||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (June 2008)|
|View of the lake from San Bernardino|
|Primary outflows||Salado River|
|Max. length||14.9 mi (24.0 km)|
|Max. width||3.7 mi (6.0 km)|
|Surface area||55.9 sq mi (145 km2)|
|Average depth||10 feet (3.0 m)|
|Settlements||San Bernardino, Ypacarai & Areguá|
Ypacaraí Lake is a major waterbody located in Paraguay about 25 km east of Asunción. The lake lies in the western part of the Asunción-Sapucai-Villarrica graben, a tectonic depression of Mesozoic age, and drains to the northwest trough Salado River into Paraguay River. The lake is surrounded by three cities: Aregua, Ypacarai and San Bernardino, abeit only the last one develops at its shores. But today, is the most polluted lake Paraguay, as a result of the proliferation of toxic algae or cyanobacteria, the government has banned access to its waters.
This beautiful lake has been widely known because of the song “Memories of Ypacarai”, written by Demetrio Ortiz. This is one of the two Paraguayan main lakes. It is located 28 km (17 mi) from Asuncion, and Around this lake appealing activities take place. During Summer time, the lake is visited by local and travelers that enjoy its beaches and the great landscape.
Ypacarai Lake area is about 90 km2 (35 sq mi) and its length is 24 km (15 mi) from north to south and 6 km (3.7 mi) from east to west. The average deep of the water is about 3 metres (9.8 ft).
The lake outflows in Salado River, that goes itself in Paraguay River. And the lake receives water from various brooks, as Yagua Resau, Yuquyry, Puente Estrella y Pirayu.
The weather is mainly warm. Sunny days are frequent. Temperature might vary between 20 and 38 °C (68 and 100 °F) during summer and between 3 and 25 °C (37 and 77 °F) during winter.
In early days, this lake name was Tapycua. There are several versions that could explain the meaning of its name. Some affirm that Ypacarai means Holy Lake, because of the legend that tells that Luis de Bolaños blessed the place around 1600. Others tell that Ypacarai is a confusion of other words in Guarani, and the outcome is similar to what happened with the word kangaroo, original from Australia.
One can see this lake visiting one of the surrounding cities. From Asuncion Bus Terminal buses depart to San Bernardino and Ypacarai. To go to Aregua, one can take the bus from Avenida San Martín o Aviadores del Chaco, in Asuncion.
This is a very interesting place. For instance, there are permanent art craft exhibitions, and the antique architecture and city structure are worth seeing.
La cuenca: The Artisans Center, offers a faire where local artists show their work.
Estacion A: This is a culture center, where visitors and tourists can obtain to information.
La Casa de la Cultura: This is a historical museum, where some exhibitions are also presented. This museum opens specially during September, when an important festival takes place.
Festival del Lago: Every year, in Ypacarai city, since 1971 this festival is celebrated. This is a popular party that encourages folk expression and Paraguayan Art. This event goes on in September. One can enjoy concerts, dance and theater. According to the City Chamber, this festival “tries to rescue and reinforce the artistic heritage of Paraguayan culture”
Casa Hassler: is a cultural center, open the whole year. Artists can show their work here at no cost. Here there are permanent and temporal exhibitions. Besides, there is a History Museum, a Public Library, acting and dance lessons.
Ypacarai is a relatively shallow lake. Boats and small ships can navigate it without inconvenience. The lake is surrounded by cities with necessary facilities for tourists and visitors. Beaches are open to public, and they are very popular during summer, especially in San Bernardino.
It is located 48 km (30 mi) away from Asunción. This city has beaches, cultural centers, pubs, and interesting restaurants. San Bernardino is also called “Summer City”, since it has facilities and attractions for visitors.
It is 31 km (19 mi) from Asunción. This is a beautiful city, with a bohemian charming touch. Writers’ choice and important characters favorite place. This city also has a public beach. In Aregua one can also visit the Artisans fair, where the locals offer pottery and clay figures.
Cities that surround the lake offer great variety of gastronomic styles. There are plenty of places that offer fast food and traditional flavors. Fruit salads, pastries, chipas and empanadas are some options.
Ypacarai: 34 km (21 mi) from Asunción taking Ruta 2. Aregua: A 31 km (19 mi) from Asuncion. One can take an exit from Ruta 2 in Capiata City, or Leaving from Luque city. San Bernardino: A 48 km (30 mi) from Asunción. From Ruta 2, take the exit to the city.
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