As South America's "empty corner," Paraguay has traditionally distanced itself from the rest of Latin America. Now, however, the country makes visitors welcome to its capital city of Asuncion, its colonial missions, national parks and Chaco wilderness in the west.

The climate and weather is subtropical to temperate, with substantial rainfall in the East and semi-arid conditions in the West. Asuncion is warm year-round, especially in summer (November-March), which is also the season of heaviest rain.

The population is 95 percent mestizo (mixed Indian and European blood). The official language is Spanish.

The best way to get to Paraguay is by air through the international airport in Asuncion. Boat travel is available to and from Corumbo, Brazil. Within the country, air service is provided to all major points. Buses are available to all areas, and slow, wood-burning trains can also be used. Road conditions make driving hazardous, especially at night; drive on the right. The communications infrastructure is undeveloped, with few phones available outside the capital.

Paraguay has a market economy with a large informal sector. Almost half the population is employed in agriculture. Prices are moderate, lower than Argentina or Uruguay, higher than Bolivia.

The government is a constitutional republic, with a president, vice president, congress and a supreme court with justices appointed on the recommendation of the counsel of magistrates.

Many citizens carry weapons, and the threat of both property and violent crime must be considered.

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Brazil Chile Colombia
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Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) French Guiana Guatemala
Guyana Honduras Nicaragua
Panama Paraguay Peru
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