Along the Paraguay River

The Paraguay River (Río Paraguay in Spanish, Rio Paraguai in Portuguese) is a major river in south central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. It flows approximately 2,549 km from its headwaters in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso to its confluence with the Parana River north of Corrientes. It divides Paraguay into two regions, the oriental and the occidental.

This article is an itinerary.
Paraguay River near Asunción

. . . Along the Paraguay River . . .

The Paraguay River was discovered by Alejo García in 1524. It has historically been of vital importance for transportation in South America, because it connects Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, as well as other countries throughout the Cuenca del Río de la Plata (Plata River Basin). In absence of roads and routes, the Paraguay River was the fastest and most efficient means of transportation and communication, giving Paraguay, a land-locked country, access to the Atlantic Ocean.

Today, it is not the main transit artery for travel in the area, but is still used for various purposes, especially for the transportation of bulk cargo (crops, minerals, fuel, etc.) and riverside people. Low water level is from March to October; this limits transit to boats of medium or low draft.

Crossing Paraguay, it has numerous tributaries, such as the rivers: Tebicuary, Ypané, Manduviré, Aquidabán, Apa, Confuso, Verde and Montelindo.

Many of the villages, towns or cities along the river can be reached by bus. The most common ones for tourists might be Bahía Negra and Concepción, in between which the Aquidaban ferry runs.

You can also get in (and out) via Puerto Suárez, Bolivia or Corumbá, Brasilsee Paraguay#By boat.

Map of Along the Paraguay River

As it’s a river, boats are really the only option. You can rent a private boat, take a cruise, or ride a cargo boat.

Fishermen and other locals are keen to offer their boats and canoes as water taxis for tourists. Just ask: even if he’s busy, he’ll know someone else who will be willing to take you.

  • Boat Cuñatai. This boat travels short distances in the limits of Asunción. (updated Apr 2019)

. . . Along the Paraguay River . . .

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. . . Along the Paraguay River . . .