Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Paraguay Expedition: Asuncion to Iguazu  tour
Iguazu Falls Trinidad Paraguay Expedition: Asuncion to Iguazu  Trip

Paraguay Expedition: Asuncion to Iguazu

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4.7 . Excellent
98%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
12 days
From: $ 2,888 $ 241 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Kick off in Asuncion, Paraguay’s understated but loveable capital. A guided tour in and around the city takes in everything from historic mud cottages to Paraguayan embroidery
  • Visit the colonial town of Yaguaron, famous for its ornately painted Franciscan church which was once described as the most beautiful church in the Americas
  • The lush wetlands of Neembucu boast some 279 different bird species, and on two separate drives through the area there’ll be ample opportunity to spot some
  • Discover the intriguing history of Jesuits in Paraguay, with visits to churches, ruins and a historic quarry
  • Spend two days as guests of the Hostettler family in San Rafael National Park, where guided day and night walks can take you into the endangered Atlantic forest
  • Try a variety of South American cuisine, from Paraguayan vori-vori to rich Brazilian barbecue, even yerba mate-flavoured icecream
  • Finish the adventure at mighty Iguazu Falls, taking in its spectacular cascades from both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides

Short Description

Join Intrepid on its first foray into the very heart of South America – landlocked and seldom-visited Paraguay. It’s an off-track destination Intrepid has been eyeing for a little while, and this itinerary will not disappoint those in search of something a little left of the big-ticket destinations. After a taste of local food and culture around the capital, Asuncion, delve into a world of charming colonial-era treasures, wetlands brimming with birdlife, remote Atlantic forest, and Jesuit and indigenous Guarani histories rich in myth and magic. Finally, head over to Brazil and Argentina, where mighty Iguazu Falls delivers the spectacular conclusion.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City N/A
End City N/A

Destinations

Brazil Argentina

Cities & Attractions

Iguazu Falls Trinidad

Activities

N/A

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Asuncion

The adventure begins in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. There's a welcome meeting and safety briefing to attend at 6 pm. Other than that, you're free to explore as you please. If you arrive early, perhaps check out the Barro or Cabildo museums to soak up some local history, or see what's on at the Juan de Salazar arts and cultural centre.

Day 2 Asuncion

The quaint city of Asuncion is a great place to get to know on foot. Our walking tour begins with an exploration of the city centre, visiting national monuments such as the Panteon de los Heroes, the Palacio Lopez (which at one stage you could be shot for looking at!), and the Manzana de la Rivera, the collection of little mud cottages where independence was won from Spain without a firearm needing to go off. After a classic Paraguayan lunch of vori-vori at the famous Lido Bar, make the drive out to the Caacupe pilgrimage site to learn about how Paraguayans do penance in their own unique style. Before heading back to the hotel, there's a brief stop at Itaugua to see some of the gorgeous Nanduti (spiderweb lace) being made.

Day 3 Santa Maria de Fe

Departing Asuncion, make tracks for Yaguaron. This town is famous for its ornately painted Franciscan church, which could well be the most beautiful church in the Americas. Nearby is the Dr Francia museum, where you can learn stories of the first president and dictator in the house he lived in as a child. Heading south, make a quick stop at San Miguel – famous for its cool hammocks. Continue to the San Ignacio Jesuit museum before a fish lunch at Villa Florida on the Rio Tebicuary. Spend an hour or so in the little known but very beautiful painted chapel at Santa Rosa, then continue to Santa Maria de la Fe to spend the night. Here there's a fantastic Jesuit museum in an original house, and a troupe of howler monkeys lives in the plaza. The Jesuit hotel (our accommodation) supports a local female empowerment project renowned for its felt art, and the following morning we can make a visit there.

Day 4 Pilar

Drive west to Pilar, heading through the beautiful Neembucu wetlands. We'll break up the journey with some birdwatching and wildlife spotting along the way. As well as its reputation as the 'city of birds', Pilar has many impressive colonial-era sights to see. On a guided walk, check out its attractive church, statues of local wildlife and various historical spots. In Pilar we stay overnight at the Centro IDEAL conservation and education project, and we may even have time to attend some of their environmental education workshops.

