Archive for February, 2009

My NEW Paraguayan filigree designs

Here you can see some of my new filigree designs just arrived from Paraguay

As you know everything is designed by me and handmade by very skilled Paraguayan artisans, everything is made of sterling silver. I hope you like them =)

Interested in buying? Just click the picture it will take you to the website where they are for sale.

I absolutely love the Paraguayan Map and the Lapacho tree =)

Designs by Helena Voigt

 

arbol grande filigrana filigrana mapa paraguay filigrana casita 2jarra paraguay filigrana

filgrana eclipse filigrana sol grande

larimoon helena voigt orquidea

For more styles visit: www.larimoon.com and www.helenavoigt.com

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Paraguay Churches and Cathedrals

I did a search and found videos of my favorite churches and Cathedrals in Paraguay that I want to share with you, some are in Asuncion and some others are in different parts of Paraguay.

Most of the videos have Paraguayan music as background with I find awesome and very emotional =)

I hope you enjoy this series of video, I love Churches and Cathedral architecture, each has its own uniqueness that makes it special its own way. There are many more beautiful churches that i couldn’t find on youtube, they are not available online yet, i hope that in a near future people will starting to post more videos online

 

CAACUPE Basilica- Where pilgrims from all corners of the country get there on December 8th every year to pay  promises to the blue virgin, La Virgencita de Caacupe- Very very important religious event in Paraguay.

Villarrica Cathedral

Asuncion’s Cathedrral (downtown Asuncion)

Iglesia de la Encarnacion, showing kids working without security equipment.

Inside Yaguaron church

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Places to visit near the Iguassu Falls

I just found this website with is full of tips if you plan to visit the Iguassu falls one of if not the biggest falls in the world.

This will show you another side of Paraguay, the border side, Ciudad del Este is the city that borders with Brazil at that point. Many people enter Paraguay thru Foz do Iguassu if they arrive from Brazil or Argentina, Asuncion is not the only point of entrance to Paraguay.

I love differently all Paraguayan cities, some have their unique personality, some are man build, some have a great nature and others are just beautiful because they exist…Ciudad del Este is a border city with many stores and malls where you can find about anything everywhere even on the streets…people speak perfectly portuguese and guarani here, of course spanish too but in Ciudad del este you will hear a mix of spanish and portuguese, guarani and portuguese and guarani and spanish…it is amazing how the touristic life and international culture blend so well together, many immigrants from Asia made Ciudad del este their home and are succeeding in the commerce industry.

We also share Itaipu, the biggest dam with Brazil, which you can visit while in Ciudad del este.

For more tips please follow the url

http://www.iguassu-misted-falls-vacation.com/places-to-visit-in-paraguay.html

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Mbatovi Eco adventure in Paraguay

A friend of mine recently went to Mbatovi and did the eco adventure circuit, she was amazed, she would definitely recommend the visit to anyone willing do some physical activity in middle of Paraguayans stunning nature.

Mbatovi is located not far from Asuncion in the Cordillera department close to Paraguari, and it is actually an Eco Reservation that is visited by many tourist through the year. The Eco-reserva Mbatoví is a protected area. It is private and preserved by its owner so as to protect the biological diversity and the natural process. It is the first Environmental Service of Paraguay.

My friend had the time of her life there, she was pushed a bit out her comfort box but was thrilled by that wonderful experience amazingly very close to the capital.

That is one thing i love about Paraguay, that as a small country you can visit diverse parts of the country within hours and each department is so unique with it own personality, it is amazing.

Mbatovi History

In 1999, the couple Jacinto Santa María and Marta González Ayala –both nature lovers, started the search for a natural space in which they could rest on the weekends. They found a place in the middle of the Cordillera de los Altos, near Paraguari, with a beautiful view of the Hills and the valley of Pirayu. They fell in love with the beauty of the landscape and richness of the biological species.

They bought the property and they decided to keep that space conserved and to share it with the people. They began doing the necessary studies and legal work needed to start the Eco-reserva Mbatovi.

In 2003, everything regarding the legal work was finished with the constitution of the protected area and the inscription of Mbatovi in the General Direction of Public Registration, as the first Environmental Service of Paraguay. The work of the reservation continued thanks to the deep passion of the owners.

Jacinto and Marta went to different Latin-American countries (Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Brazil ) to investigate ways to combine tourism with nature conservation. The Eco Reserva Mbatovi opened to the public in January 2006

ECO ADVENTURE CIRCUIT

It’s the principal attraction that the ecoreserva offers. It consists of a series of activities that are carried out in the top of trees and in some cases, above them.

After going to an explicative talk and receiving the security instructions, the adventure begins with a walk through the wavy and attractive Yvaropy path, with 1700mts long, mostly outlined following ancient paths used by the first inhabitants of the area, with some variants that allow to know beautifully and well preserved through time places, with the legends that gave this place the name “home of the dwarfs” (ybaropy).the path will surprise the visitors from time to time with the transparent creeks, charming waterfalls and beautiful views. Its journey demands a good physical condition.

