The Best Budget Hostels and Hotels in Encarnacion, Paraguay
Lotus Hostel | Courtesy of Lotus Hostel
Home to the best preserved Jesuit missions on the continent, the riverside Paraguayan city of Encarnacion is a must for travelers keen to learn more about the history of this ancient devout sect. Yet despite these incredible sites, the town is seldom visited by international travelers, meaning tourism infrastructure is scarce. Nevertheless, there are a number of quality budget lodgings around.
Hostel Travel Encarnacion
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Hostel Travel | Courtesy of Hostel Travel
In an upmarket area over the bridge on the other end of town lies the rather unoriginally named Hostel Travel. Perhaps due to its relatively large distance from the city center, the hostel is much more popular with Paraguayans than foreigners. Nevertheless, the staff are super friendly, the rooms are bright and cheerful, and it’s got an awesome backyard patio where regular evening barbeques and beer drinking sessions take place. Highly recommended for those looking to mingle with locals, particularly during the busier summer months.
For a sociable place to stay with a good chance of meeting other backpackers, check into the lively Colonial Hostel and Camping grounds. Travelers with their own tent will pay just a pittance, while the indoor dorm rooms are well adorned and reasonably priced. Best of all, it’s only two blocks from Playa San Jose, Encarnacion‘s favorite summertime hangout.
Named after the incredible beaches of Hawaii, the team at Maui Waui have done a superb job of recreating that blissful tropical vibe. Each dormitory is spacious and colorfully decorated, while the friendly live-in staff do their best to make guests feel at home. As you would expect from an ocean themed hostel, the beach is only a few minutes walk away.
Budget travelers thinking of splashing out on an actual hotel would do well to stay at Hotel Puesta del Sol, a stylish three-star option that goes for around US$50 per double. Just a few blocks from the beach, it features tastefully decorated rooms and quality amenities that are far superior to the other options on this list. Traveling in a big group? Their three-bedroom apartment works out to be great value for money.
For a friendly family run hostel, book into this quaint little number on the eastern edge of the city center. The building boasts pleasant street-facing balconies and is relatively well maintained, although the real highlight is the charming and personable host family. Run by a sweet old Paraguayan lady and her English speaking daughter, the pair are adept at making travelers feel at home despite being on the other side of the world. The free daily breakfast buffet is pretty good too.
Set in the same building as the popular but now permanently closed Kerana Hostel, the new management of St. Mallorquin Hostel are clearly targeting a more local clientele as much of the former lodging’s backpacker vibe has long been painted over. Expect a relatively civilized type of accommodation complete with spotlessly clean rooms, reasonable rates, and minimal atmosphere.
Right across the road from St. Mallorquin Hostel, the rooms in this locally run joint are a little cramped, to say the least (hope you like triple-decker bunks wedged in side by side). Having said that, it’s a relaxed and authentically Paraguayan kind of place with the added bonus of having a swimming pool to escape the oppressive summer heat. Private rooms only.