Paraguay is located in the central parts of mainland South America. It is located between 19 and 27° south latitude and 54 to 62° west longitude, i.e it is fully and completely situated in the Southern and in the Western Hemisphere. The country is locked between the territory of three countries – Argentina (south and southwest), Brazil (east and northeast) and Bolivia (north and northwest). Most of the borders of Paraguay are natural. They follow the flow of the large South American rivers Paramayo, Paraná and Paraguay. The fact that the country does not border to the ocean, limit the trade relations with the world and requires the development of road and especially the air transport.
Relief. Paraguay has a flat relief to the northwest and low mountains to the southeast. High mountains are missing. The highest peak in the country is Caro Paro, which rises to an altitude of 842 meters in the southeast part of the country.
Otherwise, most of Paraguay is occupied mainly by lowland plains and hilly areas, which creates conditions for flooding of large areas during the rainy season because of the slight slope.
With the exception of Brazilian Mountain Land, most of the territory has an altitude of 100 to 200 meters.
Climate. Paraguay fall into borders of two climate zones. Northwest part of the country falls into the subequatorial climate zone. The temperatures are high all year – around and over 30°C.
There are two seasons – dry and rainy. The rainy season coincides with the summer semester. Winter is quite dry and sunny. The southeast part of the country falls into the tropical climate zone, as the southern tropical circle crosses these areas.
Summer is very hot and the winter is very warm, but with much more pleasant temperatures. In the coldest month – July – the daytime temperatures are about 23°C.
The hottest month is January – about 35°C. Because of the distance from the ocean coast, the local climate has continental character, which is the reason for the very high summer temperatures and relatively cool winters than the usual temperatures for these latitudes.
Rainfall is moderate as a quantity for the year, but are not evenly distributed across the seasons. Ranging from 30 to 160 mm in the different months.
By lowering of the temperature reduces also and the amount of the rainfall. The driest months are July and August.
Overall, the population is concentrated in tropical southern parts of the country, because the tropical climate is cooler and easily bearable in comparison with the subequatorial climate.
Nature. The nature of Paraguay is various. The subequatorial climate zone in the northwest part of the country is dominated by plains with an altitude of 100 to 200 meters.
The landscape resembles to the savannahs of Africa. During the dry and hot winter the vegetation is dry and during the rainy summer – green and lush.
These savannahs are often covered with wetlands during the rainy season, because of the slight slope of the terrain.
In the southeast, where the climate is tropical, the rainfall more evenly distributed around the year and does not so extreme drought.
There are beautiful tropical evergreen forests with great biological diversity. Here you can find rare and interesting species such as cougar, alligator, parrots, monkeys and hundreds of species of reptiles and amphibians.
But undoubtedly the most beautiful areas of Paraguay can be found in the central parts of the country, along the river Paraguay.
Here grow some of the most beautiful rainforests on the continent that even compete in beauty the Amazon jungle, although the area is incomparably smaller.
Submerged lowlands around the river create perfect conditions for the flourishing of humidity loving vegetation.
Population and settlements. Paraguay has a population of about 6 500 000 inhabitants. The largest concentration of population is around and in the cosmopolitan capital of the country – Asuncion.
The urban area has in approximately 1 900 000 inhabitants, which makes almost 1 / 3 of the total population of Paraguay. Built by the Spaniards in 1537, today the capital is the heart of the Paraguay’s economy.
The city is modern and the good economic growth is visible everywhere. Stores, shopping centers, office buildings – everything seems somehow new, modern and clean.
Other major cities are Concepcion, Pedro Juan Kabalero, Coronel Oviedo, Vallarrica, Ciudad del Este and Encarnacion. Overall, the Paraguayan cities are generally located in the eastern part of the country.
The ethnic composition of the population is dominated mainly by Indians and less European settlers of Spanish origin.
Economy. Paraguay’s economy is growing. It relies mainly to the agriculture. In the country grow many crops such as sugar cane, tropical fruits (bananas), coffee, tobacco, corn and many others.
The livestock-breeding is also very well developed. Very important is the cattle-breeding.The industry is relatively very low developed.
The services sector also is not well developed yet, with the exception of the capital Asuncion, of course, where the economy is the fastest growing in the country. The official currency of Paraguay is Guaraní.
Although the standard of living is lower than in the neighbouring countries, Paraguay is seeking to emaciate quickly the difference.
History. Paraguay was founded in 1515 by Spanish colonizers. The capital Asuncion was founded shortly afterwards – in 1537. To the 1811 the country was a colony of Spain, but on the 14th of May the it receive its independence.
In 1954 Paraguay passes through the way of the military dictatorship – something that most of the countries in Latin America have experienced.
Early 90’s and more specifically the period from 1992 to 1993, Paraguay made brave steps forward and becomes a modern democratic developing country that has good prospects for development.