After a ten minute walk, we will find the first challenge o fair suspended activities next to the canopy of the forest. a “falsa bahiana” will invite the people to prove their balance and connect their emotions, to make them go to a three-cabled bridge that will make them forget all their worries demanding total attention. Finishing this first stage, going through a hanging bridge over a defile of beauty ness, that makes the visitor calm its spirit, balance its emotions and complete the vertical ambient acclimatization.

The voyage continues with an interesting walk rich in natural attractions, such as water nascent, waterfalls, enjoying the lovely flight of the birds and butterflies that live in this place. After a little stop in the Salto Piro’y, the path takes us to the impressive natural balcony Itá Chororí.

Tirolesa.

The surprises of the Tapé Saingó are still not over. A mobile bridge goes to a Canopy platform from which you can throw yourself and “fly” 40 mts high, over the forest, rich in plants and big trees, enjoying a marvelous view and a unique sensation.

The ones who want to continue with the adventure, rappel down a 25 meter wall. For the rest, the Reserva offers delightful places to relax.

After a little break in the area of the caves, the way back is on, going upwards through a 700 mts long path. Before getting to the end of the path, there is a little stop in the terrace where you can enjoy an extraordinary view of the Mbatoví hills and de Pirayú Valleys

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Things to do in Asuncion (downtown area)

I always loved and enjoyed Asuncion’s downtown area (many people may not agree with me), I try to spend more of my days while in Asuncion in downtown, maybe it attracts me because  of its historical architecture or because of different kind of situations and movements I observed there, probably a mix of both.

In downtown you can observe very nice and new buildings next to abandoned colonial buildings, you can see how the different styles blend and also the passing of years just by looking at its architecture, old and new, antique and modern, perfection and decadency that gives Asuncion its personality and makes it a unique place with more than to see with a lot to admire.

The woman selling chipa with the basket on her head, some man having terere on the park just sitting there and playing cards (some of these men work as a currency exchangers on the street, also called (cambista), people wearing suits holding suitcases waiting on the bus stop, some kids trying to convince you to have your shoes polished, very colorful street vendors selling all kind of imaginable and non imaginable stuff, from fruits to counterfeit DVD and Gucci counterfeit bags, there are multiple colorful situations in downtown that are hard to see else where, during the day downtown is full of people, at night or on weekends it seems like a ghost town.

Here I came up with a list of things i enjoy to do in downtown Asuncion, If you enjoy something I’m missing here please feel free to add more and more so we will have a complete great list soon.

1- Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana) i has a museum inside, very interesting

2- Central Train Station (Ferrocarril, i has a nice museum and the last vapor coal train that usually makes a trip to Aregua every 2 weeks.)

3- El cabildo (the ex Parliament) it is a museum now, they have a nice Jesuits and Franciscans collection.

4- The new Parliament a multimillion dollar building for our politician, it is a very modern and new construction.

5- Palacio de Lopez (Goverment Palace) That’s my favorite construction, just a piece of art!

6- Manzana de la Rivera is a great museum with many simultaneous art exhibits, it is also used for cultural events.

7- Casa de la Independencia (House of independency) it is a small and meaningful museum

8- Iglesia de la Encarnacion (this church is just magnificent a piece of art, located in Herrera and 15 de agosto)

9- Calle Palma, Estrella and Oliva (3 main downtown streets where you can find cafes, restaurants and stores)

10- Bay part where you can see Paraguay River and Mbigua club on the other side, also the Chacarita which is a marginal neighborhood in downtown…just be careful around there.

For shopping there is a department store called  Unicentro another one is Asuncion Super Centro which is a mall with a cafe on the first floor and Mall Excellsior a bit war further way but still in the downtown area.

There are 5 very nice hotels in downtown which are Hotel Excelsior, Hotel Granados Park and Hotel Las Margaritas, all have excellent cuisine, also Hotel Guarani an icon for Paraguay, that one has a lot of history and the Crown Plaza a bit further way.

A really nice Cafe that I enjoy is Cafe Literario a cute small place on Calle Palma where you can read books, have coffee and a mixto caliente and enjoy a good chat among friends.

DO NOT MISS: Lido bar (have a Caldo de pescado, a fish soup, or an EMPANADA), Lido bar is my favorite, it is one of the oldest traditional food  places still in town. BAR SAN ROQUE, it is a very traditional restaurant, the food is price but excellent. Another good choice is NA EUSTAQUIA a Paraguayan food traditional restaurant on calle Palma very well located, there you can savoir a taste of Paraguayan typical cuisine. For a more fancy ambience you can have lunch at the YASY restaurant in recently renewed Hotel Guarani. There also have great restaurants at Las Margaritas and Granados Park Hotel.

PLEASE send me comments about what you like to do or eat while in downtown Asuncion, thanks.

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