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Farms give way to rolling grasslands as you approach Villa Florida, the grazing grounds of white Nelore cattle. Cowboys in wide-brim hats tend the herds on horses saddled in sheepskin, while goats stealthily graze in hibiscus- and bougainvillea-filled gardens outside tiny, rustic cottages along the Río Tebicuary. The river, which once marked the western border of the Jesuit mission area,
now has several popular beaches; anglers know it well as a prime spot for catching dorado and surubí. The town is not particularly pretty, but there is a good selection of hotels and restaurants, and sunsets over the water are magnificent.
Quintessential border town Ciudad del Este mixes a bit of sleaze with a lot of shopping (and, reputedly, an equal amount of smuggling). Expect...