Explore The Litoral and the Gran Chaco
Lying 30km southeast of Santa Fe, and linked to it by the Túnel Subfluvial Uranga-Sylvestre Begnis, better known as “Hernandarias”, PARANÁ is far more appealing than its cross-river neighbour. Favoured by a gentle hilly terrain and a handsome, pedestrian-friendly riverfront area, the city is a pleasant place to chill out for a day or two. In addition to some fine sandy beaches, it has a particularly attractive park, the Parque Urquiza, whose shady walkways and thick vegetation provide welcome respite in the summer. Paraná’s most famous landmark is its imposing, heavily Neoclassical cathedral, which dominates the city’s main square. On another fine square, the Plaza Alvear, the Museo Histórico Martiniano Leguizamón has a well-presented section on the history of the region and a more than usually interesting collection of criollo silverwork. Sadly, the city’s best museum, which showcased a comprehensive collection of mate paraphernalia, has closed down, though the collection remains in the city and may re-emerge at some point, so it’s worth checking with the tourist office for an update.
Like Rosario, Paraná lacks a true foundation date: the area was simply settled by inhabitants from Santa Fe, who regarded the higher ground of the eastern banks of the Paraná as providing better protection from Indian attack. The city was declared provincial capital in 1822 and leapt to prominence as capital of General Urquiza’s short-lived Confederación Argentina between 1854 and 1861, when the city’s major public buildings were constructed. Like most of Argentina, Paraná had its most significant period of growth in the late nineteenth century when the city received thousands of European immigrants. Today, Paraná’s population of around 250,000 makes it the largest city in Entre Ríos Province.Read More