Itapua is situated in southeastern Paraguay and is home to some of the most diverse traditions and cultures in Paraguay! For the tourist looking for an active night life and true South American modern culture, Itapua is a premier destination.
Itapua has very modern development in comparison to the rest of Paraguay. Second only to Asuncion, the Itapua district has a very large population of almost a half million people. The capital of Itapua is Encarnación, the carnival capital of Paraguay. During Carnival, parades and celebrations abound through the streets of Encarnación, bringing true Brazilian culture and celebration to the region. In Itapua, the tourist will find all sorts of culture, including German, Ukranian, Japanese, Korean and Arabic.
Itapua was settled in the early 1600s by Jesuits, and today it’s the cultural celebration center of Paraguay. The famous Colorado-party dictator, Alfredo Stroessner was also born in Itapua in the city of Encarnación. Throughout the countryside of Itapua, travelers can view centuries-old Jesuit ruins and notable historical figure birthplaces.
Travelers can also view the gorgeous Itaipu Dam, one of the largest electric-producing dams in South America. The dam powers a total of 110 Hz power for both Brazil and Paraguay. Best of all, the dam offers free tours every day. The dam is the pride and joy of Itapua district, bringing clean hydroelectric power to millions of South American citizens.
Itapua shares a border with the Parana River, offering ecotourism for the travelers trying to escape the hectic flow of modern life. The Parana River is the seventh largest river in the world, and offers daily boat excursions and wildlife tours in which you can view toucans, flamingoes and other various rare avian species.
Itapua is also an escape from the hot climate of Paraguay. Itapua’s southern location gives the region a very mild climate that’s sought by tourists from all walks of life (and locals too). Rich Paraguay citizens often travel to this southern district during the humid summer months to vacation homes that are available for a modest rent to travelers the rest of the year. This is one of the best ways to stay if you’re planning a trip during Carnival festivities.
For the best shopping, head to the center of Encarnación, where new businesses are continually feeding the thriving trade market of Itapua. If you’re looking for more classic Paraguay cultural shopping, the outer district of Encarnación offers timbo wood carvings and traditional native dress, jewelry and medicinal herbs. Old colonial architecture also dots the outer edge of Encarnación, providing great photography opportunities to the artistic tourist. Right across the Parana River, tourists can cross the San Roque González de Santa Cruz Bridge and see the city of Posadas, Argentina.
Itapua offers enough attractions to keep a tourist busy for at least a week. Encarnación offers beautiful resort-style hotels, but book early – especially during Carnival season. The drive to the district is easy, roads are well established and the locals are very friendly. For many tourists, Itapua offers a taste of Paraguay and a complete picture of the true diversity present in this wonderful country.