A really curious and unknown place for most tourists … and even for the inhabitants of the country. The so-called Ojo de Mar draws attention already with its name because in Paraguay there are no seas. .. but rivers and other mirrors of fresh water. Why has he been baptized this way? Find out in the following article!
A lake named after the sea
In the town of Bella Vista we can find, as in almost all of Paraguay, a large number of rivers, lakes and streams…. One of the most impressive is the so-called Ojo de Mar, a beautiful lagoon very close to the Abismo de Mar (another lake), the hills of the Amambay mountain range, the Estrella and Negla streams and the Apa river.
About 50 kilometers from the border with Brazil (where the twin cities Bella Vista and Bela Vista coexist), we can find this calcareous lake, which is within the property of Colonia Rinconada. To get to Ojo de Mar you must cross a jungle path where it is better not to rain … or you may stay halfway.
The lake is “hidden” among the dense subtropical vegetation and you will feel like an Indiana Jones or Jhon Rolfe, the prince of Pocahontas . As far as geographical location and maps are concerned (leaving aside the fantastic allegories) we must say that to get there you have to take the detour from Route 5 and do 77 kilometers along a road while enjoying the beautiful panoramic landscapes that the hills offer us. well green.
Knowing the Ojo de Mar
Scientific explanations will be forgotten as soon as you set foot in that place because its beauty will amaze you. But, as they say “nobility obliges” and we will talk a little about the characteristics of this beautiful lake named after the sea.
According to research, it was formed more than 250 million years ago after a geological fault. Here live a great variety of fish and even the wild white crocodile (called yacaré morotí), you may not see it “live and direct”, but it is worth knowing that it inhabits these latitudes.
The lake is full of legends, stories, and beliefs. For example, it is said that those who tried to get through it were “swallowed” by a strange and very powerful force.
Legends aside, you should know that the depth of this greenish water mirror can reach 100 meters and that its dimensions can also reach 100 meters wide at the time of year when there is more rain and its flow increases.
El Ojo de Mar is a perfect place for those who love adventure, nature and safaris. In one day you can take hundreds of photos while paying attention not to meet one of those huge crocodiles or any other unfriendly animal.
Bella Vista, between aborigines and religious missions
Once the walk around the lake is over, we recommend that you visit the surroundings to learn more about the history of man in this fascinating site. Although the Guaraní tribes lived here for centuries, many of the constructions that we can see today date from the time of the arrival of the white man in the area.
Of Spanish possession, the old territory of Jerez was of transit between Asunción (the capital of Paraguay) and the Jesuit and Franciscan missions to the north. The trips were made mainly by river or by land, following the aboriginal trails. This is how the first “ranches” were built to rest from the high temperatures and humidity.
The forts that protected the colonial settlements of the Mbayas were spread over what is now Bella Vista, in the vicinity of the Apa River. The most important was at the top of a hill and in a walk we can find its remains, as well as the houses that were settled under its protection.