Paraguay is a little-known landlocked country, which has found itself somewhat isolated from even its neighbours in the past by geography and politics.
However, Paraguay has taken a number of steps to overcome its political, economic and geographic downfalls and is building a more welcoming image, in the face of often negative press.
Its capital, Asuncion, is a neat, compact and pretty colonial city and relatively safe by Latin American standards. Paraguayans are unerringly polite and interested in tourists, and many will happily invite a stranger to dinner – especially if conversation about football is on the menu.
Outside the capital are grassy plains and an untamed wilderness of marshes, lagoons, dense forests, jungles, national parks, Jesuit missions and the Chaco; one of South America's great wilderness areas. It is an adventuresome country, unlike any other on the continent.