Asunción

Once bigger than Buenos Aires, Asunción is over 450 years old and known as the Mother of Cities. With a population of just over one million citizens today, the city is peaceful as far as Latin American capital cities go and offers decent shopping and some interesting historical spots like the Palacio del Gobierno (Government Palace), which is in the style of the Louvre in Paris. The Plaza de los Heroes features the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as shopping and a lovely water garden. For a panoramic view of the city, check out the restaurant on the top floor of the Guaraní Hotel. Wander the city, shop for artisan crafts or relax in an outdoor café sipping the most popular local drink, terrere.

If you have a half-day to spare, be sure to take a trip to the Botanical Gardens, which have over 100 species of tropical plants and trees and an interesting insect collection in the museum. Another good half-day activity in the city is a river cruise on the Paraguay River. The cruise is three hours and quite relaxing.