The Costanera in Asuncion runs along the shorelines of the bay. In between the water and the city it offers views of both.
It is one of the newest additions to the Asuncion cityscape. The first section was opened to the public with further stretches being added since then.
Officially the Costanera is the Avenida Jose Asuncion Flores. It though is never referred to by that title.
It is a smart modern boulevard that sweeps gracefully along the shores of the bay, In addition there is a new two lane road way which after following the bay continues onto Luque and the international airport.
With the completion of the Costanera road way as far as Luque the trip to and from the airport has become much smoother and far quicker. Previously a drive to the airport required threading your way through the busy streets of central Asuncion.
This has now been superseded by a smooth sweeping journey along the Costanera. Now anyone arriving into Paraguay is treated to a view out across the bay and onto the River Paraguay on one side and the modern buildings of central Asuncion on the other.
This roadway is an important addition to the local transport network but it is the boulevard that is the center piece of the Costanera.
Now completed this begins next to the old Port of Asuncion. From there is hugs the shoreline offering fine inland views of both the Presidential Palace and Congress along its length.
Out into the bay the view is of small craft making their way on the smooth sheltered waters of the bay and larger vessels passing the entrance to the bay on the main river channel.
Halfway along the walkway branches in two. One arm heads straight into the center of the city whilst the other continues to hug the shoreline.
At the bottom end of the bay, as far as the waters get from the river, a beach has been constructed. This is made of fine white sand sloping gently down to the waters edge. Upon the beach stand a number of thatched sunshades of a kind more usually found on a tropical beach.
In the heat of summer this beach is a popular hang out for the residents of Asuncion. There they can relax on a soft sandy beach away from the stresses of the city.
As such at weekends from December to February the beach can be a very crowded place. However during the week and outside the summer months it is a very peaceful place. An oasis of calm just a short walk from the city center.
Walking is one of the principal uses to which the Costanera is put. Along with jogging. It is wide and clean and the open waterside setting keeps it clean of the pollution traffic brings to the congested city streets.
It is also a safe place for children. The pavements are wide so traffic is keep a distance from pedestrians. Also the lack of building or other obstacles allow for clear views in all directions. Furthermore a high railing runs waterside along its length stopping anyone from tumbling by accident down into the water.
This is a popular exercise spot for everyone in central Asuncion. As well as the walkers and the runners cyclists make use of the clear lines of the roadway.
And for tourists also. The views across the bay and onto the river are unimpeded and some of the best views of the historic city center are available along its length. The view is the face the city would have shown to its visitors in days gone by when most arrived by boat.
With all its pluses though the Costanera does have one drawback. Being as open as it is there is a distinct lack of shade on offer. Even above the many benches that have been placed along it to sit upon and take in the views.
Therefore in high summer with the sun blazing overhead it may not be the best place for an afternoon stroll. In the morning or early evening as the sun starts to descend might be better times for that riverside promenade.
Time though should be taken to visit. A pleasant stroll along the waters edge has much to recommend it.