Brazil / Argentina / Paraguay

Suggested itinerary – 2 Days / 1 Night

Day 1 – IGUASSU/BRAZIL – POSADAS/ARGENTINA  
Departure by road from Iguassu early in the morning to Posadas city. A stop will be made on the route to visit the Wanda mines with semi-precious stones. Arrival and stop for lunch (not included). Continue to the San Ignacio ruins and visit. Drop off at hotel Julio Cesar, accommodation and evening at leisure in Posadas.

San Ignacio Miní - Argentina
Approximately 50 km from Posadas and 250 from Iguassu, towards Puerto Iguazú/Foz do Iguaçu, San Ignacio Miní was one of the most prosperous Jesuit missions, partly restored by the Argentinean Government. San Ignacio Miní was founded in 1610 in the Guairá area, currently state border between Paraná and São Paulo, Brazil. The fathers José Cataldino and Simón Masseta built this mission and the mission of Loreto near the Paranapanema river. In 1631 after the attack of the bandeirantes, father Antonio Ruiz de Montoya starts an exodus to save the survivors. With approximately 12.000 Indians he sails down the Paraná river. After a hard trip, about 4000 surviving Indians reach the banks of the Yabebirí river, tributary of the Paraná, modern-day province of Misiones, Argentina. Due to the inadequate conditions of the place, they look for a third place to establish (1695/1696), what are currently the ruins of San Ignacio Miní. In 1816, with the Jesuits already expelled, general José de Artigas organized his armies and makes Andrés Guacurari, a Guarani Indian known as Andresito as one of the commanders. As five of the Paraná reductions have been occupied by the Paraguayan armies of Dr. Francia, Andresito and his Guarani armies take them over. Dr. Francia then restarted the attack and totally destroyed the missions. The church, centered on the axe of the grand square, a characteristic of all missions was of large dimensions. The structure that supported the ceiling was made out of long and thick hard wood logs. The place was divided into three naves. The walls had approximately two meters in height in the inferior part and were reduced to one meter in the superior part. All decoration was certainly polychromatic wood painted with strong colors and profusion of golden. Around all the mission, there were trenches in form of pits to protect from eventual attacks. At the end of the tour, there is a museum with considerable interesting local pieces found during the excavations.

Day 2 - POSADAS/ARGENTINA - ENCARNACIÓN/PARAGUAY – IGUASSU/BRAZIL
Departure by road from Posadas early in the morning to Encarnación city. Visit the ruins La Santísima Trinidad and Jesus de Tavarangue. Continue with a stop for lunch (not included) and road travel back to Iguassu.

La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná is the name of a former Jesuit mission in Paraguay, close to Encarnación city. It was one of the last missions to be built on the Parana River area, originally from 1706. It was abandoned with the decline of the Jesuits in the area, along with the rest of the missions that became ruins. Currently, the ruins are well preserved and they have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Jesus de Tavarangue is another Jesuit mission in Paraguay, from 1685. It has currently a renovated church, workshops and houses of Guaraní, also in restoration. The architecture of this mission was entirely different from the others, in Moorish style. The ceiling was never finished, due to the expulsion of the Jesuits, so it escaped from the pillagers, as there was no gold or valuable paintings on the altar. In 1993, it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

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Our Reference: #338