Nestled at the base of the Ybytyruzu mountains the town of Colonia Independencia, known as La Tierra del Vino y del Sol (the land of wine and sun) was founded by German immigrants after World War II. Unlike the majority of Paraguay’s German-influenced towns Colonia Independencia is not populated by Mennonites. Rather than religious freedom, the town’s German inhabitants are mostly drawn by a sense of adventure and the chance to stretch their retirement pensions abroad in an already established German community. Though Colonia Independencia also has Paraguayan inhabitants there is a decidedly German feel to the town. Street signs are mostly in German and the stores carry a wide variety of German products. As you enter Colonia Independencia (right after the welcome sign) you will spot your first sign that, despite the setting deep in the countryside, Colonia Independencia is no ordinary rural Paraguayan town. Perched high on the hilltop is the privately owned Castillo Echauri, fashioned to look like a medieval castle, complete with turrets and arrow slits. The town has a small center which is very pleasant to walk around, but for the most part everything in Colonia Independencia is spread out. From here you are within day trip distance of several waterfalls and peaks in the Ybytyruzu mountains (see The Cordillera de Ybytyruzu).
Overall the quality of lodging in Colonia Independencia is very high as most establishments cater to foreign vacationers. There are special rates for campers as well as for those on extended stays. Most lodging options specialize in providing full room and board which perhaps explains the lack of restaurants in town itself. Many also have transfer services (for a fee) or pickups from Asuncion and can arrange for excursions to surrounding areas and points further afield (even as far as Iguazu Falls). All are located at some distance from the town itself but most are on the main road from which catching a bus into town is simple.
Being a town heavily populated by Germans it is logical that Colonia Independencia celebrate Oktoberfest. The festival is celebrated in October (or sometimes the beginning of November) every year at the Club Deportivo Aleman with an all-night beer bathed party. Traditional German foods are served and many people choose to come dressed up in lederhosen. For more information contact the Club Deportivo Aleman. Tel: 0548 26522, www.clubaleman.com.py Parque Municipal de Independencia
Should you decide to venture into town the municipal park is a short walk from the main plaza and church. With a wide creek winding its way through the park this can be a good place to whet your appetite for nature if you can’t make it out to the nearby waterfalls. The park is a nice spot for picnic. Right before the entrance to the park is a bakery/ice cream/pizza store (closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays). From the town’s main plaza on Avenida Mariscal Francisco Solano Lopez follow the road running alongside the town church and then turn left before going over the small wood bridge.