• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

ParaguayParaguay was named after the Paraguay River, but the origins of this river's name are debatable. The word is Guarani in origin and most likely comes from the words para and gua, but the interpretation of these words is questionable, although gua seems to indicate "river," para's meaning is in doubt.


Paraguay is a land that is relatively flat, but also fairly isolated in the middle of South America. While the lands are good for crop growth and ranching, the surrounding lands have generally been more desirable. However, the lands have been populated for thousands of years as a unique culture and lifestyle, based on the Guarani people, developed over time.

When the Spanish and other Europeans arrived to the region of Paraguay they saw little economic value in the lands so settlement was slow. However, Spanish settlement did grow over time and many of these settlers, Spanish men, married local Guarani girls, leading to a significant mestizo culture.

Perhaps because the Spanish settlement of the region was slow and not real aggressive, the Guarani and Spanish settlers got along relatively well and as these people intermarried a new culture and lifestyle was formed. In some ways the Guarani dominated, such as in foods and many lifestyle elements, but the Spanish culture dominated in terms of language and religion.

Over time Spanish influence ebbed and flowed as the country experienced strong Spanish rule followed by complete independence. No matter the ruler, the culture and lifestyle seemed to thrive, either in contradiction to the Spanish or in unison with the independence movements. This gave the country a very strong identity, culture, and lifestyle that still exists today to a great degree.

Today the culture and lifestyle of Paraguay continues as pride in their Guarani heritage is creating a revival of historic Guarani foods, clothing, and even their language. While the lifestyle today is quite modern and more heavily influenced by Europe and recent technology, the culture is returning to its roots as being Paraguayan essentially also means being Guarani.

Information for Paraguay was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks