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Paraguay Expedition: Asuncion to Iguazu Expedition

Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay

Paraguay Expedition: Asuncion to Iguazu Expedition

Hiking
·
Start: Asuncion
·
End: Foz do Iguazu

Blaze the trail with Intrepid in Paraguay, one of South America’s most untouched destinations

Activity
Hiking
LocationArgentina, Brazil, Paraguay
Duration12 days
Start / EndAsuncion / Foz do Iguazu
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay

Paraguay Expedition: Asuncion to Iguazu Expedition

Hiking·
12 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Asuncion
·
End: Foz do Iguazu

Description

Join Intrepid on its first foray into the very heart of South America – landlocked and seldom-visited Paraguay. It’s an off-track destination Intrepid has been eyeing for a little while, and this itinerary will not disappoint those in search of something a little left of the big-ticket destinations. After a taste of local food and culture around the capital, Asuncion, delve into a world of...

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Itinerary

Day 1Asuncion
The adventure begins in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. There's a welcome meeting and safety briefing to attend at 6 pm. Other than that, you're free to explore as you please. If you arrive early, perhaps check out the Barro or Cabildo museums to soak up some local history, or see what's on at the Juan de Salazar arts and cultural centre.
Day 2Asuncion
The quaint city of Asuncion is a great place to get to know on foot. Our walking tour begins with an exploration of the city centre, visiting national monuments such as the Panteon de los Heroes, the Palacio Lopez (which at one stage you could be shot for looking at!), and the Manzana de la Rivera, the collection of little mud cottages where independence was won from Spain without a firearm needing to go off. After a classic Paraguayan lunch of vori-vori at the famous Lido Bar, make the drive out to the Caacupe pilgrimage site to learn about how Paraguayans do penance in their own unique style. Before heading back to the hotel, there's a brief stop at Itaugua to see some of the gorgeous Nanduti (spiderweb lace) being made.
Day 3Santa Maria de Fe
Departing Asuncion, make tracks for Yaguaron. This town is famous for its ornately painted Franciscan church, which could well be the most beautiful church in the Americas. Nearby is the Dr Francia museum, where you can learn stories of the first president and dictator in the house he lived in as a child. Heading south, make a quick stop at San Miguel – famous for its cool hammocks. Continue to the San Ignacio Jesuit museum before a fish lunch at Villa Florida on the Rio Tebicuary. Spend an hour or so in the little known but very beautiful painted chapel at Santa Rosa, then continue to Santa Maria de la Fe to spend the night. Here there's a fantastic Jesuit museum in an original house, and a troupe of howler monkeys lives in the plaza. The Jesuit hotel (our accommodation) supports a local female empowerment project renowned for its felt art, and the following morning we can make a visit there.
Day 4Pilar
Drive west to Pilar, heading through the beautiful Neembucu wetlands. We'll break up the journey with some birdwatching and wildlife spotting along the way. As well as its reputation as the 'city of birds', Pilar has many impressive colonial-era sights to see. On a guided walk, check out its attractive church, statues of local wildlife and various historical spots. In Pilar we stay overnight at the Centro IDEAL conservation and education project, and we may even have time to attend some of their environmental education workshops.
Day 5Encarnacion
After the morning city walk in Pilar, head east for a second look at the wetlands, stopping in search of interesting wildlife along the way. The first stop is at the Jesuit site of San Cosme y Damian, the only Jesuit church still used by the local people. Check out its fantastic wooden statues and step into the planetarium for insight into the cosmological beliefs of the indigenous Guarani people. From here, press further east via Coronel Bogado for a pre-lunch chipa (the cheesy national snack) and cocido (smoky sweet yerba mate tea cooked on barbecue coals). We then arrive in the resort town of Encarnacion, where the afternoon is free for relaxing or exploring. Perhaps stroll the promenade or city streets before tucking into your evening meal – a gargantuan Brazilian grill buffet.
Day 6Encarnacion
After a good sleep and breakfast, head to the Jesuit ruins of Trinidad and Jesus for a guided tour in the morning. The architect at Trinidad wanted to build the South American equivalent of St Peter's (though of course just a little bit smaller so as not to anger the Pope). The more sedate style of the never-completed Jesus stands in complete contrast. The local don't like to call it a ruin, instead referring to it as Tavarangue – the town that never was. Today you'll also visit to the Ita Cajon Jesuit quarry, with the chance to sample some interesting yerba mate-flavoured ice cream. Enjoy lunch at an excellent buffet restaurant before continuing to Hotel Tirol for the afternoon. This is a majestic monastery-like place set in dense forest, once a favourite of the King of Spain. A guided nature walk through the rainforest is a great (optional) activity this afternoon. Otherwise, relax alongside one of the hotel's four swimming pools!
Day 7San Rafael National Park
As the guests of the Hostettler family and the conservation organisation Pro Cosara, spend two nights in the megadiverse San Rafael National Park. The park comprises some 70,000 hectares of Atlantic Forest, which is one of the five most threatened habitats on earth. Forest walks, including night walks, are available daily, which allow you to see a great spread of the park's wildlife. You can relax in the flowery gardens or on the lake shore if you'd rather take it easy. If the weather suits on the afternoon of day 7, we'll visit the grasslands of Kanguery, aka the 'Mesopotamian Grasslands', which are disappearing due to drainage for the rice industry. This is a place to keep an eye out for the gorgeous Saffron-cowled Blackbird, a species in imminent danger of extinction.
Day 9Iguazu Falls
Following your transfer to Encarnacion this morning, take a local bus to Ciudad del Este in preparation for our visit to Iguazu. The drive there is lengthy, so sit back and get comfortable. Your reward is of course the one and only Iguazu Falls.
Day 10Iguazu Falls
Here at Iguazu, you'll visit the mighty waterfalls from both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides. At more than kilometres long, Iguazu Falls are actually a series of cataracts. There are more than 270 falls in total; some reach up to 80 metres in height, and they are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara. Today you'll enjoy these magnificent panoramas on the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. Seeing them from this side has its perks, such as a view of San Martin Island which you don't quite get from the Argentinian side.
Day 11Iguazu Falls
From the Argentinian side of the falls you can follow a series of boardwalks to get up close to the thundering waters – so close you can almost touch them. Later, visit a Guarani community for the rare chance to meet some of the region’s few remaining indigenous people. You might like to take a helicopter ride over the falls while you're here. This optional excursion gives you spectacular views of the falls and the lush green parklands that surround them.
Day 12Iguazu Falls
The adventure comes to an end after breakfast. Note that there are plenty of flights to Rio or Buenos Aires available from either side of the falls.

