Nature, Culture, and Language make Paraguay a desirable destination
Since Paraguay’s tourism industry is not super active, Ms. Fussell originally had to rely on travel bloggers and accounts from the peace corps for information on the country. However, since living there, she rates Paraguay among her top three most underrated travel destinations for its nature, culture, and language.
South America is home to the breathtaking Iguazu Falls, which comprise one of the largest waterfalls in the world. Over ten times larger than Niagara Falls, the Iguazu Falls span the borders of Brazil and Argentina. Although the Falls are not visible from Paraguay itself, the Ciudad del Este in Paraguay allows for easy passage into Brazil you can appreciate the Falls in their full glory.
Ms. Fussell also raved about Paraguay’s unique and youthful culture, which is particularly evident in the capital city of Asunción. She recommends that travelers “always go around with an empty bag,” as it is typical for Paraguayan merchants to sell artisan goods and food on public buses. A merchant might join a group of bus-goers for four or five stops before disembarking to make room for other vendors selling other unique wares and goods.
Ms. Fussell is particularly excited about the emerging home-made beer industry. Paraguay boasts a unique array of beers including those with undertones of espresso, lemongrass, and herbs. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Paraguay for me is the growing culinary scene in downtown Asunción. Ms. Fussell described enjoying her home-made beer with local Paraguayan dishes such as chipa (a type of baked roll filled with cheese or meat) or sopa (the Paraguayan spin on cornbread commonly served with beef soup). You can find both dishes on any given street corner in Asunción which has me chomping at the bit to explore Paraguay’s growing food scene.
Lastly, while some may worry about the difficulties bound to arise for English speakers since the most commonly spoken languages in Paraguay are Spanish and Guaraní, Ms. Fussell surmises that the language barrier is part of Paraguay’s unique charm. Aside from the fact that she believes language barriers provide a more authentic travel experience, she also says they allow travelers to “get away” and “unplug.” “You do not need to worry about communicating,” says Ms. Fussell, “You get to listen to your inner voice.”
Have you ever traveled to a destination where you didn’t speak or understand the language? How was the experience?
About Tucky Fussell
Tucky Fussell has been an international educator for the last twenty years and is the author of The Gulf: A Story of Art, Mystery, and Deception. She has taught foreign language and art in private schools around the globe, including Pakistan, India, Kuwait, the Philippines and is currently teaching art in Paraguay.
Kaelyn Mostafa is the public relations manager and travel/lifestyle editor at midLIFE road TRIP. Kaelyn began working with midLIFE road TRIP in 2016 as a correspondent, recounting her travels in locations throughout the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.