After 300 years, the Jesuit Missions in Bolivia are the last original missions in the Southern Cone. San José, Santa Ana, San Rafael, San Miguel, San Ignacio, Concepción y San Javier, are seven of the ten Chiquitanas populations that until today have preserved their missionary construcions. In 1991, the Bolivian Jesuit Missions where declared a “World Cultural Heritage Site” by UNESCO.
In their days the Chiquitos Missions were the principal seat of Jesuit activity in the New World. Their main funtion was to convert the nomadic tribes to what was known as “Converted Indian Settlements” intending to introduce these populations to Western religion, civics and art. The missions were all built between 1691 and 1760. The architecture of these baroque temples featured massive handcarved wooden altars often covered in gold, paintings, wooden pulpits, and impressive wooden columns. These churches, restored in the 1960s under the guidance of architect Hans Roth and later Juan Carlos Ruiz have recovered much of their original splendor.
Early in the morning we will start our trip in Santa Cruz in private transport heading for our first destination Concepción, via San Javier (280 km). Concepción was founded in 1709, and its Jesuit church is considered a jewel of the region. The construction occurred between 1752 and 1753 under the careful supervision of Father Schmid. After 200 years the reconstruction was directed by Hans Roth in 1975. In Concepción we will visit the museum and the church. Overnight stay in Concepción.
In the morning we will visit an indigenous community and get a demonstration of their folkloric music and dances. After lunch we will leave Concepción for San Ignacio (171 km). The original Jesuit church collapsed in 1948 and was replaced by a new church which was finished in 1968. In 1998 started the reconstruction of the ancient Jesuit church based on photographs. Overnight stay in San Ignacio.
We will visit the small Missions of Santa Ana, San Rafael and San Miguel this day. In the afternoon we will be back in San Ignacio. Overnight stay in San Ignacio.
Today we will have to return to Santa Cruz (440 km). We will stop in San Javier. The first and oldest Jesuit Mission was founded in 1691. After lunch and visiting the church and its museum we continue our travel towards Santa Cruz.
- Private transport
- Local guide (Spanish)
- Optional: Guide in English/German (Price on request!)
- Three nights accommodation in double rooms with private bathroom
- Full boared (without breakfast the 1st day, and dinner the fourth day.
- Entrance fees
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