Festivals & Events
Paraguayan-style Carnaval might not be on the same scale or as famous as Rio's, but if you are young and looking for a wild party, then you may find it a lot more fun. More bare flesh, louder music and obligatory crowd involvement all make for a mad night out. Don't forget your lanzanieves (spray snow) and a pair of sunglasses (you don't want that stuff in your eyes!), pick your place in the stands and get ready to party hard with the locals – it's surprisingly infectious!
Carnaval dates vary from year to year, but usually includes at least every weekend in February. The Sambadromo (carnival parade ground) is along Av Costanera, which is Encarnación's main strip for nightlife. Tickets (from 60,000G) can be bought in advance around the city, at the offices in front of the Sambodromo or from touts on the night at a slightly higher price. Gates open around 9pm, but the action really starts around 11pm. It's all over by 2am, when everybody piles into the local discos.
The city center is a pleasant enough place for a stroll, but there isn't much in the way of sights. Better to head for the river and hang out with the sunbathers, beer drinkers and beach-volleyball players.
As with any tourist town there are a million sleeping options to choose from in Encarnación. Book ahead during Carnaval: prices rise considerably and finding a cheaper room can be a challenge.
Encarnación has some of the best eats in Paraguay outside of Asunción, as well as an astounding number of fast-food joints. You shouldn't leave without trying a lomito árabe – a Paraguayan-style kebab invented by the expat Arab community. There is a concentration of good eating places on the Paseo Gastronómico, near the roundabout on the Costanera.
Drinking & Nightlife
Encarnación nightlife is heavily linked to the Costanera and the area around the Sambodromo. Bars, however, are ephemeral, and though most are packed during the high season, many disappear during the low season. Weekends are particularly lively. Ask around for the latest hot spot.