Foz Do Iguacu, Yerba Mate Factory, Jesuit Mission of Trinidad, Encarnacion, San Ignacio, Asuncion and Golden Circuit.
Early in the morning you leave the Hotel in Foz do Iguaçu/Brazil (or airport) with destination to Encarnación. After arrival there, visit of a traditional Yerba Mate factory and Jesuit Mission of Santísima Trinidad del Paraná.
Yerba Mate represent the principal drink of Paraguay with scientific name of “ilex paraguariensis”. It’s a tree which can grown up to 20 metros high on natural environment. One tree can be harvested along about 20 years as the only interesting elements are its leaves and young branches. It’s a native tree of Paraguay, however the final product is used in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile too, among other Countries all over the World. The principal effect of Yerba Mate is similar to that of caffeine, it means it is stimulant. Among other positive effects of Yerba Mate we can mention that it has phenol properties, important to prevent mouth cancer, and helps to relief external pain used in special clinical pomade. Paraguayan use to put the Yerba Mate in special cups to drink it with hot water, calling it “Mate”, or with cool water, calling it “Tereré”.
Next stop will be the visit of the most impressive Jesuit ruin Santísima Trinidad de Paraná (UNESCO World Heritage). In this huge open-air museums the whole impressive extent of that reduction is recognizable – with its towers, ramparts, cathedral and permanent houses for 4.000 people. Here again the delicate carvings is a proof of the craft skills of the Guaraníes. Unfortunately, the impenetrable jungle, which surrounded the reduction, no longer exists. The visit of this place will give you another idea of what was burned as a missionary work until it changed in a economical concept, testifying the other face of the Company of Jesus on this continent.
In the late afternoon you reach Encarnación, the Pearl of the South. Arrival at your hotel.
After breakfast your journey goes towards the Capital City of Paraguay, Asunción. On the way you make a stop to visit the Diocesan Museum in San Ignacio. This small city was fouded in 1609 from Jesuit priests and was the principal center of all Jesuit Missions being the first one of this religious company in Paraguay. From here on the priests start the journey to other destinations for new foundations. The final settlement of San Ignacio took place in 1667 in the actual location of the city. The Jesuits worked with the natives, the Guaranies, to build the mission and they remained there until 1768, an important year in the history of Paraguay and Southamerica: in this date the Spanish King Charles III obtained from the Pabst to recall all Jesuits back to Europe.
The Museum is divided in four halls, each one with a special topic: the Creation, the Mistery of Easter, the Church and the last one dedicated to the Company of Jesus / the Jesuits. In this last one you can observe books and other items which were of property of Jesuit priests at that time. You can also enjoy a plan of allocation of Jesuit priests all over the World.
In the late afternoon arrival at Asunción and to your hotel.
Today visit of the big golden area around Asunción. First stop will be the city of Luque, famous for handwork with gold and silver. The most typical product in Paraguay is the “filigrana”: rings, earrings and other jewelry realized with gold or silver thread in different forms remembering spiderweb.
Next stop will be in Aregua, on the western bank of the Ypacaray Lake and better known as the city of ceramics as well as of the strawberries! In the central course there is every day exposition of handwork products made of mud or clay.
Next stop will be the city of Itauguá, the capital of Ñanduti, an handwork made of cotton or silk thread, with or colored, also remembering spiderweb. In fact, the name comes from the native language Guaranies and means spiderweb! You will see a lot of ornaments and clothing realized with this technique.
Around noon you will reach San Bernardino, located on the eastern bank of the Ypacaray Lake, beloved summer destination of many Paraguayan families, having their second houses here. This city was fouded in 1881 from German and Swiss immigrants, arrived after the Triple Alliance War with the invitation to populate this area and to promote a growth. In fact, mentioned took away to Paraguay about 80% of its population!
One of the interesting attractions of this city is the Hotel del Lago, built in 1888. Here stayed a lot of prominent people of politic or showbiz such as the Argentinian President Julio Roca, the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the French President Charles de Gaulle, the U.S. President Franklin Roosvelt, the Frenck movie player Charles Aznavour and the Bernard Förster, married to Elizabeth Nietzsche, sister of the philosopher and writer Friedrich Nietzsche.
The excursion ends with the visit of Caacupé, spiritual capital of the Country, with the only one Basilica in Paraguay. On December 8th the city is full of pilgrims that wish to fulfill a promise made to the Virgin of Caacupé.
Than you return to Asunción and to your Hotel.
Breakfast at Hotel. Hiking trip National park Ybycuí
Full Day trip to La Rosada with hiking. You leave early in the morning Asunción taking the Route 1 direction south. You stop in Yaguaron, where the oldest church in Paraguay is.The interior impress cause of its simpleness and the use of natural colors. Originally it was built as a fortress later than it has been converted into a church. After the visit we continue to go to the national park Ybycui. First we visit the small museum, which tells the history about the iron industry of Paraguay. During the triple alliance war most of the guns and weapons were founded here. In 1869 the manufacture was destroyed by the armies of the enemy and never rebuilt again. We leave the museum and start with the hiking tour. Our first walk takes us to the falls Minas and Guaraní. After lunch we will continue our tour to the other falls Bocaruzu 1 and 2 which are a bit outside of the park so we will have to drive there. Depending on the water level we will be able to cross the river and to climb down one of the falls to get to a small beach beside the falls where we will have a refreshing bath in the river. In the late afternoon we drive back to Asunción where we arrive in the evening.
Depending on your flight’s time-table, transfer to the airport of Asunción
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