Bordering its South American neighbours of Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil, Paraguay sits at the core of the continent. Rustic nature reserves contrast with monumental man-made dams in this country of two distinct sides.
Known as ‘La Perla del Sur’ (Pearl of the South) and the ‘Capital de Carnaval’, Encarnación is one of Paraguay’s biggest draws. Benefiting from an easily walkable city centre, you can take in main sights such as its scenic riverside promenade and beach. The country’s biggest Carnaval celebration takes place here in January and February, and the nearby Jesuit missions of Trinidad and Jesús can be found just under 30 km away.
The northwest of Paraguay is home to the wild plains of Gran Chaco, divided into the palm savannas of the Humid Chaco and the spiky forest of the Dry Chaco. It’s a superb place to spot wildlife, such as jaguars, howler monkeys and birds of prey.
Most accommodation can be found in the capital of Ascunción, with a variety of hotels, apartments and hostels. However, there’s also a number of choices available in Encarnación and the second-largest city of Ciudad del Este in the highlands of the east.