Paraguay

Driving Directions Paraguay

PARAGUAY is a small landlocked country in central South America. Bordered by Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina and divided into two distinct regions by the River Paraguay.

Paraguay Occidental is the broader region to the west of the river. It consists of a marshy, alluvial plain, which is also part of the Gran Chaco. In the south and east, much of this area is water­logged swamp, but the land rises gradually and gives way to grassy fields and arid, scrub forest towards the northwestern border. Paraguay Oriental lies to the east of the River Paraguay and consists mainly of an upland plateau called the Parana Plateau.

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Paraguay has a subtropical climate and much of the Oriental region covered with thick forests containing numerous varieties of plants and animals.

The River Parana itself flows through the plateau and forms the country’s eastern and southern border, joining with the River Paraguay at the southwestern corner.

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Almost 95 percent of the population lives east of the river. The western edge of the Parana Plateau falls away to form grass-covered hills before flattening down towards the valley of the River Paraguay.

A third large river, the Pilcomayo, flows southwest, forming the border with Argentina. The country’s capital, Asunción, is on this border at the confluence of the Pilcomayo and Paraguay rivers.

The country’s economy is mostly dependent upon agriculture with cotton, sugar cane, soya beans, cassava, wheat, bananas, oranges, and sweet potatoes among the crops grown. Cattle, pigs, sheep, and horses reared in the grassland areas. Forestry and its products are also crucial to the country’s economy, but Paraguay lacks the mineral wealth of other South American countries.

With three famous rivers, Paraguay, Parana, and Pilcomayo, the country has many impressive waterfalls, such as the Guaira Falls. In cooperation with its neighbors, it has developed its potential for hydroelectric power to the full and able to meet all its energy needs.

Developed with Brazil and opened in 1991, the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam on the (Alto) Parana river is the largest dam in the world. Other hydroelectric schemes include the Yacyreta Dam, developed with Argentina, and opened in 1994.

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