Paraná River

Paraná River
Rio Paraná, Río Paraná
Paraná River seen from Zárate, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
Map of the Rio de la Plata Basin showing the Paraná River and its major tributaries
CountryArgentina, Brazil, Paraguay
RegionSouth America
Physical characteristics
SourceParanaíba River
 ⁃ locationRio Paranaíba, Minas Gerais, Brazil
 ⁃ coordinates19°13′21″S 46°10′28″W / 19°13′21″S 46°10′28″W / -19.22250; -46.17444[1]
 ⁃ elevation1,148 m (3,766 ft)
2nd sourceRio Grande
 ⁃ locationBocaina de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil
 ⁃ coordinates22°9′56″S 44°23′38″W / 22°9′56″S 44°23′38″W / -22.16556; -44.39389
Source confluenceParanaíba and Grande
 ⁃ coordinates20°5′12″S 51°0′2″W / 20°5′12″S 51°0′2″W / -20.08667; -51.00056
MouthRio de la Plata
 ⁃ location
Atlantic Ocean, Argentina, Uruguay
 ⁃ coordinates
34°0′5″S 58°23′37″W / 34°0′5″S 58°23′37″W / -34.00139; -58.3936165,000 m3/s (2,300,000 cu ft/s)

The Paraná River (Spanish: Río Paraná Spanish pronunciation: [ˈri.o paɾaˈna] (About this soundlisten), Portuguese: Rio Paraná, Guarani: Ysyry Parana) is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina for some 4,880 kilometres (3,030 mi).[3] It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers. The name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language and means "like the sea" (that is, "as big as the sea").[citation needed] It merges first with the Paraguay River and then farther downstream with the Uruguay River to form the Río de la Plata and empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

The first European to go up the Paraná River was the Venetian explorer Sebastian Cabot, in 1526, while working for Spain.


The course is formed at the confluence of the Paranaiba and Rio Grande rivers in southern Brazil. From the confluence the river flows in a generally southwestern direction for about 619 km (385 mi) before encountering the city of Saltos del Guaira, Paraguay. This was once the location of the Guaíra Falls (Sete Quedas waterfalls, where the Paraná fell over a series of seven cascades. This natural feature was said to rival the world-famous Iguazu Falls to the south. The falls were flooded, however, by the construction of the Itaipu Dam, which began operating in 1984.

For approximately the next 200 km (120 mi) the Paraná flows southward and forms a natural boundary between Paraguay and Brazil until the confluence with the Iguazu River. Shortly upstream from this confluence, however, the river is dammed by the Itaipu Dam, the second largest hydroelectric power plant in the world (following the Three Gorges Dam in the People's Republic of China), and creating a massive, shallow reservoir behind it.

After merging with the Iguazu, the Paraná then becomes the natural border between Paraguay and Argentina. Overlooking the Paraná River from Encarnación, Paraguay, across the river, is downtown Posadas, Argentina. The river continues its general southward course for about 468 km (291 mi) before making a gradual turn to the west for another 820 km (510 mi), and then encounters the Paraguay River, the largest tributary along the course of the river. Before this confluence the river passes through a second major hydroelectric project, the Yaciretá Dam, a joint project between Paraguay and Argentina. The massive reservoir formed by the project has been the source of a number of problems for people living along the river, most notably the poorer merchants and residents in the low-lying areas of Encarnación, a major city on the southern border of Paraguay. River levels rose dramatically upon completion of the dam, flooding out large sections of the city's lower areas.

From the confluence with the Paraguay River, the Paraná again turns to the south for another approximately 820 km (510 mi) through Argentina, making a slow turn back to the east near the city of Rosario for the final stretch of less than 500 km (310 mi) before merging with the Uruguay River to form the Río de la Plata. This flows into the Atlantic Ocean. During the part of its course downstream from the city of Diamante, Entre Ríos, it splits into several arms and it forms the Paraná Delta.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Río Paraná
العربية: نهر بارانا
asturianu: Ríu Paraná
Avañe'ẽ: Ysyry Parana
azərbaycanca: Parana çayı
تۆرکجه: پارانا چایی
Bân-lâm-gú: Paraná Hô
башҡортса: Парана
беларуская: Парана (рака)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Парана (рака)
भोजपुरी: पराना नदी
български: Парана
brezhoneg: Paraná (stêr)
català: Riu Paraná
čeština: Paraná (řeka)
Cymraeg: Afon Paraná
dansk: Paraná
Deutsch: Río Paraná
español: Río Paraná
Esperanto: Parano
euskara: Paraná
français: Rio Paraná
galego: Río Paraná
한국어: 파라나강
հայերեն: Պարանա (գետ)
हिन्दी: पराना नदी
Bahasa Indonesia: Sungai Paraná
íslenska: Paraná-fljót
italiano: Paraná (fiume)
עברית: פרנה (נהר)
қазақша: Парана
Kiswahili: Parana (mto)
latviešu: Parana (upe)
lietuvių: Parana
lumbaart: Paranà (fiüm)
македонски: Парана (река)
മലയാളം: പരാന നദി
Bahasa Melayu: Sungai Paraná
Nederlands: Paraná (rivier)
日本語: パラナ川
norsk: Paraná
norsk nynorsk: Elva Paraná
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Parana
português: Rio Paraná
русский: Парана
Simple English: Paraná River
slovenčina: Paraná (rieka)
slovenščina: Parana
српски / srpski: Парана (река)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Paraná (rijeka)
svenska: Paranáfloden
தமிழ்: பரனா ஆறு
తెలుగు: పరనా నది
Türkçe: Paraná Nehri
українська: Парана (річка)
Tiếng Việt: Sông Paraná
Winaray: Salog Paraná
粵語: 巴拉那河
中文: 巴拉那河