El Carnaval Encarnaceno

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Carnival Encarnacion

Encarnación (map) is the most southern city, 375 kilometers from *Asuncion, of Paraguay and often called The pearl of the South.

Move over Rio! There is another carnival in town! Paraguayans have their own glitzy and colourful carnival celebrations that are said by some to be more fun than Rio! Generally, the carnival takes place over five spectacular nights on the weekends between January and February.

The nearby Jesuit Missions of La Santisima Trinidad de Parana (map) and Jesus de Tavarangue (map) near Encarnación are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Encarnaceno Carnival is Paraguay’s version of Rio Carnival! And just like the emblematic Rio Carnival, this carnival features dazzling samba parades filled with gorgeous Paraguayan dancers, stunning costumes, incredible floats, carnival queens, and plenty of incredible rhythmic dancing.

If you are a local in Encarnación, then you will know that carnival in the Sambadrome (map) is all about how many battles you can get into with a can of snow spray. If you don’t have snow spray you might as well go home! Everyone takes part in this from the kids to the grandparents and it makes carnival a more genuine and personal experience!

For safety reasons we totally recommend bringing some eye protection because the snow spray goes everywhere, it’s totally unavoidable! Also considering bringing some face wipes and some comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting covered. You are not allowed to bring snow spray in from outside the stadium, you can only purchase it once your inside.

  • Food is ALLOWED to be brought inside the venue and it can also be purchased inside.
  • Drinks are ALLOWED to be brought inside and can also be purchased inside.
  • Alcohol is NOT ALLOWED but can be purchased inside the venue.
  • Cans of silly string or snow spray are NOT ALLOWED but can be purchased inside.

The heart and soul of carnival takes place in the Municipal Civic Centre venue, which is also known as the Sambódromo! Just like Rio Carnival this is a custom built stadium has been hosting the carnival parades since 2014. It Is the only one of its kind in Paraguay and the third largest in the world after Rio and Sao Paulo!

Essentially the more central the seats, the higher the price is amongst all seating categories, but a central graderia seat will be much cheaper than a central palco seat.

TIP: If you are looking to have a great view but do not wish to spend too much money (30’000Gs), then we suggest buying tickets in Graderia N°5. If you are willing to spend money then go for a seat in the centre of Graderia N°3 which will cost around 90’000Gs but is worth it for the excellent views!

San Jose Beach (Playa San José, map), End of Curupayty, along the river. The small, artificial beach in Encarnación is surprisingly pleasant.

Public transport

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 BUS >   Paraguay is an enigma, and this also applies to its transport. Transport here is definitely not as up-to-speed as its neighbours and is more back to basics travel, cramped in rundown buses with no air conditioning. Luckily Encarnacion is a transportation hub! The city sits across the Parana River from Posadas city in Argentina so there are plenty of buses making the short trip between those cities.

Always buy your ticket in the offices, not from the guys outside.

 RAIL >   Estación Internacional de Pasajeros (a few hundred meters from the bridge, south of city center). A railway shuttle service connects Encarnación to Posadas, Argentina, across the bridge over the Río Paraná.