In the mood to visit South America? Well, it is your lucky day for today, we are going to talk about Paraguay and its characteristics. With a total population of over 6.7 million and stretching upon 406,752 square kilometres, it is quite a place to brave! With its tropical and subtropical climate zones, it definitely has an irresistible allure, but does it catch up to all this scintillation? Let us see below, as we discuss the top five facts to know before visiting Paraguay.
As we have mentioned above, Paraguay is located mostly within the bounds of the tropical and the subtropical climate zones. The northern section of the country mostly pertains to the former whilst the southern one to the latter. There is, however a small section in between these two generalised zones that has an equatorial climate and it is quite a charmer, that one. However, there is one other thing that one should keep an eye out for when going to Paraguay: its shifting winds. Since there is no mountainous barrier to protect it from strong gusts, some winds build up speeds reaching over 160 kilometres per hour (that would be about 100 mph). Just stick to your wind-blockers and you should be fine as the weather is generally quite warm.
South America is quite notorious for its sky-piercing crime rates and, to be honest, Paraguay has its share of it as well. Though poor-looking tourists are rarely targeted, flashing expensive cameras in front of unknown people will not help in any way, if you know what we mean. With a murder rate of 9.7 per 100,000 people, it doesn’t look all that dangerous but the country has seen an increasing amount of firearm-use in the recent years. Ladies are advised to dress a little bit modestly because it is estimated that a woman is murdered every 10 days there. These, of course, are nowhere near as bad statistics as in Honduras or Venezuela, we are simply telling you to keep an eye on what you are doing. No need to visit Paraguay filled with fear for, as Darth Maul would say: “Fear… fear attracts the fearful.” Just enjoy your trip while being smart at the same time and all will be well!
This is one of the most heart-warming facts about Paraguay and we are not going to hesitate to put it into our list. Paraguay is one of the few South American countries that have managed to keep their native tongues as official languages. What this means is that the first language in the country is Guaraní and Spanish is only the second in line. This does not only shed a light on the respect that the locals have for their ancestors but also hands a nod to freedom of speech and expression. If you know either of the aforementioned languages, do address the locals using them for they are going to be more than happy to aid an individual who presents that kind of esteem!
Before we go any further, know that the Paraguayan currency is also called guaraní, like the official language. So, with that out of the way, we can get down to the local basics concerning tipping. For taxi drivers, it is customary to round up the bill to the nearest 1,000 guaraní. Saying gracias after the ride is also considered polite but we’ll leave the mannerisms to you to study (wink). Restaurant staff should be tipped 10% of the bill that you are served. Going out of your way to tip more will, of course, work in every single situation as a generous customer is always seen as a good customer. Porters and hotel staff should only be tipped if you consider that they are doing a splendid job.
Did you know that, in spite of the massive size of the South American continent, it only has two landlocked countries? These would be Bolivia and, of course, Paraguay. If you are planning on a tropical beach party, be sure that you did not confuse Paraguay for Uruguay, for you are not going to see de sea (you see what we did there, we know) anytime soon. This is by no means a negative thing; it is simply a warning for those who plan on hitting the waves.
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had in Paraguay and what can you share with the world about it? Hit the comment section below and leave nothing out! Safe travels!