Overlooking the banks of the Paraguay River, the Iglesia San Carlos Borromeo witnessed some of the most intense bombing during the Triple Alliance War. The church was built in 1860 under the orders of Carlos Antonio Lopez and is said to have been one of the most beautiful churches in all of South America. Known by all Paraguayans as the ruinas de Humaita, the church’s remains are possibly the nation’s most historic monument and an icon of the Triple Alliance War.
Museo Ex Cuartel de Lopez de Humaita
Serving as military barracks during the Triple Alliance War this building was destroyed in the catastrophic flood of 1983 and later rebuilt using as much of the original materials as possible. About 150 meters downriver from the Iglesia San Carlos Boromeo (ruinas de Humaita), Tues-Sun 8am-11am, 2pm-5pm
Museo Historico Privado Don Maximo
Privately owned museum with all manner of Triple Alliance War relics from the fancy (French perfume bottles) to the mundane (rusty bullets). Run by the enthusiastic history buff Vincenta Miranda who also acts as a local guide. Vicenta’s property was the location of a defensive wall from the Triple Alliance War known as the Batena de Londres, equipped with sixteen canons. Unfortunately what survived of the wall after the war was swept away by a region-wide flood in 1983. Tel: 0985 2 70 690, 22 de Septiembre and 18 de Julio, two blocks from ruins in Humiata, Tues-Sat 8am-11am, 3:30-17:30; Sun 8am-12pm Lodging
Hospedaje del Bosque Those who wish to make the most of Humaita’s beautiful scenery can stay in one of the thatched roof bungalows owned by the Candia family. The family also has a small museum with many relics from the war. Tel: 0786 231 532, corner of Heroica Resistencia and Paso de Patria, Gs. 50,000 per person, fan
La Terraza Located in Humaita’s plaza La Terraza (the terrace) serves down home and delicious cooking daily. Their specialty is surub and it is much cheaper than elsewhere in Paraguay. Take advantage! Tel: 0786 231 557, main plaza next to the ruins, Tues-Sun 7:30am-2:30pm, 5pm.9pm, Gs. 20,000-30,000
The Empresa Del Sur bus makes the hour and a half trip to and from Humaita twice daily on weekdays leaving from Pilar’s bus terminal (0786 232 755) at 10am and 5pm and returning from Humaita at 5am and 3pm Gs. 15,000 to 18,000.
Crossing the Border into Argentina
A ferry operates between the port in Pilar and Puerto Colonia Cano on the Argentine side of the Paraguay River between 7am-1pm for Gs. 25,000. A taxi from the center of town to the ferry costs about Gs. 10,000. From Puerto Colonia Cano there are mini-buses which take passengers to General Mansilla where buses can be caught to Resistencia, Corrientes and Formosa. Be sure to change money in Pilar beforehand as Guaranies are not readily accepted across the river.
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