Paraguay’s central district is home to Asuncion, one of the largest cities in the country. But there’s another city that’s quickly becoming a sister-city to Asuncion’s modern appeal: Luque.
Luque is located near Asuncion and over 291,000 citizens live there. It has nearly 500 years of history of being a remote secondary region to Asuncion. At the beginning of the 1800s, Luque finally became a city with the founding of its first administrative capital. Asuncion doesn’t compete with Luque- both cities offer a unique experience and combine both old and new Paraguayan culture.
In contrast to other cities in Paraguay, Luque is very flat and subject to weather extremes as it’s not protected by hills or valleys. At its most extreme in the summer you’ll find the temperatures around 90 degrees at noon, but near 40 degrees at night. Wind in Luque can be very biting as well. When traveling and staying in this city, be sure to bring layers for both cold and hot weather. Luque’s extreme climate shocks most tourists that quickly become used to Paraguay’s temperate weather.
As you walk into the streets of Luque from Asuncion, you’ll find a very distinct difference in its construction. While Asuncion has modern buildings, Luque maintains much of its colonial and classical architecture. The buildings in Luque are well preserved and valued for their age. You’ll see baroque style chapels and a neoclassical city hall, with colonial style facades. Many of the buildings are dotted with vibrant yellow and blue colors, proudly displaying the lively and bright Luque colors.
Luque also contains Paraguay’s main international airport, Silvio Pettirossi International Airport. Daily flights to and from Paraguay happen every day and its easy to get access to the rest of the world from Luque. From Luque, you can also drive to practically anywhere in Paraguay. Route 9 and Route 3 both run directly near the city, and from these routes you can get to Chaco, Encarcion and Itapua in the south.
Luque offers shopping that’s more artsy and unique than Asuncion. Older shops line the streets of Luque and tourists come from all walks of life to buy one-of-the-kind gifts. Luque has a very large market in gold and silver, especially in jewelry. Luque’s also a big market point for fine South American coffee. Known for its deep flavors and dark roasts, you can find wonderful blends at Luque.
A unique part of Luque is Loma Palma, an up and coming neighborhood with a café, several bars and two sports arenas. Loma Palma is one of the cleanest and most modern parts of Paraguay. Most homes are equipped with running water & electricity, the Silvio Pettirossi International Airport is about 8 minutes away and the streets have working sewers. If you’re looking for a café or safe night life, Loma Palma is one of the best sites for tourists!
Luque is one of those Paraguayan cities where the old meets the new flawlessly. In Luque you can absorb every cultural tradition Paraguay has to offer while enjoying modern comforts.