- Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Itaipu Dam is the largest operating hydroelectric dam in the world. It's located on the Parana river that borders Brazil and Paraguay. Work began on the dam in 1971 and was completed in1984, costing $19.6 billion. In 1994 the American Society of Civil Engineers declared Itaipu Dam to be one of the seven modern wonders of the world.
The dam can be viewed from either Brazil or Paraguay. We chose to see the dam from the Paraguay side as it was the perfect opportunity to sample a tiny portion of a new--country, even if it was for a few hours only. To get to the dam, one must pass through Paraguay's border town Ciudad Del Este, a town even the Brazilians and Argentinians use for their daily shopping, since goods are much cheaper than in their own cities.
On reaching the dam, you are put into a group. The tours takes place regularly throughout the day and last for a few hours. One of the benefits of taking a tour from the Paraguay side is that the tour is free. The Brazilians charge, but their tours are more intensive. The dam provides 90% of the electricity consumed by Paraguay and 19% of the electricity consumed by the Brazilians.