Paraguay Facts: 40 Interesting Facts About Paraguay

Last updated on October 8th, 2022

Paraguay Tourism

35. The people of Paraguay are known for their gentle and friendly behavior toward tourists. Do be aware, however, that cheap inns and hotels in Paraguay usually serve as local brothels, as well. European and North American tourists are somewhat of a novelty, and they are treated with respect.

36. The well-preserved Jesuit ruins in Paraguay dating back to 1706 have been named UNESCO World Heritage sites, though they are some of the most seldom visited in South America. The Robert De Niro film, ‘The Mission,’ was filmed at some of these historic sites.

37. Paraguay has 42 protected wildlife areas and 10 national parks. There are comfortable accommodations and tours available in the Mbaracayu tropical forests, as well as 89 mammal species and 410 bird species. Ybycui features metallic blue butterflies, waterfalls and howler monkeys.

38. Paraguay’s colorful festivals also attract tourists. The Festival de San Juan in June features fire walking in hot coals and embers, great food and the ritual burning of an effigy of Judas Iscariot. February’s San Blas Fiestas are Carnival celebrations. Bus service is safe and inexpensive.

Fire walking during the festival de San Juan, Paraguay.

39. There are old, established Australian, German and Japanese communities in Paraguay where visitors can say ‘g’day,’ dine on sushi, rice and fresh vegetables and enjoy fresh schnitzels. In fact, the New Germany colony was established by Friedrich Nietzsche’s sister in the 1880s.

40. The native Ache peoples gave up cannibalism more than 20 years ago. Today, they still live simply (primitively), but are friendly and are known to welcome visitors in their rain forest homes.

About the flag of Paraguay

Flag of Paraguay
Flag of Paraguay

1. Design and Symbolism

The flag of Paraguay is a symbol of national independence. The horizontal tricolor has red, white, and blue bands inspired by the liberty flag of France. The front and back are slightly different because it uses the obverse and reverse of Paraguay’s coat of arms.

The obverse has three black concentric circles on a white background. At the innermost circle, you will see a yellow 5-pointed star surrounded by palm and olive branches tied at the ends. The middle section bears the text “REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY.”

Meanwhile, the reverse has a sitting lion facing right, with a wooden staff holding a Phrygian cap on its side. The lion represents courage, and the headwear symbolizes freedom from slavery. The middle section of the seal has the words “PAZ Y JUSTICIA” (Peace and Justice).

2. Adoption

Paraguay first adopted the flag in 1842. After modifications, it achieved its current form on July 15, 2013.

3. Technical Details

The flag has a ratio of 11:20. The exact hexadecimal values are D52B1E for red, 0038A8 for blue, and FFFFFF for white. The RGB equivalents are 213-43-30, 0-56-168, and 255-255-255, respectively.

4. History

Colonial Flags

Spanish explorers found Paraguay in 1516. Missionaries came in to convert natives to Christianity and eventually turn the land into a colony. They used various Spanish flags from the 1500s to the early 1800s. These include the sawtooth Cross of Burgundy, the royal coat of arms on a white background, and the Spanish flag.

Independence and Dictatorship

Locals overthrew the Spanish administrators in 1811. Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia ruled Paraguay as a dictator until he died in 1840. Multiple provisional flags emerged for the new sovereign state. Some had a blue field with a white star on the top left, while others featured tricolors in different combinations. Francia admired Napoleon, so he was happy to use the French colors in the Paraguay flag.

In 1842, Paraguay adopted the current design with red, white, and blue horizontal bands. They also started using the coat of arms on the flag. At the time, these had two concentric red and blue circles. A ribbon ties the two branches, while the lion sits on a blue and brown background. “REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY” appears on both sides.

In 1990, the coat of arms received a design update. The border changed to black, and the text turned yellow on a red circle. The ribbons went away, while the star got a blue background. On the reverse, the words have a similar update, except the motto is more prominent on a semicircular ribbon. The lion faces the left while sitting on a white background.

In 2013, another redesign changed the proportion from 3:5 to 11:20. A simplified coat of arms appears on both sides. The text is black-and-white, and the star no longer has a blue background. All these make the remaining elements more visible.

5. Flag Facts

Aside from gracing the back of the flag, that side of the coat of arms also appears on banknotes. The Supreme Court of Paraguay uses this as its seal as well.

Paraguay – country at a glance

Independence14 May 1811 (from Spain)
Capital CityAsunción
25°16′S 57°40′W
Largest CityAsunción
25°16′S 57°40′W
Total areatotal: 406,752 sq km

land: 397,302 sq km

water: 9,450 sq km
Population7,356,409 (2022 est.)
Literacy ratetotal population: 94.5%
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 75
Official LanguageSpanish
Government typepresidential republic
PresidentMario Abdo Benítez
Vice-PresidentHugo Velázquez
BordersBrazil, Argentina, Bolivia
CurrencyGuaraní (PYG)
ReligionRoman Catholics
National anthem"Paraguayos, Republica o muerte!" (Paraguayans, The Republic or Death!)
Life expectancy at birth78.37 years (est. 2022)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatesubtropical to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming semiarid in the far west
Terraingrassy plains and wooded hills east of Rio Paraguay; Gran Chaco region west of Rio Paraguay mostly low, marshy plain near the river, and dry forest and thorny scrub elsewhere
Mean elevation178 m
Lowest pointjunction of Rio Paraguay and Rio Parana 46 m
Highest pointCerro Pero 842 m
Natural resourceshydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone
Agricultural land53.8%
Industriessugar, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, base metals, electric power
Exports$11.81 billion (2020 est.)
soybeans, livestock feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, wood, leather
Imports$10.62 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)
road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts
GDP - per capita (PPP)$12,300 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)
Birth rate16.32 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Death rate4.87 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Sex ratio1.01 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
Internet country
Time ZonePYT (UTC–4)
Summer (DST) PYST (UTC–3)
Calling Code+595
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedAugust 01, 2022