• 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!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Paraguay


Paraguayan Geography - River bed
River bed

Paraguay is a country slowly falling in elevation as the land drops from the northwest to the center of the country. These western highlands aren't extremely high as the country's highest point is only about 2,800 feet (850 meters). In this northwestern part of the country is the Gran Chaco, which can be marshy and filled with insects in some parts, while in others it tends to be dry and semi-arid, especially along the border with Bolivia.

Running almost directly from the north to the south is the Paraguay River and to the river's east the land again rises a bit until it reaches forested highlands. From this point, further to the southeast are numerous other rivers flowing west into the Paraguay River or flowing east into the Parana Rivers. Most of the people in Paraguay live along or near these rivers. The lands surrounding the river are very fertile and the rivers offer natural transportation as they are quite wide they flow into each other. The Parana River eventually drains into the Atlantic Ocean.


Paraguay is hot and rainy for much of the year, although the Gran Chaco in the country's northwest is drier. As a fairly flat country, the greatest variations in weather and temperature come with the seasons, although extreme lows are rarely to never experienced in Paraguay as it is fairly close to the equator. Because of the steady weather year round, much of the weather is determined by the rains, which are heaviest in the southeastern part of the country and only slightly lighter along the Paraguay River. These heavy rains, in conjunction with the year round rains, allow plants to grow easily, they attract animals, and make the rivers and lakes great for navigation and transportation. Because of this, most people in Paraguay have found themselves living along the rivers in the country's southeast.

The summers in Paraguay run from about October to April as temperatures in the capital city of Asuncion average lows of 72° F (22° C) and highs of 90° F (32° C) in January. The lands east of Asuncion are regularly hotter throughout the year with daily highs often hitting 100° F (38° C). During the summers, and throughout the year, the rains are fairly steady, especially in the southeast. This region regularly gets over 6.5 feet (2 meters) of rain each year, but the capital "only" gets 5 feet (1.5 meters) and moving to the northwest the rain numbers generally continue to drop.

The winters, which run from about May to September, are cooler, but rarely cold. In Asuncion average temperatures from June to August are about 55° F (13° C) at night, with an average high of around 72° F (22° C). Again, moving to the southeast temperatures get slightly warmer and to the northwest temperatures drop; in the colder parts of the Gran Chaco, nights can occasionally get to freezing, although generally they don't get below about 42° F (6° C). Again rains are common throughout the winter months, especially in the country's southeast, but in most years the winters get less rain per month than the summer months get.


Paraguayan Wildlife - Armadillo

Due to Paraguay's gently changing landscape, weather, and environment, the country is home to a huge number of animals including both mountains dwellers as well as those that love the lowlands and the water. The only thing truly preventing a greater variety of wildlife is the lack of ocean access. However the swamps, lakes, and rivers are still home to numerous sea animals.

The most famous native animal in Paraguay is the armadillo, a small mammal that is found throughout the country. Although the armadillo is the symbol of Paraguay's wildlife, the mammalian life only begins there. The country is home to large mammals, such as cougars (puma), beers, jaguars, sloths, tapir, vicunas (a camel species), deer, boars, and wolves. There is no shortage of small mammals either as monkeys, porcupines, opossums, rabbits, bats, the chinchilla (a rodent), mice, rats, and foxes can be found as well.

Paraguayan Wildlife - Porcupine

The sea life isn't nearly as varied since the only sea animals live in the lakes and rivers of the country. This limits the sea life to catfish, pike, and other freshwater fish.

Due to the diverse landscape the bird life is much more impressive. There are a few tropical birds that make their way to the country, but most species are woodland birds. Eagles, hummingbirds, owls, condors, egrets, partridges, parakeets, geese, finches, wrens, toucans, macaws, parrots, and even the Andean flamingo call the country home or pass through with the seasons.

The reptilian, amphibian, and insect life in Paraguay are also diverse, but the variety of species is still fairly limited. Many of these animals are spiders, including the tarantula and black widow, and snakes, including the rattlesnake. In or near some of the rivers the amphibian population spikes a bit as a number of frogs and lizards are present. The number of insects is quite substantial, including flies, mosquitos, butterflies, ants, and more.

Paraguayan Wildlife - Chinchilla

When it comes to native plant life, South America is home to many famous edible plants and these plants quickly spread throughout Paraguay, South America, and beyond. The pineapple is from the region where Brazil and Uruguay meet while potatoes and tobacco originated in the Andes Mountains. A few others, including cacao trees (used to make chocolate), peanuts, and tomatoes are also from South America, although their actual origin is unknown. Peppers, both sweet and hot peppers are from Central America or northern South America while vanilla, avocado, papaya, and corn (maize) are likely from Central America itself. No matter each food's origin, what is known is that these foods spread throughout the continent and to the country of Paraguay with the help of pre-historic people, animals, and winds. These people have had these foods for nearly as long as people have inhabited the region and each makes an important part of the people's diet and culture now and for thousands of years into the past.

More than just the edible plants, Paraguay is home to many additional trees and other plants. Pine trees, eucalyptus trees, cedar trees, and cypress trees are all common.

This page was last updated: November, 2013