The Top 10 Things to See and Do in Encarnacion, Paraguay

Encarnacion Carnaval | © Jost Riedel/Wikipedia
Encarnacion Carnaval | © Jost Riedel/Wikipedia
Perched on the Parana River in the seldom explored country of Paraguay, Encarnacion is most famous for its immaculately preserved Jesuit ruins. And while these ancient wonders are entirely worthwhile, there are a number of exciting other attractions on offer to keep travelers amused as well. Here are the top 10.

Trinidad Jesuit Ruins

One of two great Jesuit sites in the region, the Trinidad ruins are among the most popular and easily accessible in the country. Upon construction in the 17th-century, they served as an entirely self-sufficient community for Christians to practice their faith in isolation.

Trinidad © Niels Mickers/Flickr

Jesuit Mission of Jesús de Tavarangüe

A little further down the road lie the similar Jesuit ruins of Jesús de Tavarangüe. Much like Trinidad, the site has been immaculately preserved which earned it a UNESCO World Heritage designation in 1993. Both sites can be visited under the one ticket which costs just 25,000 PYG (US$4.40).

The Encarnacion-Posadas Tram

Travelers making their way to Argentina or those just curious to check out Posadas for a half day should jump on the international tram line. As it makes its way across the bridge, the tram offers excellent views of both cities and is infinitely more interesting than the bus.

International tram © Ezequiel12096/Wikipedia

La Costanera

For a pleasant late afternoon stroll, make your way to Encarnacion’s riverfront coastline. This long leafy boulevard has plenty of modern walking trails and is particularly popular with locals in the evening during the summer months.

San Jose Beach

Believe it or not, there’s a golden sand beach right in the middle of the costanera. Known as San Jose, it fills up with families on late summer afternoons as the harsh temperatures set in. Expect to find plenty of fast food hawkers and a string of lively bars along the edge of the sand.

Playa San Jose © Rodney Damián/Wikipedia

Plaza de Armas

Every South American city has its main plaza, and while Encarnacion’s centerpiece may not be the most impressive on the continent, it is still a worthwhile spot to relax for a minute or two. Be sure to check out its Japanese gardens.

Parroquia Catedral Nuestra Senora

As the biggest church in town, Parroquia Catedral Nuestra Senora is actually surprisingly small. Nevertheless, it’s a charming construction which values simplicity over the ornate.

Parque Acuatico Y Ecologico El Dorado

Happen to be visiting during summer? Then beat the heat by paying a visit to this child-friendly water park. Its respectable collection of water slides and natural water pools are a godsend on a scorching day.

Civic Center Sambadrome

If there happens to be a parade on during your visit, especially the city’s crazy carnival, then the Sambadrome is obviously going to be the most exciting place to be.

Encarnacion Carnaval © Jost Riedel/Wikipedia

Casino Carnaval

Gamblers on a roll would be sure to enjoy the city’s main casino, complete with a solid selection of table games and plenty of tempting slots.