Encarnación Travel Guide

  • Ruins of Jesus de Tavarangue - Inside the Church
    Ruins of Jesus de Tavarangue - Inside...
    by DSwede
  • Ruins of Jesus de Tavarangue - Outside the Church
    Ruins of Jesus de Tavarangue - Outside...
    by DSwede
  • Ruins of Trinidad - Iglesia Mayor
    Ruins of Trinidad - Iglesia Mayor
    by DSwede

Encarnación Things to Do

  • DSwede's Profile Photo
    Ruins of Trinidad - Iglesia Mayor 1 more image

    by DSwede Updated Jun 24, 2012

    I was told that this was the world's least visited UNESCO site. And while I may actually say that the neighboring site of Jesus de Tavarangue is less traveled, it is hard to argue when you visit a site for about 3 hours and are the only person there. Not only that, but the ticket/info booth show a roster that was empty for 3 days.

    The Jesuit ruins of Trinidad are from the 16th century. Originally constructed in 1706, the Jesuits had planned to build a self sustaining utopia society for themselves as well as a protective heaven for the indigenous population. However as with most things in life, everything did not go according to plan.

    The area was abandoned and left to the mercy of mother nature. It has survived rather well considering, but it is now protected as a UNESCO site. There a (or should I say remains of) a church, school, residences, workshops, etc.

    The grounds are open to walk as you wish, only with certain specific areas roped off for safety. There are no information signs, so you can pick up a small brochure when you buy your ticket. There are official tour guides for hire, but they will only approach you if you ask them. They are volunteers, so they do take their job seriously, but payment is expected.

    Winter hours:
    Daily: 7am ~ 8pm
    Thursday ~ Sunday (sound & light show): 8:30pm

    Summer hours:
    ??

    Cost:
    15,000 GS - Paraguayan
    25,000 GS - adult (foreigner)
    5,000 GS - Paraguayan from Itapua (with documentation)
    5,000 GS - children 6 to 12 years

    Above ticket is valid for 72 hours for all three sites : Trinidad, Jesus and Cosme & Damian

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology
    • Road Trip

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  • DSwede's Profile Photo
    Ruins of Jesus de Tavarangue - Inside the Church 1 more image

    by DSwede Written May 23, 2012

    The ruins in Trinidad have the reputation of being the least visited UNESCO site in the world. If Jesus de Tavarangue would be included in that assessment, it would actually be even less traveled. When I visited, I had to wake up the ticket salesman because at 4pm, I was the first person to visit.

    Depending on your appreciation for history, architecture and detail, you could spend as little as 30 minutes here, or a few hours. This site is smaller in overall size than Trinidad, but the church itself is the largest structure.

    The ruins of Jesus de Tavarangue are only slightly older than those of Trinidad (1685 vs 1706), but they suffered the same fate. They were never finished. Abandoned in the 1760's, the church was left to weather time without a roof. Nonetheless, the structure is impressive if you appreciate these types of historical tales.

    The grounds are open to walk as you wish, only with certain specific areas roped off for safety. There are no information signs, so you can pick up a small brochure when you buy your ticket.

    Near the ticket office is a small museum which has photographs of the reconstruction, historical information, small models of the grounds, as well as samples of the artwork. Entrance to this is included in the ticket price. All information is in Spanish.

    Winter hours:
    Daily: 7am ~ 7pm

    Summer hours:
    ??

    Cost:
    15,000 GS - Paraguayan
    25,000 GS - adult (foreigner)
    5,000 GS - Paraguayan from Itapua (with documentation)
    5,000 GS - children 6 to 12 years

    Above ticket is valid for 72 hours for all three sites : Trinidad, Jesus and Cosme & Damian

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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Encarnación Local Customs

  • DSwede's Profile Photo
    Jesuit footprints in the area

    by DSwede Updated Jun 24, 2012

    While Paraguay has had a very dynamic past, the present day culture is very much rooted in Guarani culture.

    However, from the late 1600's until the 1760's, the Jesuits among others had a very large concentration and influence in the area. There are several ruins built of stone in the region. They are of various sizes and condition, but it is something unique to the area. Having come up the Paraguay River, the area was chosen to be the utopian home of the Jesuits and protected home of the indigenous population. Unfortunately for them, they never even finished building most of their buildings.

    If you want to see more than just the main sites, private transportation is required.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Road Trip

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