Great Rock art of South America: Ita Letra, Villarrica, Paraguay


on the road to villarica

 On the road to Ita Letra, in the Ybyturuzu hills,  state of Guairá, Paraguay.

About 4 hours ride from Paraguay's Capital Asuncion, on an all terrain vehicle, crossing bridges, mud roads, and a stunning scenery we get to "Ita Letra".

rock wall

This natural rock shelter is home to Paraguay's most famous and accessible rock art. An aura of mystery prevails in this rock formation.

Overall the state of  Guairá has fewer rock art that the state of Amambay,

but the vicinity to Paraguay's Capital, has made it easier to get to.

rock wall paraguay

This giant rock formation, in the middle of nowhere, has an overhang, that has given shelter to man for thousands of years.

rock art ita letra paraguay villarrica

The panel near the surface is home to the most recent rock art, from around 2,500 years ago.  They are lines and abstract symbols.

vandalism rock art

Ita Letra has been a focal point of the theory of "viking inscriptions" in Paraguay.

The viking theory is popular among the locals, but it has been disproven by the rock experts from Altamira, Spain.

rock art paraguay vandalized

Being easy to get to, has made it easier for vandals to leave their mark on top of the rock art.

cave paraguay

Deeper into a cool cave, there is still ancient symbols that are not as widely know.

This rock art is more protected and older, including paw prints, female fertility symbols and constellations.

animal paw print rock art

The symbols inside the cave, such as this paw prints are believed to be older than the ones from the surface,  around 5,000 years old,  and similar to the ones found in the Amambay hills.

rock art guarani

The similarities between the rock art of Ita letra and the ones from Amambay hills might have a stronger connection.

There is a story about "Tapé Avirú", a supposedly ancient road  connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, with stops along natural shelters along the way, connecting this site to the ones from Amambay.

Night started to fall, we pack our bags, and hit the road. Continuing our journey of exploration of rock art sites of Paraguay.

 We ride back in dark dirt roads, on the horizon, the faint glow of a city. Maybe even along the same roads they call Tapé Avirú.

south america nightsky stars