Nestled on the eastern banks of the mighty Parana River, this bustling port city attracts more traders than travelers. Nevertheless, for tourists determined to get off the gringo trail, Parana offers a fascinating insight into an aspect of Argentine life rarely seen by the international crowd. Here’s what to see and do in town.
Travelers who make it to Parana are almost certainly coming to or from Santa Fe. And what better way to get between the two than on the country’s longest underground tunnel? Built back in 1969, its construction was an awe-inspiring feat of engineering at the time.
Straddling the Parana River, this expansive park is a superb spot to relax at and people watch on a warm day. Expect to come across plenty of lush vegetation as you stroll along its numerous trails which pass restaurants, sports clubs, and a bustling skate park.
Corazón del Parque Urquiza, Parana, Entre Rios, Argentina
This surprisingly attractive stretch of sand is a fun place to hang out at on a hot summer’s day as hordes of locals descend here to swim, sunbathe, or play a spot of beach volleyball. Numerous beachfront restaurants provide punters with deliciously fresh barbequed fish.
Playa Del Thompson, Parana, Entre Rios, Argentina
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Although perhaps not as impressive as the fine arts museum in neighboring Santa Fe, Parana’s Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes is still a worthy attraction for the art lovers among us. This stunning pink colonial building overlooking the leafy Plaza Alvear hosts a substantial collection of contemporary pieces from provincial artists.
Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Dr. Pedro E. Martinez, Buenos Aires 355, Paraná, Entre Ríos, Argentina+54 343 420-7868
As the city’s most important Catholic church, the twin steeples of the Catedral de Parana that tower over the main square are a much loved local landmark. The interior isn’t that impressive, so most travelers prefer to admire the structure from the plaza.
To the southeast of the cathedral lies Parana’s second most important church, the beautiful yet straightforward Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. It overlooks the pleasant Plaza Sáenz Peña which is often full of locals walking their dogs or battling away at an outdoor gym.
Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, Enrique Carbó 461, Paraná, Entre Ríos, Argentina +54 343 431-2741
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About an hour south of town lies Parque Nacional Pre-Delta, one of the region’s most pristine nature reserves. With several trails winding their way past lagoons and through birdlife rich vegetation, it’s an idyllic spot to walk, run, or cycle. Keep an eye out for the enormous waterlilies.
Parque Nacional Pre Delta, Acceso Parque Nacional Pre-Delta, Entre Ríos, Argentina +54 343 498-3535
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