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Parana, Argentina - Day Tours Of The River In An Attractive City

Argentina travel blog by Mark Berman - May 2012   » View Photoset (40 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
I spent a great day in Parana after I visited Santa Fe
Argentina Photo - Monument to the 1st captain of the ports Martin Jacobo Thompson (1777-1819) in Parana.
Monument to the 1st captain of the ports Martin Jacobo Thompson (1777-1819) in Parana.
the day before, it's on the eastern side of the Parana River 1hr from Santa Fe. Parana is a place I would recommend visiting if you like attractive cities and peaceful walks along the riverfront. I was here on a weekend and there was lots of activity down beside the river, the locals are very lucky. From the bus terminal I walked into the center of the city, it was at least a kilometre.

City Tour

As with most of my city tours I like to start at the central plaza, in this case Plaza 1 de Mayo (Plaza 1st of May). Like most city plazas, it's Parana's social and cultural meeting point and is surrounded by emblematic buildings. The plazas 2 fountains were built in 1886 and the main monument is to independence leader Jose de San Martin. Those emblematic buildings include the stunning cathedral, Palace Episcopal, College del Huerto, Palace Municipal, School Jose M. Torres, the post office and the social club. Even the McDonalds restaurant has it's own historical building on the corner while Parana's theatre Teatro Municipal 3 de Febrero is 2 blocks away. A few blocks from the center is Plaza 'Juan Bautista' Alberdi, he was a political theorist and lived from 1810-1884. The plaza / park is grassy and has a monument to the volunteer firemen of Parana. The city has several museums - Museo Historico Provincial Martiniano Leguizamon, Museo Bellas Artes Pedro E. Martinez and
Argentina Photo - John Lennon wall mural at the new port at the Parana River in Parana.
John Lennon wall mural at the new port at the Parana River in Parana.
Museo de la Ciudad. More churches include San Miguel, Nuestra Senora del Carmen, Nuestra Senora de la Piedad, Sagrado Corazon and Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion. Other plazas include Plazas Alvear, Mitre, Saenz Pena and Carbo.

Sunday Feast

I decided to bypass McDonalds this time
Argentina Photo - Native man, colorful wall graffiti at the port in Parana.
Native man, colorful wall graffiti at the port in Parana.
in favour of an 'all you can eat' lunch at the big Chinese restaurant on one side of the plaza. It cost 50 pesos ($11USD) for an absolutely great Sunday feast.

Port and River Tours

I wanted to get down to the river and take a look, the port is called Puerto Nuevo (New Port). I walked several blocks and arrived at the Navy building Prefectura Naval Argentina which is a brown and white historic building with a monument to Martin Jacobo Thompson (1777-1819), he was the 1st captain of the ports. Another monument to Admiral Guillermo Brown is in the small park across the road. Around this area people were fishing, boats were docked and ferry boats left to take people on river tours. There is an impressive wall of graffiti art and murals on a wall at this end of the walkway including Albert Einstein and John Lennon.

Along the Riverfront

As I walked along the riverfront past the police monument, it was clear to see that half of the cityfolk were down here enjoying themselves -
Argentina Photo - Mate tea kit for walks beside the Rio Parana, Parana.
Mate tea kit for walks beside the Rio Parana, Parana.
sipping mate tea, eating, playing, walking and relaxing. Sailboats cruised up and down the river and kids rode their bikes along the boulevard of Parque Urquiza. A monument to the heroes of the Malvinas (Falklands War) could be seen as I walked towards the Puerto Viejo (Old Port). Along a little from the fountain is a pretty beach area with umbrellas and small wooden wharfs. It was a nice place to sit quietly for a while and
Argentina Photo - Ferry and yacht on the Rio Parana in Parana.
Ferry and yacht on the Rio Parana in Parana.
relax watching the river flow by. Next a man came and said that the beach was private. I had wondered why no one else was there, but it was nice while it lasted. The big hill behind the road offers some higher views of the area and has an airplane monument at the top. It was an enjoyable afternoon spent beside the Parana River. I sat and had a beer while watching the sun go down and boats sail into the orange sunset.

Bus to Colon

That evening I travelled east to Colon near the border of Uruguay, the journey took 5hrs and is 290kms. Distances from Parana to other cities in Argentina / Uruguay are as follows: Buenos Aires 470kms, Cordoba 360kms, Corrientes 573kms, Formosa 761kms, Mendoza 952kms, Tucuman 794kms, Posadas 758kms, Resistencia 590kms, Rosario 180kms, Santa Fe 30kms, Concordia 261kms, Gualeguaychu 322kms, Piedras Blancas 117kms, Montevideo 639kms and Paysandu 300kms.

     

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Parana, Argentina - Day Tours Of The River In An Attractive City. River towns are nice, the river is always the real center of town where all the locals gather to sip mate tea and relax.

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