Capiatá, Paraguay is located in the north central region of the country and has about 210,000 inhabitants. Capiatá lies on the edge of seven cities and has major land routes utilized for trade throughout Paraguay. Capiatá has a very strong Franciscan influence and contains many attractions to keep a tourist busy for two to three days.

The first attraction every tourist must check out is the Franciscan Road, which contains some of the oldest Franciscan chapels and churches in the region. In Capiatá, there is the Franciscan Church “Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria.” Built in the 1700s, this church has an impressive altar built in Franciscan style and a huge statue devoted to the Virgin of Candelaria. On February 2nd, huge crowds come from all around Paraguay to pray to this historic figure at this church.

Capiatá is home to rich natural beauty. It has access to the Paraguay River, where tourists can take a leisurely paddle boat and enjoy the vegetation, storks, flamingoes and other rare birds. Capiatá’s natural attraction shows the heart of Paraguay ecotourism, with its diverse wetland areas and dense forest regions.

With its strong trade routes going straight through the city of Capiatá, there’s a multitude of shopping available to the tourist. Capiatá’s shopping is much different than Asuncion. While Asuncion seeks to appeal to the Western and more modern tourist, Capiatá appeals to the tourist looking to experience true Paraguay culture. The unique clash of native and settler culture in Capiatá makes this area a perfect place to find a unique gift or token of your trip.

A multitude of Paraguay-specific dishes are available in the small family-run restaurants that line the capital streets of Capiatá. Women selling beaded art and carved wood will bargain with tourists, much like they did hundreds of years ago when Franciscans came through the city. Naturally dyed clothing and tunic-like apparel is sold next to native plants and herbs for medicine. Native medicine men claim their herbs are the best and will offer a solution to any ailment.

If you’re looking to stay in Capiatá, the nearest hotel is the Resort Yacht and Golf Club Paraguayo. This beautiful resort-style hotel is surrounded by the natural rainforests and rivers natural to Capiatá. For the tourist seeking a golf attraction, this resort is also home to a full-sized 18-hole golf course where delegates and politicians often play. The resort also has a considerable night life in comparison to the rest of the area, with two safe bars and a large clubhouse.

Finally, no trip to Capiatá would be complete without picking up some the native coffee from the region. Known for its strong blends and flavor, Capiatá is a large provider in the Paraguay coffee market. The cooler and more tolerable temperatures of the region give Capiatá a perfect medium to grow great coffee.

Capiatá’s attractions are a great way to discover the native and everyday culture of Paraguay. Lacking the big tourist feel of Asuncion, Capiatá is a perfect alternative trip to the busy cities in northern Paraguay.