National Parks in the Chaco, Paraguay

National Parks in the Chaco, Paraguay

The great American Chaco is a plain of about 1.000.000 km2. It covers parts of Bolivia , Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.

It is a region with its own characteristics, which has very particular types of animals and plants. The Great South American Chaco is a plain and its formation, millions of years ago, is very closely related to the formation of the Andes and the erosive process afterwards. Originally the Chaco was a hole, which within time, was filled with sediments of aerial origin ( through the wind action) and of pluvial nature ( through the rivers taking and depositing sediments along the Chaco).


The Paraguayan Chaco

Great Impact on the Paraguayan Chaco

Tanine industry for the exploitation of the Red Quebracho in Paraguay ( end of the XIX and middle of the XX ) Settlement of the mennonites colonies, from the 1920s, in the Central Chaco

  • The Chaco War(Paraguay-Bolivia) (1932–1935).
  • The petrol prospects
  • Construction and pavement of roads, specially the Road IX
  • “Carlos Antonio López” or “Transchaco”, the extension Pozo Colorado – Puerto Militar, and the bioceanic corridors.
  • Construction of bridges over the Paraguay River: puentes sobre : Puente Remanso (Asunción-Villa Hayes) and the bridge Nanawa (Concepción-Puerto Militar).
  • The experimental agro stations

Protected Areas: Nacional Parks and Natural Reservations


National Park “Defensores del Chaco”

It is the protected area of biggest extension in Paraguay. It has 720.00 ha. It was created with the decree number 16.806 on August 6, 1975.

The region has a vast plain with vegetable coverage formed by white quebracho, palo santo, samuù, low forests, thorn bushes, and various species of cactus. It is an excellent area for the big mammals such as felines (yaguareté, puma, tirika, yaguarundí), various species of armadillos, monkeys (Ka’i mirikina y Ka’i pyhare), tagua y tapir o mboreví.

A characteristic resulting from this is the presence of the strong Cerro Leon, a unique geological formation in the Chaco. It covers around 40 km of diameter and it is made of a succession of hills. The way to get there is through a 177 km road from Mcal Estigarribia to Gral P Colman, and from there a road to Lagerenza (north) and to Cerro Leon and Madrejon

Natural Reservation Cerro Cabrera – Timané

Created in 1998, today has 125.823ha. The River Timane is located in the zone and it`is considered a special river because it does not end up in any water course or lagoon. The Cerro Cabrera is in the border with Bolivia. The vegetation there is mainly a dense sabana and open forests. There are a lot of white quebracho , samuù and palo santo. Animals: wild felines, armadillos, oso hormiguero and tapir.

National Park Río Negro

Created in 1998 with an original surface of 30.000 ha, was enlarged in 2004 to 123.789 ha. It protects typical ecosystems of Pantanal and the Wet Chaco. There are a lot of areas that are easy to be flooded and palm trees of Karanda`y. It was declared Site Ramsar in 1995 by the Wet Convention of International Importance, because it was considered an habitat of migration birds as well as other species, both animal and vegetation of Wet areas. Animals: yaguarete, wild parrots, deer from the pantanal, lobope and yacares. It does not have a plan yet, nor a tourism structure. The way to get there is through the Road Lagerenza-Bahia Negra, or through the P.N. Defensores del Chaco.

Natural Monument Chovoreca

It was created in 1998 with a surface of 100.953 ha. Its vegetation is different from the rest of the Chaco and it can be said to be unique in the country. It shows a reddish sand soil , which is characteristic of the Oriental Region, and very shallow. Its beauty is unique and difficult to value, for its bushes as well as for the high forest where you can find a very rare species of forest, in danger of disappearance: the trebol (Amburana cearensis). Special animals: yurumí u oso hormiguero, el Kaguaré, and other species of felines and armadillos.

National Park Teniente Agripino Enciso

It was created in 1980 with 40.000 ha. Its size and shape is practically rectangular, and it makes it easier to protect from the biological diversity . It has typical landscapes of the Dry Chaco. Due to the lack of water, its vegetation is characterized by the dense forest, thorns and almost impenetrable. Its typical trees are : white quebracho , the palo santo and the samu’u. Animals: great quantity of wild mammals such as felines yaguarte and others, the three precaires (the tagua is the symbol of the area). Tte. Enciso, also has trenches and ways from the Chaco War time, which can be visited with the park guards who are specially trained to wait on tourists.

National Parks Médanos del Chaco

It has 514.233 ha. It is included in the Project of Wild Paraguay of the SEAM, which has the support of GEF and PNUD. What calls the attention in this national park is the meads with its specific vegetation and the guanacos. The park guards have its base of operations in the administrative site of P.N. Tte Enciso

Nacional Park Tinfunqué

It was created in 1996 as national park of 280.00ha. Today it is recommended a change of category to reservation of handle resources, because all of its territory is in private hands and the category of national park only can be used in wild areas which are protected and are public. The Tinfunque was declared Site Ramsar and therefore is on the list of the Wet areas of international importance. It occupies a sector which remains flooded in times of high waters of the Pilcomayo River and it has large natural plantation of grass.

There are many bushes adapted to the floods and animals too, such as the ñandy,wild ducks, storks, chaja, aguara guazu, oso hormiguero, carpincho and yacares. Its conservation depends only on the wild life and cattle, and they can be together in the same space. It is very common to see the ñandy and the carpinchos sharing the water with cattle. The way to get there is through the Transchaco road, 180 km, then Pozo Colorado, a detour to the west, to Gral Diaz.


  • Dirección de Áreas Silvestres Protegidas DAP/SEAM.
  • Proyecto Paraguay Silvestre / PAR/98/G33/SEAM.
  • Gobernación Departamento Central.

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