Day 5 Encarnacion

After the morning city walk in Pilar, head east for a second look at the wetlands, stopping in search of interesting wildlife along the way. The first stop is at the Jesuit site of San Cosme y Damian, the only Jesuit church still used by the local people. Check out its fantastic wooden statues and step into the planetarium for insight into the cosmological beliefs of the indigenous Guarani people. From here, press further east via Coronel Bogado for a pre-lunch chipa (the cheesy national snack) and cocido (smoky sweet yerba mate tea cooked on barbecue coals). We then arrive in the resort town of Encarnacion, where the afternoon is free for relaxing or exploring. Perhaps stroll the promenade or city streets before tucking into your evening meal – a gargantuan Brazilian grill buffet.

Day 6 Encarnacion

After a good sleep and breakfast, head to the Jesuit ruins of Trinidad and Jesus for a guided tour in the morning. The architect at Trinidad wanted to build the South American equivalent of St Peter's (though of course just a little bit smaller so as not to anger the Pope). The more sedate style of the never-completed Jesus stands in complete contrast. The local don't like to call it a ruin, instead referring to it as Tavarangue – the town that never was. Today you'll also visit to the Ita Cajon Jesuit quarry, with the chance to sample some interesting yerba mate-flavoured ice cream. Enjoy lunch at an excellent buffet restaurant before continuing to Hotel Tirol for the afternoon. This is a majestic monastery-like place set in dense forest, once a favourite of the King of Spain. A guided nature walk through the rainforest is a great (optional) activity this afternoon. Otherwise, relax alongside one of the hotel's four swimming pools!

Day 7-8 San Rafael National Park

As the guests of the Hostettler family and the conservation organisation Pro Cosara, spend two nights in the megadiverse San Rafael National Park. The park comprises some 70,000 hectares of Atlantic Forest, which is one of the five most threatened habitats on earth. Forest walks, including night walks, are available daily, which allow you to see a great spread of the park's wildlife. You can relax in the flowery gardens or on the lake shore if you'd rather take it easy. If the weather suits on the afternoon of day 7, we'll visit the grasslands of Kanguery, aka the 'Mesopotamian Grasslands', which are disappearing due to drainage for the rice industry. This is a place to keep an eye out for the gorgeous Saffron-cowled Blackbird, a species in imminent danger of extinction.

Day 9 Iguazu Falls

Following your transfer to Encarnacion this morning, take a local bus to Ciudad del Este in preparation for our visit to Iguazu. The drive there is lengthy, so sit back and get comfortable. Your reward is of course the one and only Iguazu Falls.

Day 10 Iguazu Falls

Here at Iguazu, you'll visit the mighty waterfalls from both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides. At more than kilometres long, Iguazu Falls are actually a series of cataracts. There are more than 270 falls in total; some reach up to 80 metres in height, and they are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara. Today you'll enjoy these magnificent panoramas on the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. Seeing them from this side has its perks, such as a view of San Martin Island which you don't quite get from the Argentinian side.

Day 11 Iguazu Falls

From the Argentinian side of the falls you can follow a series of boardwalks to get up close to the thundering waters – so close you can almost touch them. Later, visit a Guarani community for the rare chance to meet some of the region’s few remaining indigenous people. You might like to take a helicopter ride over the falls while you're here. This optional excursion gives you spectacular views of the falls and the lush green parklands that surround them.

Day 12 Iguazu Falls

The adventure comes to an end after breakfast. Note that there are plenty of flights to Rio or Buenos Aires available from either side of the falls.

Availability

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Price From $ 2,888
Price Per Day: $ 241 per day
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3,182 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

98%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,376
Great 625
Average 101
Disappointing 37
Terrible 38
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Paraguay Expedition: Asuncion to Iguazu

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Fantastic Trip in Southern Africa

