Saturday, July 27, 2013

Encarnacion, Paraguay. From a dumpy hotel to a lovely Hotel Puesta del Sol

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We decided to meet our Norway friends in Encarnacion to see the Jesuit ruins.

We were told it was a 4 hour bus trip.  Well it turned out to be nearly a 7 hour bus trip.

We had booked a Hotel right by the bus terminal Hotel Itapúa, and the pictures we saw looked good.  Well – what can I say – it was a dump.  Set out a bit like a prison and it echoed just like the cell block.  The security guard had no front teeth.  The shower was over the toilet.
I do NOT recommend this hotel!

The bed was mended, and the fluoro light hummed and made my head ache.  We asked to change rooms – big mistake.  We got a mattress that had a curve like a hammock.

So we tried to find the closest and safe restaurant for dinner.  We stumbled upon The Terminal Restaurant – needless to say it was opposite the terminal.  As our 2 day stay turned in 2 5 days, this became our ‘cheap and cheerful’ café.  We could eat lunch or have a simple dinner and 2 glasses of a really nice chilled, yes chilled, red wine – the total was $6 AU.  The ‘Chicken Schnitzel’ is known as ‘Pollo Milenesca’, and we got the biggest bowl of ‘Mashed Potato” or ‘Puree de papas’ for $1 AU.  Along with a few other dishes like “Bora-Bora”, which was a lovely ‘Gnocchi like Soup’ which I really liked too.

So feeling a bit more relaxed, we returned for lock-up in the jail.  I just about cried out in pain with my back as the night went on.  There was no way I was putting our friends in that dump, so we left early for a hunt for a new hotel.  
We were given a few bum steers on direction and the number of blocks to the next hotel.
In fact we walked along the river and could see Argentina!

Next was past a lovely church.

Oh boy - and here is another one - we walked and walked !

Then a lovely monument and mosaic, and tiled artwork in a park.

After a few (of which the price or décor was not suitable) we asked a girl.  She spoke English and took us two blocks in the opposite direction and we found Puesta del Sol, a really lovely little hotel one street from the river and beach.

So we raced back and packed our things.

We found a horse and wagon by the market.  Ideal to make a fun move from a horrid start to this city.
For approx $6 he and 2 other guys juggled collecting our backs from the 'prison hotel', where I literally threw the key on the desk and made a dash for it as we were right on the check out time, and we had booked for 3 days.
We gave the 2 extra guys a bit of a tip, and off we went.

Just after we arrived, another horse and cart appeared - the fruit and vegetables sales man.

We couldn't believe the difference in room. And in the service.
A lovely man William greeted us, and showed us our room.
Complete with mini bar, and a lovely bathroom - and breakfast.
It is a pretty new hotel, and we were happy!

We had the rest of the day to relax and catch up on emails and some much needed spelling words for my son. 

I raced off to get a glimpse of the fantastic sunset at the man made beach on the river.
I have so many fabulous pictures I could add here.
It is a really beautiful beach.

Our friends arrived, and we wandered down to a supermarket nearby and grabbed some food for dinner. 

Next day was a shopping day.  I met a lovely girl Candy who has a huge store right near the bus terminal.  She is Canadian / Korean, and I promised her I would add her in my blog (sorry Candy I lost your card) - but her store is well known and has thousands of bargain clothes - so if you go to Encarnacion, please ask for her store.

I had the joy of having time on my own, when my friend offered to have my son for an hour or so, so I could have some "me time".  This is the first in months, and I so appreciated it.  In fact I was nervous!

We then all dressed up and went out for a nice dinner.  We went to Canela Fina which is 2 blocks up from the hotel.  

We had a great night and the owners spoke English. But what was great was that the menu on a Wednesday is the chef’s specials, and you can eat all they bring out for about $8 US and this included dessert. 

 So as the football final was on, and the TV was set up in the courtyard, we settled in for the night with a nice bottle of wine.  To make the night even nicer, we met a couple from California at the next table and had a chat with them too.  

It was a lovely restaurant and I would go back again in a flash.

We recommend Canela Fina as a fabulous restaurant with quality food, and great service.
We also recommend Terminal Restaurant opposite the bus terminal for the cheapest meal and the restaurant is also clean.
Finally we definitely recommend Hotel Puesta Del Sol.  Please tell William we sent you!


  1. Hello girls.. Thanks for remember our hotel as a lovely part of your journey... It makes us really happy..
    We are pleased to have you here and we hope you will come back soon..
    All the best for you girls
    See you :)

  2. Willy - your hotel is worth promoting - a lovely place and staff. Hope you get to share our blog with your family and friends and follow our adventure over the next months. We hope to meet up with the Norway family if we head that way too. Paraguay is beautiful, and holds wonderful memories.


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