Paraguay Map Before War

Granja El Roble.

Owned and operated by charismatic nature enthusiast Peter Dirk and his friendly Paraguayan wife Andresa, Granja El Roble is a real gem. Stay in rustic cabins built by Peter himself and stuff yourself with Andresa's deliciously hearty meals including fried fish, homemade pate, fresh baked breads, and possibly the best fish soup in all of Paraguay. Catchpacu in the fish ponds, take a dip in the swimming hole, or relax in a hammock while adorable pet capybara Mimi angles for a pat on the head. Adventure seekers will find their match in Peter.

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He can help arrange for a variety of trips throughout Paraguay including boat trips along the Paraguay River (he speaks Spanish, German and English) and birding excursions to the Chaco. Do not miss the opportunity to go tubing with him along the nearby Ypane River. A great place to relax or kick-start a Paraguayan adventure, Granja El Roble should not be missed. Tel: 0985 898 466, a taxi from Concepcion costs about Gs. 70, 000 but Peter is able to provide a ride most mornings with prior notice, there are also hourly buses from Concepcion for Gs. 5,000 (tell the driver to let you off at El Roble and follow the signs from the main road), if driving from Concepcion head to the roundabout at the entrance to town and take the unpaved road that heads east to Belen (you will pass the quirky Monumento al Indio that looks like a tall skinny pyramid with holes in it) continue sixteen kilometers and take a left at the signed turn off and continue seven kilometers where the entrance will be on your right. If coming from Asuncion head west along Route 5 until the paved right-hand turn off to Belen (approximately eighteen kilometers past the town of Horqueta by the Parador Tropico 21), at the town of Belen take a right and continue two kilometers down a cobblestone road until you see the signed right-hand turn off to Granja El Roble, www.paraguay. Ch, all prices include full room and board, camping US$10 per person, cabins range between US$20 and $40 with one to two rooms and a.

Variety of amenities (check website for more details on each option).

Lodging.

Hotel Frances Housed in one of the city's characteristic old manors Hotel Frances is a very nice hotel with a lot of charm. Rooms are decorated with Paraguayan handicrafts and there is a large outdoor garden with a jacuzzi and pool. The hotel's restaurant has a good breakfast buffet (available to non-guests for Gs. 12, 000), lunch buffet (Gs. 30, 000) and excellent fish dishes. Try the surub a la teja. Tel: 0331 42750, 0331 42600, Corner of Presidente Franco and Carlos Antonio Lopez, www.hotelfrancesconcepcion. Com, Singles Gs. 125, 000, Double Gs. 190, 000, Triple Gs. 220, 000, Wi-Fi, computers with internet, TV, A/C, mini-fridge. Restaurant hours 11:30am-2: 30pm, 6:30pm-11: 30pm, Gs. 20,000-50, 000

Hotel Victoria Another hotel housed in an old manor, this is step down from Hotel Frances but still a comfortable option. Rooms open out on to a street facing courtyard which can be a little noisy. Tel: 0331 42256, 0331 42826, Corner of Presidente Franco and Pedro Juan Caballero, Single Gs. 90, 000 with A/C, Gs. 50, 000 with fan, Double Gs. 120, 000 with A/C, Gs. 90, 000 with fan.

Hotel Center A good bargain in the middle of downtown Concepcion. Rooms are very basic as are bathrooms. Street facing rooms are very noisy and interior rooms are dark and gloomy. However the location, price, and late checkout time are convenient and there is a karaoke bar downstairs. Rooms on the third floor are accessed by a steep and narrow staircase. Tel: 0331 242 360, Presidente Franco between 14 de Mayo and Fulgencio Yegros, Gs. 30, 000 per person with fan, Gs. 45, 000 per person with A/C, TV

Food.

Restaurant Toninho y Jandira This Brazilian owned restaurant offers delicious meat and fish dishes, accompanied by various fresh vegetable sides and Brazilian style rice and beans. The food is plentiful, ambience lively and wait staff friendly. Tel: 0331 241 415, Mariscal Estigarribia between Iturbe and Cerro Cora across the street from the Palacete Municipal (Municipal Office), daily 11am-3pm, 7pm-10pm, Gs. 35,000-50, 000

Restaurant Valens Burger A large restaurant with a laid back feel, Valens offers a wide variety of Paraguayan comfort food as well as fast food options. Ambience is a bit lacking. Pizzas are good and mashed potatoes are very buttery and satisfying. Tel: 0331 240 234, Corner of Avenida Pineda and Brasil, daily 7am-2pm, 5pm-12am, Gs. 12,000-40, 000

Comedor Na Benita This small restaurant located in Concepcion's market is well known for its owner Na Benita's caldo de pescado (fish soup) though other Paraguayan staples such as tallarin and estofado are also good options. A cheap and fun option for those not put off by eating in the market. Schreibert and Mayor Lorenzo Medina across the street from the La Paraguaya hardware store, Mon-Sun 5am-3pm, Gs. 10,000-15, 000

Habib's Owned by Concepcion's tourism secretary, Habib's is a cheap and tasty place for hamburgers and lomito arabe (shawarma). Tel: 0981 292 179, Corner of Presidente Franco and General Diaz, daily 6pm-12am, Gs. 8,000-15, 000

Heladena Amistad A cute ice cream parlor that also serves fast food. Pizzas are a good option and there is also an affordable daily lunch special. Tel: 0331 241 184, Corner of Presidente.

Franco and Nuestra Senora de Concepcion (their sign also says Anahi), daily 7am-11pm, Gs.15,000-30, 000

El Heladero Coffees, ice cream and desserts make this small store a good retreat from Concepcion's heat and humidity. Try the cappuccino helado made with ice cream Tel: 0331 242 350, Brazil and General Garay, daily 11am-10pm, Gs. 5,000-15, 000

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