Paraná Plateau Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and what to eat in Paraná Plateau, Paraguay with our comprehensive travel guide.

Introduction to Paraná Plateau

Located in the heart of Paraguay, Paraná Plateau offers a mix of pristine natural beauty, intriguing history and culture, and exciting adventures. The region is known for its wild forests, stunning waterfalls, rugged mountains and deep valleys. Besides the natural scenery, Paraná Plateau has much to offer visitors, including historic sites, cultural attractions, and a unique cuisine that reflects the area’s diverse heritage.

List of Places to Visit in Paraná Plateau

Here’s a comprehensive list of top attractions in Paraná Plateau that you shouldn’t miss during your visit.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Visitors interested in culture and history can explore various landmarks and museums in Paraná Plateau:

  • Jesuit Missions of La Santisima Trinidad de Paraná - A UNESCO World Heritage Site that features impressive complexes of baroque-style architecture and serves as a window into the Jesuit history of Paraguay.
  • Museum of Caazapá - A small museum dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the Caazapá region. It features artifacts and exhibits that showcase the area’s indigenous people, colonizers and settlers, and other historical events.
  • Ruins of Jesús - Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 17th-century site holds great significance for the Jesuit mission history in Paraguay. The complex includes the remnants of the Jesuit’s churches, farms, living quarters, and workshops.

Natural Attractions of Paraná Plateau: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

For adrenaline junkies, Paraná Plateau has an abundance of outdoor activities such as:

  • Monday Waterfalls- A breathtaking set of 45-meter cascades that can be easily heard from afar. This natural wonder is surrounded by dense forests, and visitors can enjoy hiking, swimming, and observing the local flora and fauna.
  • Ybycuí National Park - A vast area of protected rainforest situated between the Paraná Plateau and Ybycuí town. The park is home to various species of wildlife, including jaguars, tapirs, and armadillos, and is an ideal spot for nature lovers and hikers.
  • Cerro León - The highest mountain peak in Paraguay, offering panoramic views of open countryside landscapes. The trek to the summit of the mountain is a challenging yet fun-filled experience for hikers and mountain climbers.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Paraná Plateau

Exploring Paraná Plateau on foot or bike is a fantastic way to take in the beauty of this area. Some of the most popular routes include:

  • Cerro León trail - A 16.5km hike to the peak of the mountain, traversing through forests, streams, and meadows. This trail can take up to seven hours to complete, making it an ideal choice for experienced trekkers and nature enthusiasts.
  • San Rafael Trail - A challenging cycling or hiking trail that passes through the San Rafael ranch area. The scenery includes rugged terrain, waterfalls, and an abundance of wildlife that can be observed from a distance.

Best Things to Do in Paraná Plateau: Activities and Tours

There’s no shortage of things to do in Paraná Plateau, and some of the best activities and tours include:

  • Rafting and Kayaking - The Paraguay River, located close to Paraná Plateau, is perfect for rafting, canoeing, and kayaking in its rapids and tranquil waters.
  • Paragliding - Take to the skies and soar over the stunning landscapes of Paraná Plateau with a tandem paragliding experience.
  • Horseback Riding - Discover this region’s beauty on horseback and explore the winding woods and valleys as you follow the ancient paths used by the Guarani tribe.

Week-Long Itinerary for Paraná Plateau

Here’s a suggested itinerary for anyone planning to spend a week in Paraná Plateau:

Day Activities
Day 1 Visit the Jesuit Missions of La Santisima Trinidad de Paraná
Day 2 Go for a hike at Ybycuí National Park
Day 3 Take a tour of the Museum of Caazapá
Day 4 Observe the Monday Waterfalls
Day 5 Climb the Cerro León
Day 6 Go rafting on the Paraguay River
Day 7 Explore the region’s architecture and food; visit a traditional Pottery Workshop

Food and Drink Scene of Paraná Plateau

Treat your taste buds to the unique flavors of Paraguayan cuisine, with some must-try dishes and local beverages of the region.

Must-Try Dishes

  • Sopa Paraguaya - A delicious cheesy cake made with cornmeal, onions, milk, eggs, and cheese. You can find this dish in various restaurants throughout the region.
  • Mbejú - A traditional Paraguayan snack made from yucca flour, cheese, and butter. The unique flavor and texture of this snack make it a must-try while in Paraná Plateau.
  • Chipa Guasu - It is a bread made from cornmeal, Anise, white cheese, milk, onions, and eggs baked until golden. Chipa guasu is typically served with coffee or mate.

Local Beverages

  • Mate - A traditional caffeine-rich hot drink that is consumed by almost everyone in Paraguay drunk through a straw. It needs to be prepared correctly to experience the taste in its complete form.
  • Tereré - A cold herbal drink made from yerba mate, lemon, and ice. This is a refreshing drink that can provide a cool sensation on a hot day.

