Asuncion is the capital of Paraguay. A truly beautiful city, sprinkled with belle Èpoque buildings, colonial residences, shady plazas and intimate cafes with delicately decorated facades. These gems have managed to survive even as commercialism has increasingly brought fast-food joints and neon lights to the wide boulevards. The city is rapidly evolving, but it remains tied to its past.
Best Time to Visit
Paraguay’s peak tourist season is from April to September. During this period, there are plenty of festivals and comfortable weather. If you’re looking for cooler temperatures during your vacation to Paraguay, plan on visiting from May till August, also known as the winter season.
Top Places to visit in Asuncion
1. National Pantheon of Heroes
The memorial to Paraguay’s fallen war heroes was built under Francisco Solano Lopez in 1864 and loosely modeled after Paris’s Les Invalides. Construction halted when Lopez led the country into the devastating War of the Triple Alliance, but the memorial was finally finished in 1936. Lopez himself is interred there along with two of the country’s unknown soldiers. The haunting memorial is eerily quite and a pilgrimage place for every citizen that visits the capital.
2. Plaza de los Heroes
The busy plaza is a great place to watch locals under the shade of leafy trees, and local vendors sell everything from pottery to feather headdresses and knife sharpeners. During public holidays, the square is often taken over by folk-dance performances and live music shows, but it is lively even during regular days.
3. Manzana de la Rivera
An 18th- century city block that has been transformed into a cultural complex. Each of the nine houses contains galleries and museums that showcase Paraguay’s history and arts. The Viola House, for instance, contains the Museo Memoria de la Ciudad. The museum tells the story of Asuncion through graphics, texts, maps, interactive exhibits and artifacts.
4. Natural History Museum
The museum’s spectacular display of insects includes a butterfly with a nearly foot-long wingspan and other wonders from around the country.
If you look hard enough, you can find a party happening anywhere in the city on Friday and Saturday nights, but the best spots for celebrating the weekend with locals are in the San Roque and la Recoleta districts. There, you can dance in crowded underground clubs, sip on stiff drinks at swanky lounges or feast on a traditional meal at one of the many outstanding local restaurants.