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Concepcion, Paraguay - Top Attractions, Sights & Tours

Paraguay travel blog by Mark Berman - June 2012   » View Photoset (84 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
Along the banks of the Paraguay River, Concepcion is a laidback town where the streets are alive with the sight and sound of locals buzzing
Paraguay Photo - Otano Mansion in Concepcion, yellow historic building.
Otano Mansion in Concepcion, yellow historic building.
around on their motorbikes and horse pulled carts. There is a sleepy, easy-going feel about Concepcion, there is no hurry or rush here. I didn't see many other tourists in town, maybe just 2. In Concepcion there are many things to do and enjoy if you would like to taste a slice of Paraguayan life. I had spent the day traveling from Filadelfia down to Pozo Colorado (3hrs 30mins) and had taken a few hours for some birdwatching south of here before taking another bus for 3 and a half hours east to Concepcion.

Food, Hotel, Bus

I arrived in the evening and ate at one of the several burger stands around the main plaza. A couple of streets away I found a budget hotel and spent the next 3 nights here. First thing I did in the morning was to take a walk along the clay roads to the bus terminal to get an idea of when buses head out of town to other destinations, a bus back to Pozo Colorado leaves each afternoon at around 4pm.
Paraguay Photo - Street corner with 2 yellow historic buildings and trees in Concepcion.
Street corner with 2 yellow historic buildings and trees in Concepcion.

Huge Virgen Mary and Church

I spent a couple of days wandering around Concepcion and getting a feel for the city. The main monument in town is across the road from the yellow church, a huge statue of the Virgen Mary, you can see it from quite a distance away. A plaque on the church wall pays homage to the cities founder - Agustin Fernando de Pinedo, (founded in 1773) and the street is named after him. The church has 3 impressive arched wooden doors with engraved religious figures depicted on them. Along the same street in the strip between each side of the road are various pieces of machinery on display - a steamroller, a train, a pair of huge wooden wheels, a vintage car, an old Bedford rail crane and a yellow Taylor and Hubbard crane. A monument to San Juan Bosco (1815-1888), an Italian priest who founded the Salesian Congregation also stands.
Paraguay Photo - A central city street and shops in Concepcion.
A central city street and shops in Concepcion.

Markets and Gaucho Corner

Back towards the center of town where the paved roads change to cobblestone, is the market area. There is an array of bicycles, motorbikes and horse-carts parked around the place. The colorful buildings, signage, products and produce draws you to take a walk along the street. A mixture of brick buildings and wooden shacks with roofs of corrugated iron. Colorful umbrellas shading the fruit from the sun. Powerlines and poles. A 4 point intersection of cobblestone (Gaucho Corner) is where all the horses and carts pull-up and wait for their next job. The streets are dotted with bicycle and motorbike tyre and repair shops. Everybody who lives in Concepcion has a motorbike and they buzz up and down the main city streets on their 2-wheelers all day until the sun fades.
Paraguay Photo - Clay suburban streets around the center of Concepcion.
Clay suburban streets around the center of Concepcion.

The Historic Center

Concepcions historical center is in the direction of the river. There are many colorful colonial buildings with interesting facades and arched doorways to see along the way. This area has a lot of character but could possibly do with a little restoration here and there. There's a big yellow cathedral and a park with homage to Emilio Sosa Gaona (1884-1970) - the first bishop of Concepcion. Beside the cathedral is the Diocesano Museum which displays the art and history of the church. Across the road is the Plaza de la Libertad (Liberty Square) with its grand monument. Other notable buildings in the area include Otano Mansion and the Municipal Palace, near the river is the tall brick smokestack.
Paraguay Photo - A steamroller is one of the pieces of machinery on display in a street in Concepcion.
A steamroller is one of the pieces of machinery on display in a street in Concepcion.

The Paraguay River

The area around the Paraguay River is very nice - a place to sit and relax. Small boats carry people to and from each side, some larger cargo boats are docked. I could see the arched bridge in the distance and was lucky to watch a tugboat push a big barge by, see video. Standing nearby is a monument to the scouts of the Chaco War. I enjoyed some time at the river before heading back into town, passing more colonial buildings along the way.

Museum, Church and Plaza

I had a quick look inside the museum Museo Municipal del Cuartel de la Villa Real which has on display photos, antiques, a wooden cart, flags, brass musical instruments, artillery and other military items. Next I passed church Iglesia Anglicana San Pablo which looked a little like a UFO.
Paraguay Photo - Oranges and bananas, Concepcion markets.
Oranges and bananas, Concepcion markets.
Then onto Plaza Agustin Fernando de Pinedo with a monument to him standing holding a sword.

Tours and Wildlife Trips

Concepcion has much more to offer including river, farm, local village, adventure, aquarium and wildlife trips. If you are interested in an organised trip, you could check out the Paraguayan Adventures website which I noticed when I walked past their office near my hotel. I enjoyed my stay in Concepcion very much, it's one of my favourite places in Paraguay.

