Asuncion: An often overlooked highlight of South America tours
There are certain countries that are staples of South America tours. Chile, Brazil and Argentina are all large tourist draws, but with such a big continent there are also lesser known destinations that offer just as much - if not more - than the popular attractions. This is especially the case with Paraguay's capital of Asuncion, which provides a unique window into the country's intriguing culture and history, according to The New York Times.
Though it's smaller than many of the bigger cities in South America (its population is about 500,000) that doesn't mean it has any less to offer. In fact, the less crowded streets and tourist hubs gives you the chance to experience the local culture in a completely different way.One of the best places to visit is the neighborhood of Loma San Jerónimo, where you can sample some of the local cuisine such as chicharo huiti and opa paraguaya, which are sold by numerous street vendors, the Times notes.
While getting a taste of Paraguay's culinary offerings is certainly appealing, it is not all that Asuncion has in store. There are also a number of landmarks that serve as a reminder of the city's compelling history. Among the most interesting spots is the National Pantheon of the Heroes, a stunning piece of architecture that is modeled largely after France's Les Invalides. The building is dedicated to those who lost their lives during the War of the Triple Alliance.
There are many other highlights that can lend some historical perspective to your tour of South America, according USA Today. The classical-inspired Government Palace is one of the most striking images of the city, especially at night when it is bathed in a soft light.