Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, Paraguay is divided through the Paraguay River into two
different natural regions, East and West Paraguay.
Eastern Paraguay is the smaller part and is a
continuation to the south of the Brazilian highlands. There
are several smaller mountain routes such as the Amambay
Mountains and the Mbaracayú Mountains. At the far east, in
the north-south direction, the upper valley of the Paraná
River descends and inside is the Paraná Plateau. West of the
altitude area of eastern Paraguay, the broad river valley
of the Paraguay River is spreading with large swamps.
Western Paraguay is part of Gran Chaco which
continues both into Argentina in the south and Bolivia in
the north. It is a hot plain and, farthest to the west, a
plateau region without any major terrain forms. It covers
two thirds of the entire country and is called Chaco Boreal.
Pilcomayo, the largest river in this region, flows into the
Paraguay River before it in turn joins the main river
Paraná. Together with the Monkey River in the north, these
rivers form four-fifths of the country's borders.
A deep weathering soil covers most of the bedrock, which
is largely sandstone. Fertile soil from weathered basalt
also occurs mainly in the east, as does sand and clay
transported down from Bolivia's highlands.
In Western Paraguay, the climate is tropical with
temperatures between 40 °C in summer (October – March) and
20 °C in winter. In eastern Paraguay, the climate is
subtropical with temperatures of 25 °C in summer and 10 °C
in winter. However, frost occurs, mainly on the Paraná
plateau. The rainfall varies between 1,700 mm per year in
the south-east and 600 mm in the far west, with a maximum in
In eastern Paraguay there are grassy plains but also
dense mixed forests with deciduous and evergreen trees, eg.
genera Anno'na, hollies, Jacara'nda and
Albi'zzia. The lowland plain along the Paraguay
River is sometimes flooded, but this area is also largely
Partly marshy, grassy plain with shrub vegetation and
gallery forests along the rivers spread from the Paraguay
River west towards the Andean slopes. In this plain is the
known quebra tree. One of the most well-known tree species
would otherwise be the holly species whose dried leaves are
used for herbal tea mate.
There are about 150 species of mammals in Paraguay. In
the Chaco area there are ten species of belts as well as
jaguars, giant ant cape, male wolf and the
late-discovered chacopekari (Catagoʹnus wagneʹri)
discovered in 1975. Capable and marshmallows occur
in more humid areas.
Bird life is rich in Chaco's lush parts, with ibis,
egrets, toucans and parrots, and here are also South
American lungfish. In drier parts of Chaco, the ostrich bird
is common nandu.
The eastern, more wooded parts of Paraguay have a fauna
that shows great similarities to those of southern Brazil.
Here you will find lowland tapestries, jaguars and five
species of monkeys, i.a. nattapa. At the far north-east,
towards Pantanal in Brazil, wildlife is rich. Among the
reptiles here are the glasses cage and anaconda.
In 2010, Paraguay had 16 national parks, of which the two
largest were Defensores del Chaco (7,800 km2) and
Médanos del Chaco (5 142 km2). Together with some
nature reserves, about 4% of the country's area enjoyed