The Parana River

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The 25 Longest Rivers in the World
The River as a Lifeline
The River as a Boundary
Geography links

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The Parana is the 14th-longest river in the world, flowing 2,485 miles across southeastern South America. It begins at the junction of the Paranaiba and the Rio Grande rivers, flows southwest to the Paraguay River, then south and east through Argentina to the Uruguay River and the Rio de la Plata.

The river has the second largest drainage system on the continent. Flooding is common on the southern Parana, which also many waterfalls and a large dam built in the 1980s. Oceangoing ships can travel partway up the river, but most of the water traffic is commercial point-to-point. Cruises do steam up and down the river, too.

The first European to go up the Parana River was the Englishman Sebastian Cabot, in 1526, while sailing for Spain.

The Parana River delta is also considered one of the world's greatest bird-watching destinations.



 Facts About the Parana River


2,485 miles


Junction of Paranaiba and Rio Grande Rivers


Rio de la Plata

Countries Flows Through

Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay

Major Cities Flows By/Through

Parana, Rosario, Buenos Aires

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David White