Paraguay supports more than 650 species of birds -- about as many as all of North America. A surprising variety of unspoiled terrain for bird-watchers, hunters anglers and nature lovers.

In recent years, this small, landlocked country has opened up to the outside world. It has adopted democracy and free trade. It's friendly and relatively safe. Still, it's not often given serious consideration by travelers planning South American itineraries. Perhaps that's because its attractions aren't as dramatic as those of its neighbors. What it does have is a surprising variety of unspoiled terrain for bird-watchers, hunters, anglers and nature lovers -- ranging from savanna and marshland to subtropical farms, ranches and rain forest. Its stark, sparsely settled Chaco region, where most of the country's indigenous Guarani Indians reside, offers good opportunities for trekking. These days, you can have these more subtle pleasures nearly all to yourself.

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