the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70), Paraguay
of all adult males and much of its territory. It stagnated economically
for the next half century. In the Chaco War of 1932-35, large,
economically important areas were won from Bolivia. The 35-year
military dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner was overthrown
in 1989, and, despite a marked increase in political infighting
years, relatively free and regular presidential elections have
been held since then.
||Central South America, northeast of Argentina
to temperate; substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, becoming
semiarid in the far west
||Argentina 1,880 km, Bolivia 750 km, Brazil 1,290 km
is a landlocked country surrounded by Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil,
lying some 1440km (900 miles) up the River Paraná from the
Atlantic. The River Paraguya, a tributary of the Paraná,
divides the country in two widely differing regions. The east,
where the Paraná forms a natural border with Brazil, has
rolling hills, fertile plains, grasslands and heavily wooded areas.
Asunción, the capital, is situated on the Bay of Asunción,
an inlet off the Paraguay River in a former estate of the Lopez
family on the Paraguay River. Paraguay’s university is in
San Lorenzo, founded in 1775. A popular tourist itinerary is the ‘Central
Circuit’, a route of some 200km (125 miles) that takes in
some of the country’s most interesting sites, including the
famous Iguazú and Monday waterfalls located near Paraguay’s
fastest developing town, Ciudad del Este on the Brazilian border.
In the west, the scarcely populated Chaco area, consisting mainly
of empty plains and forests, provides a habitat for hundreds of
wildlife and bird species. After the Amazon, this is America’s
second largest forest area, whose national parts and biological
reserves are popular among enthusiasts of ecotourism.