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  Bolivia : Destinations : Jesuit Missions

Jesuit Missions


San José de Chiquitos

It is a circuit that crosses through the low lands of eastern Bolivia. This zone, which is rich in culture and history, is comprised of seven towns; San Javier, Concepción, San Ignacio de Velasco, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael, and San José de Chiquitos, known as the Jesuit Missions. It name comes from the indigenous region of Bolivia where the Spanish Jesuits developed a large part of Evangelism during the Colonial Period, in the 16th and 17th centuries, and in 1992, was included in the list of the Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad (Patrimony of Humanity) by UNESCO. The major attractions of this region are its churches, architectural jewels guarded by different villages which still possess interesting cultural manifestations from the period of the Missions. The Missions represented the Christian voice in the middle of this savage world. This region remained hidden for nearly two centuries until the release of the movie "La Misión", which awoke interest in the region and made it internationally known. Today it is possible to appreciate the beauty of the religious architecture thanks to the German architect Hans Roth and his team of experts, that restored these churches of the Missions that are hundreds of years old, and with all their splendor from long ago. The other big attraction in the region is the Baroque Music Festival and the Religious Parties (Semana Santa, or Holy Week and the Corpus Christie), that transport us to the age of the Missions with the traditional clothing and instruments made by the people of the region. Traveling the entire circuit takes about five or six days, a sufficient amount of time to appreciate the architecture, its landscape with vast, flat, tropical plains, and smooth undulations of the land known as “lomeríos.”

 

Region
Santa Cruz
Location
A loop that you can find in the northeast region of Bolivia.
When to go
All year.
Attractions
San Javier, Concepción, San Ignacio de Velasco, San Miguel de Velasco, San Rafael de Velasco, San José de Chiquitos, Church of the Jesuit Mission of de San José de Chiquitos, Plaza de San José de Chiquitos, Monumento Chiquitano, Santa Cruz la Vieja, Cerro Turubo, Santa Ana de Velasco, Colonia 42.
How to get there
By land from La Paz you can arrive at Santa Cruz and from there  continue along the circuit on the paved highways in buses that leave almost every hour. By air there are air taxis that leave from the El Trompillo Airport (Santa Cruz) and arrive in the main locales of the Jesuit Missions.
Activities
Walking, hiking, photography, cultural tours..
Services
Accommodations, excursions, transportation.
Surroundings
Roboré, Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park, Puerto Suárez, Quijarro, Pantanal Boliviano, San Matías, Ciudad Blanca de Corumbá (Brasil).

 

 

 

 

 

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