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals5.0
We did this trip, Explore Southern Africa, from Aug 9 - 26 this year and we thought it was probably our most memorable trip ever. The variety of wildlife (we saw the big 5 plus giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, hippos, hyenas, wildebeests, impalas, baboons, ...) and our proximity to them that we experienced was unparalleled. The scenery was like nothing we had ever experienced before (our first time anywhere in Africa). Although it was winter time there when we went and many areas were looking very dry it was an experience not to be missed. Additionally we were made to feel welcome everywhere that we went. The highlights of the trip for us would be the two days to the Okavango Delta, the optional game drive through Chobe National Park and day 13 with our guide tracking rhinos in Matabos and going to the African village. Our tour leader, cook and drivers were excellent as were our co-travellers. The meals that were prepared for us tasted great, were well balanced and no one ever left hungry. The 2 person tent accommodations weren't the most luxurious but they allowed one to stay right in the "middle of the action" with the animals in close proximity to our overnight homes. This being the case, we never felt unsafe in our tents at any point. The overlander vehicle didn't have air conditioning, as is standard, however if you made sure to open windows for air circulation during the drive the heat wasn't so bad. If one is prepared to put up with these few inconveniences and willing to help out with camp set up, vehicle clean up, and meal clean up afterwards (this is a participatory type of trip where certain tasks are required of the travellers) it is an experience not to be missed. It all makes one more appreciative of the luxuries that we have at home that many do not have in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
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Only excellent value for money and memories to last a lifetime.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Faultless service and incredible trips, at a really good price. Plus they are all really nice peeps, by email or phone, and we need more of that in the world.

So far, and still counting, I've used them for:

Alaska
Tanzania
Kenya
Uganda
Northern India
Lombok
Bali
Russia
Mongolia
China
Nepal

Never had a bad experience, only excellent value for money and memories to last a lifetime.
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The Trip from Hell Avoid Intrepid Travel

2.0
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Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities5.0
Lodging3.0
Transportation1.0
Meals3.0
The Trip from Hell
Avoid Intrepid Travel!
My daughter and I recently returned from a tour in Central Asia booked through Intrepid Travel. After about 24 hours of travel, we were not met at the airport nor did we have a room. After getting that straightened out, the next morning we were informed that the vehicle we would be traveling in had no air conditioning. The temperatures were over 100 degrees to about 115 degrees or more. The heat was unbearable and no one inquired about how we were coping or their health. Our welfare was ignored. So ww left the tour early so we wouldn’t have to camp in the desert for two nights.
The tour leader booked our flights to Istanbul but neglected to tell us we would have to rebook our flights to Los Angeles. Upon arriving at the airport in Istanbul, we were told we couldn’t get on the flight. New tickets cost us $1800 EACH!
Intrepid Travel has refused to take responsibility or provide any satisfaction in this matter.
BEWARE!
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It was an incredible experience!

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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We just wrapped up a Tanzania family safari. It was an incredible experience!

Even the cook made sure my picky teenager would like his breakfast by fixing him his scrambled eggs the way he likes them.

I’ve been dreaming of this trip with my son for a long time and I’m glad I booked it with you guys! We’ll cherish the memories we made for ever

If you’re looking for a real adventure kinda trip then go with Intrepid!

Thank you Thank you Thank you
Johan & Maxime
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Perfect Itinerary, Guide spoiled a lot of the trip

4.0
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Value4.0
Guide2.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0
The perfect itinerary allowed us to efficiently visited all the top sites with great lodgings. Unfortunately, the guide cut short stops at the Bahai Gardens, Acco, Tel Aviv, and Jerrico on days when we got to our hotel room in the early afternoon--all group members were upset by this. This Palestinian Christian guide emphasized unimpressive churches and minimized all sights that were secular, Muslim, Jewish, ancient, or other faiths. He made bizarre strident political comments about how great Mao Zedong was, praised Putin, said Palestinian people "had never done anything wrong in their history," talked about the Jews killing Jesus--all with a lot of anger. He knew a lot of about Christinaity, not much about anything else. He did a lot to make what could have been the perfect trip, mediocre.

(I would recommend the trip, but only if I knew it was a different guide.)
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I loved the history of this trip

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I loved the history of this trip, as well as the spectacular scenery. Our guide was knowledgeable and helpful. Having arrangements made for places to stay and transport, plus some activities, but with plenty of free time, made for a perfect balance for me. Breakfasts were delicious!
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Details

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accomodations

Hotel (11 nights)

Guides

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Hotel del Rey
  • Rua Taroba 1020 - Centro - Foz
  • Foz do Iguazu
  • BRAZIL

Trip ID#:

intrepid-GGOP

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