18hrs Bus to Santa Cruz Bolivia

It took only 2 and a half hours to get back to Pozo Colorado where I waited several hours for a bus to arrive at around 11pm from Asuncion on its way to Santa Cruz Bolivia. I boarded and spent the next 18hrs heading north west.

     

View all photos in the Concepcion Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from Concepcion (Paraguay) to:


Map location: Concepcion, Paraguay. Concepcion is hot and sweaty with lots of character! Located along the banks of the Paraguay River, Concepcion is a laidback town where the streets are alive with the sight and sound of locals buzzing around on their motorbikes and horse pulled carts!
 A : Gran Chaco - Paraguay 136 kms 136 kms straight distance | 1hr 53mins 1hr 53mins by car (149 kms) | 2hrs 15mins 2hrs 15mins by bus (149 kms) (149 kms)
 B : Campo Grande to Foz - Brazil 301 kms 301 kms straight distance | 3hrs 57mins 3hrs 57mins by car (330 kms) | 4hrs 44mins 4hrs 44mins by bus (330 kms) (330 kms)
 C : Filadelfia - Paraguay 291 kms 291 kms straight distance | 4hrs 32mins 4hrs 32mins by car (341 kms) | 5hrs 26mins 5hrs 26mins by bus (341 kms) (341 kms)
 D : Aregua & Itaugua - Paraguay 209 kms 209 kms straight distance | 5hrs 26mins 5hrs 26mins by car (419 kms) | 6hrs 31mins 6hrs 31mins by bus (419 kms) (419 kms)
 E : Oviedo to Villarrica - Paraguay 265 kms 265 kms straight distance | 5hrs 23mins 5hrs 23mins by car (420 kms) | 6hrs 27mins 6hrs 27mins by bus (420 kms) (420 kms)
 F : Asuncion - Paraguay 209 kms 209 kms straight distance | 5hrs 33mins 5hrs 33mins by car (423 kms) | 6hrs 39mins 6hrs 39mins by bus (423 kms) (423 kms)
 G : Ciudad del Este to Ybycui - Paraguay 268 kms 268 kms straight distance | 5hrs 47mins 5hrs 47mins by car (446 kms) | 6hrs 56mins 6hrs 56mins by bus (446 kms) (446 kms)
 H : Villarrica - Paraguay 279 kms 279 kms straight distance | 6hrs 7mins 6hrs 7mins by car (451 kms) | 7hrs 20mins 7hrs 20mins by bus (451 kms) (451 kms)
 I : San Bernardino & Caacupe - Paraguay 217 kms 217 kms straight distance | 6hrs 3mins 6hrs 3mins by car (462 kms) | 7hrs 15mins 7hrs 15mins by bus (462 kms) (462 kms)
 J : Paraguari - Paraguay 270 kms 270 kms straight distance | 7hrs 9mins 7hrs 9mins by car (541 kms) | 8hrs 34mins 8hrs 34mins by bus (541 kms) (541 kms)
 K : Ybycui & Ybycui National Park - Paraguay 292 kms 292 kms straight distance | 7hrs 13mins 7hrs 13mins by car (547 kms) | 8hrs 39mins 8hrs 39mins by bus (547 kms) (547 kms)
 L : Ciudad del Este - Paraguay 353 kms 353 kms straight distance | 7hrs 33mins 7hrs 33mins by car (576 kms) | 9hrs 3mins 9hrs 3mins by bus (576 kms) (576 kms)
 M : Foz do Iguaçu - Brazil 370 kms 370 kms straight distance | 7hrs 53mins 7hrs 53mins by car (596 kms) | 9hrs 27mins 9hrs 27mins by bus (596 kms) (596 kms)
 N : Iguazu Falls - Argentina 379 kms 379 kms straight distance | 8hrs 37mins 8hrs 37mins by car (616 kms) | 10hrs 20mins 10hrs 20mins by bus (616 kms) (616 kms)
 O : Encarnacion to Paraguari - Paraguay 362 kms 362 kms straight distance | 8hrs 30mins 8hrs 30mins by car (631 kms) | 10hrs 12mins 10hrs 12mins by bus (631 kms) (631 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Concepcion, Paraguay:

Hotel Center, Concepcion, Paraguay - Large Photo
Hotel Center, Concepcion, Paraguay (June 2012 - 3 nights) - Cheap, a little nasty, but OK for a brief visit, well actually it was 3 days, the bathroom didn't smell that great to begin with. Located as the name says, right in the center.

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Concepcion, Paraguay - Top Attractions, Sights & Tours. Concepcion is hot and sweaty with lots of character! Located along the banks of the Paraguay River, Concepcion is a laidback town where the streets are alive with the sight and sound of locals buzzing around on their motorbikes and horse pulled carts!

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