More info

Trip title

Paraguay Expedition: Asuncion to Iguazu Expedition

Trip code

GGOP

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Join Intrepid on its first foray into the very heart of South America – landlocked and seldom-visited Paraguay. It’s an off-track destination Intrepid has been eyeing for a little while, and this itinerary will not disappoint those in search of something a little left of the big-ticket destinations. After a taste of local food and culture around the capital, Asuncion, delve into a world of charmin... Read more

Style

Original

Themes

Expedition

Transport

Private Vehicle

Physical Rating

2

Joining point

Hotel Portal del Sol

Finish point

Hotel Cassino

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leade... Read more

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more

Communications

It is recommended that you download WhatsApp prior to departure; please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive, unless you have international roaming enabled. WhatsApp is usually the preferred method for your leader to be in contact with you and the rest of the group while on tour. It is also good for sharing information and photos with th... Read more

Visas

PASSPORT: Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months' validity remaining. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or frie... Read more

Why we love it

Kick off in Asuncion, Paraguay’s understated but loveable capital. A guided tour in and around the city takes in everything from historic mud cottages to Paraguayan embroidery

Is this trip right for you

Though Paraguay occupies a relatively small chunk of South America, there’s still quite a bit of ground to cover. Rest assured there will be plenty of interesting stops to break up long drives.

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat ... Read more

Money matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in ... Read more

What to take

Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need ... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsible... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights)
12days
€2,445per person
Select dates
Jul 5
Asuncion
Jul 16
Foz do Iguazu
€2,445
Seats left: 9
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Jul 3
Asuncion
Jul 14
Foz do Iguazu
€2,565
Seats left: 12
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