine border official in charge of the exit was interested in our trip and the cost of living in Switzerland. He also explained that with a monthly income of the equivalent of 400 US dollars, with the now constant inflation, it was very difficult for him to support his family with two children. 

The entry into Paraguay then was an uncomplicated formality. The very friendly customs chief inspected our vehicle himself. But he was more interested in chatting with us. 

We were an hour in Paraguay on the road, as suddenly we experienced a strong storm on the open road with extreme wind and rain. Tree branches flew through the area. We placed ourselves in the lee of a concrete bus stop and were thus somewhat protected. On the way we passed some trucks with trailers, which were parked sideways, trying to fix their torn covers again.

Camping Hotel Westfalenhaus


Since we planned to do various things in Asuncion, we stood for a couple of days in the shady parking lot of the Hotel Westfalenhaus. Good, relative safe overnight accommodations are few in the capital. That is why we had to tolerate the many dogs barking at night in the surrounding area.
In one of the many luxury departments stores we were very surprised that for the purchase of a T-shirt our passport number was required.

Gourmet Casa Rica

Gourmet Market Casa Rica: Also, for us a shopping paradise with innumerable brand imported articles in a variety never saw before! Also, the restaurant on the second floor has a versatile menu card.
Culinary Asuncion has a lot to offer;  international cuisine, good pizzerias or sushi restaurants. We have tested some of them.

on the road Paraguay

On the road in Paraguay  

Paraguay reminds us in many aspects of Africa; Whether by the often dangerously overloaded trucks, or the red earth roads leading off to the side of the tarred roads. Also by the freely running animals on the road, which can be found a lot during cross-country trips.
When driving through small villages, you can see many simple fruit stands and street kitchens, simply pure Africa.

The current hot and humid climate here in Paraguay sadly tops Africa. We know that we are here in a not ideal time from the climate. However, because of the expiring Argentina visa we are bound to this time window. The high humidity in combination with over 30 degrees temperature even let us run the air conditioner at night.

Less Africa is the accumulation of mainly Germans in some areas; it also has few Swiss among them. This has the advantage that there is good bread, some cheese dairies and butcher shops with good cheese, meat and sausages. The disadvantage is that you have to be a little more careful with expressions spoken in German. 

With overnight stays and pitches it is such a thing. Very few, and very good possibilities we have found. Several times, however, the pictures and descriptions on the Internet and in forums did not match reality. Most extreme example: Beautiful facility is offered on the web through pictures as camping. Also praised in forums by travelers known to us, as they were still in the compound inside!
But we had to park outside the fenced area in favor of the free-running dogs, more than 10 pieces. Toilets, showers and other facilities such as pool are located just inside the compound. Usable by phone appointment in advance, so that the dogs can be locked away in advance! Fortunately, we are perfectly equipped with our camper. Incl. shower and toilet.

Parque Manantial2

Parque Manantial in Hohenau

There are also really great places. We stood for quite a long time under large, shady trees. Two large, well-maintained swimming pools, volley ball field, own restaurant, etc. Interesting surroundings with three missionary stations worth seeing.

We did a larger loop in Paraguay. The land is very flat with many, endless fruit fields. The main routes are paved and often go straight for several kilometers. Varied landscape, however, is something else.

jesuit reduction paraguay

Jesuit Reductions La Santísima Trinidad del Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangüe

In the 17th century, the world-famous Reductions were built to protect the indigenous "Guarani" in the south of the country. Thus, the Christianization of the native population also started here.
The Jesuits were protecting the indigenous people from the enslavement and oppression of the Spanish. They trained the Guarani in cattle breeding, construction of buildings, but also cultural things, without suppressing the culture of the Indio’s.
Church, bell towers, houses, schools, stores, gardens and orchards vividly show the division of the buildings where the life of the religious community took place.

Edy in Paraguay
During our visit to the two reductions, we were surprisingly alone. We were very impressed, by the generous, architecturally subtle construction of the buildings and facilities.