The Best Time to Visit Paraguay

Scenic View Of Trees Against Sky in Paraguay
Frank Koplin / EyeEm / Getty Images

The best time to visit Paraguay is June through August, during the country's winter. The driest season (though a bit rainy) and the best for birding, winter in Paraguay is a mix of wintering flamingos, warm days, and cool nights. It’s the time to see the impressive local fire feats of the Verbena de San Juan and the patriotic parades of Asunción Day.

However, given Paraguay’s generally balmy temperatures, lack of a large influx of international tourists, and an affinity for parades and celebration throughout the year, really any time will be good to visit, though each season will have its various perks. Wherever you decide to go—the Chaco, wetlands, Asunción, or across the border to Iguazu Falls—use this guide to help plan your trip to a country known for its unparalleled wildlife, green wilderness, insanely hard car race, and welcoming nature.

The Weather in Paraguay

Paraguay has a subtropical climate. Expect balmy weather throughout the country with long summers from mid-October to March and mild winters from June to August. The temperature throughout the country ranges from the low 50s to the mid-90s Fahrenheit, with average yearly
temperatures landing in the 70s Fahrenheit. It almost never snows, but night frosts can occur when Pamperos (cold winds from Argentina) bring cold fronts. Summer is the wettest season, while winter is the driest (especially in the Chaco where it barely rains in this season). However, rain is ever-present in the Pantanal wetlands, and the Atlantic forest region is humid year-round. Warm air masses can occur throughout Paraguay, even in winter, driving temps up to the mid-80s Fahrenheit.

Popular Events and Festivals

Paraguay’s holidays and festivals celebrate Roman Catholic holy days, the roots of immigrant communities, indigenous practices, and car racing. The largest celebration is Carnival, especially in Encarnación where the Sambadrome hosts parades of samba dancers with impossibly high headdresses and bejeweled bikinis atop parade floats. Generally held in February, the dates
vary slightly each year, but span five weekends of celebrations full of fake spray snow and boisterous crowds.

On June 24, the solstice festival of the Verbena de San Juan takes place throughout the country (though Asunción is the recommended place to go), with Paraguayans fire dancing, vaulting over bonfires, and walking across hot embers. In the first weekend of September, Asunción hosts an Oktoberfest full of tents of revelers toasting with steins of wheat beer, while during the same week racers rev their engines to compete in the Transchaco Rally along the Trans-Chaco route and some of the toughest terrain in the world. Head to Mariscal Estigarribia to see it firsthand.

Peak Season

Though there’s not a huge peak season of international tourists, Paraguay does experience busy months and holidays full of domestic travel. Avoid Easter week, Christmas, and the school summer holidays in July when airfares rise (or opt for long-distance bus travel instead). The busiest month for travel is January, with summer (mid-October to March) being the busiest season for tourism overall. The best hotel deals can be found in the shoulder seasons of spring and the beginning of fall.

The Best Time to Visit Major Regions

  • The Dry Chaco: Late winter to early spring (August through September) is the time to go to the Dry Chaco region. During winter, the region’s deciduous trees lose their leaves, temps cool, and rainfall is scarce, creating the best conditions for viewing Chaco wildlife like the Chaco Tortoise or the Lowland Tapir. You’ll also see daredevil drivers racing on the Trans-Chaco highway.
  • The Atlantic Forest: October to November will be muddy in the forest, but the reward will be the sighting of wildlife both endemic and migratory, like Red-breasted Toucans and Helmeted woodpeckers, or Crab-eating Foxes and Purple-barred frogs.
  • The Pantanal Wetlands: From November to March this area is heavily flooded, making the various boat and car trips required to reach it difficult when intense storms occur. However, if you can make it during these months, you’ll have prime viewing of Caymans, giant otters, and jaguars. Alternatively, consider coming in April, when the rains start to dissipate, wildlife is still plentiful, and the roads less likely to be submerged.
  • Iguazu Falls: Though they’re not in Paraguay, you can easily cross over for the day to see Iguazu
    Falls in Brazil by walking across Friendship Bridge from Cuidad del Este. (No passport stamp is needed for a day trip). Go between December to February when the falls swell to their fullest.

Summer (October to March)

The longest season in Paraguay, summer lasts from mid-October to March. Average temperatures range from 77 to 82 degrees F (25 to 28 degrees C), and the hottest months are December through February. It’s also the wet season, meaning Iguazu Falls will be at their fullest and the wetlands will be consistently flooded through March. The Dry Chaco will see very little
rain, even during this time. Expect prices to be slightly higher in summer than any other season for accommodation and flights.

Events to check out:

  • Summer’s the most festive season with Carnival taking over the country for most of February especially in Encarnación).
  • Día de San Blas is celebrated on Feb. 3 with parades, folk dancing, and a mass with a special blessing for throat health in the name of Paraguay’s patron saint.

Fall (March to May)

In the fall (March through May), migrating birds begin to arrive, as well as cooler temperatures. The Chaco region has more rain in March and April than the rest of the year, but the rest of the country begins to have a decrease in showers beginning in April and lasting until September. The humidity begins to increase in April (with an average of 65.5 percent) and continues to rise throughout winter. Book hotels and transportation early if you plan on visiting during Semana Santa (Holy Week), as it’s a huge domestic travel week.

Events to check out:

  • The Tañarandy Good Friday celebration in San Ignacio has a procession of several kilometers lit by 20,000 candle lights, known as the “road to heaven.” Walk it as devotees sing hymns and see the altars made in Baroque Guaraní style with fall fruits and vegetables.
  • Paraguay’s Independence Day celebration spans May 14 and 15, and Asuncion holds the biggest party. See parades with people in traditional Paraguayan dress, eat Sopa Paraguay (more like a bread than a soup), and watch fireworks

Winter (June to August)

June through August is the driest season in Paraguay, and July and August are the coldest months of the year. The second most popular season to travel for domestic travelers, Paraguayans take advantage of the comfortable (though greatly varied temperatures) to see family and friends and many race in the Asunción International Marathon. Warm air masses pass through, sometimes
raising the temperatures to the mid-seventies or mid-eighties, but night frosts also occur. The month of August, though windy, can be a great time to visit, as it’s one of the least humid months of the year (53.4 percent relative humidity).

Events to check out:

  • On June 24, the Verbena de San Juan centers around lights up the night with fire and pyrotechnics.
  • Itagua hosts a festival of Naduti (Guaraní lace) during the last weekend in July.
  • Asunción Day on Aug. 25 celebrates the founding of Asunción, the capital of Paraguay. See
    parades, eat street food, and check out outdoor concerts.

Spring (September to October)

The short spring season of September to mid-October-some has some of the most pleasant temperatures of the year, with Asuncion ranging from 87 degrees F (31 degrees C) to 66 degrees F (19 degrees C). Popular activities include visiting the Jesuit ruins and heading north to the Chaco to see the multi-day motorsport Transchaco Rally.

Events to checkout:

  • Drink beer to your heart’s content at Asuncion’s Oktoberfest.
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