Where to Stay in Paraná Plateau: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodation or budget-friendly options, Paraná Plateau has many options that cater to everyone’s needs.

  • Hotel de Campo, located close to Caaipyté Hill, features large rooms with balconies and modern amenities.
  • Cabañas del Lago offers rustic cabins or holiday homes that allow you to immerse yourself in nature.
  • Pousada Portinha is a cozy guesthouse located in the heart of the city that offers a friendly and peaceful stay.

What to Buy in Paraná Plateau: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Here’s a list of souvenirs and local products worth buying when in Paraná Plateau:

  • Traditional Ceramic from Itá - Ita is renowned for the production of traditional ceramic products. You can purchase unique, handmade ceramic dishes, candlesticks, and flower vases to bring home.
  • Yerba Mate - This Paraguayan green tea can be purchased at various shops throughout Paraná Plateau. You can choose from the best quality yerba mate to take back home and make yerba mate for your everyday use.
  • Harvest from Cerro Leon and other farms - These places provide an opportunity to pick oranges and other fruits directly from the farm. You can even choose a juicer to squeeze your juice.

Local Culture and Customs of Paraná Plateau

The culture and customs of Paraná Plateau reflect a blend of various influences, including indigenous Guarani traditions and the Spanish Colonial legacy.

  • Guarani Culture - Guarani tribes in Paraguay have a unique and rich cultural legacy, visible in music, dance, traditional handicrafts, and their language. Visitors can also observe the Guarani tribe while taking a guided tour of their villages or participating in community activities.
  • Minga - A community work event where people come together to help each other in various tasks, such as harvesting crops, constructing buildings, or repairing infrastructure. Minga is an essential event and well-known tradition in Paraguay and offers visitors an insight into community life.

Best Time to Visit Paraná Plateau

The best time to visit Paraná Plateau is during the winter months from May to September when you can expect pleasant weather with mild temperatures and less frequent rainfall. These months are ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and exploring the region’s natural beauty.

Do’s and Don’ts of Paraná Plateau

Here are some essential do’s and don’ts when visiting Paraná Plateau:


  • Respect the local culture and customs, especially when visiting Guarani villages.
  • Carry a mosquito repellent and sunscreen during outdoor activities.
  • Learn some basic Spanish phrases or have a translation app to communicate better with locals.


  • Don’t litter in natural areas or cultural heritage sites.
  • Don’t make excessive noise or disturbance in the city, particularly in the residential neighborhoods.
  • Don’t forget to have cash with you as many places do not accept credit or debit cards.

Safety and Health

Paraná Plateau is a relatively safe region to visit, but travelers should take precautions to ensure a safe and healthy trip.

Safety in Paraná Plateau

  • Avoid displaying expensive items, as petty thefts can occur in touristy locations.
  • Stick to the main roads and avoid traveling alone at night.
  • Remain cautious while traveling in the forest or remote areas, monitors for dangerous wildlife or insects.

Health in Paraná Plateau

  • Make sure you get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, and typhoid before coming to the region.
  • Stay hydrated and drink only bottled water.
  • Apply a mosquito repellent to protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, Zika, and Chikungunya.

Getting to Paraná Plateau: Transportation Options and Logistics

There are various modes of transport you can use when travelling to Paraná Plateau:

  • By air: The nearest airport to the Paraná Plateau is Guarani International Airport in Asuncion, which has regular connecting flights from major cities worldwide.
  • By road: Buses operate regularly from Asuncion or Caaipyté towns to many small cIites and Paraná Plateau.
  • By car: Car rental services are also available in Asuncion or Caaipyté towns, but it is best to hire a professional driver as the roads in Paraguay can be challenging to navigate.

How to Get Around in Paraná Plateau

Getting around the region requires appropriate transportation and route information.

  • By Bus: Buses are the most convenient and affordable mode of transportation while traveling within Paraná Plateau.
  • By Taxi: Taxis can be found easily in Caaipyté town and major cities and are generally safe and affordable.
  • By Car: Renting a car is an option if you are confident navigating the roads. Some car rental services include a driver so that you can sit back and enjoy the scenery.

Where to Go Next from Paraná Plateau: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you want to continue exploring Paraguay, here are a few destinations to add to your list:

  • Asunción - Explore the capital of Paraguay, known for its colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and lively culture.
  • Yaguaron - A beautiful town with colonial architecture, historic sites, and a rich cultural heritage.
  • Encarnación - Located on the banks of the Paraná River, Encarnación boasts a thriving arts and music scene.


In conclusion, Paraná Plateau is a fascinating region with endless possibilities for adventure, culture, and relaxation. With this comprehensive guide, you can explore the best places, try the unique cuisine, and experience the rich cultural heritage that makes Paraná Plateau a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Paraguay.