Although landlocked, Paraguay is bordered and criss-crossed by navigable rivers. The Río Paraguay divides the country into strikingly different eastern and western regions. Both the eastern region--officially called Eastern Paraguay (Paraguay Oriental) and known as the Paraneña region--and the western region--officially Western Paraguay (Paraguay Occidental) and known as the Chaco-- gently slope toward and are drained into the Río Paraguay, which thus not only separates the two regions but unifies them. With the Paraneña region reaching southward and the Chaco extending to the north, Paraguay straddles the Tropic of Capricorn and experiences both subtropical and tropical climates.
Paraguay is bounded by three substantially larger countries: Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil. The northwestern boundary with Bolivia, extending through the low hills of the Chaco region, was set in 1938. The boundary between the Chaco and Brazil was defined in 1927; it continues from the confluence of the Río Apa and Río Paraguay northward along the course of the Río Paraguay to the border with Bolivia. The northern border of the Paraneña region, set in 1872, follows the course of the Río Paraná, the ridges of the mountains in the northeast region, and finally the course of the Río Apa until it empties into the Río Paraguay. Paraguay's southern border with Argentina is formed by the Río Pilcomayo, Río Paraguay, and Río Paraná. These boundaries were agreed to in 1876.
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