The Jesuit mission circuit

San Ignacio de Velasco See the photos is a small town of 9000 inhabitants located in the Eastern part of the Santa Cruz province, a few kilometers from the Brazilian border. Like the other main cities and villages of the area, San Ignacio was founded by the Jesuit missions See the photos in the late XVIIth and early XVIIIth centuries. The missions left behind a legacy of charming and intricately carved wooden churches.

A series of missions connect Santa Cruz to San JosÚ de Chiquitos. After crossing the Rios Grande and San Pablo, the unmade road crosses the arable land to the north of Santa Cruz before entering the eastern savanna, and finally emerging into scattered forest See the photos .

The principal stopping-places along the trail of missions are:

  • San Javier (6000 inhabitants): the oldest mission on the circuit, founded in 1692.
  • San Rafael de Velasco: the mission, founded in 1696, was completed around half a century before the others in the area (in 1748). Visitors will be rewarded by the sight of the splendid interior.
  • Concepcion (6000 inhabitants): mission founded in 1709.
  • San Miguel de Velasco (5000 inhabitants): mission founded in 1721. The church has been beautifully restored and features painted fašades and a carved wooden bell-tower.
  • San Ignacio de Velasco: mission founded in 1748. Unfortunately, after the demolition of the church in 1950, only two carved wooden columns from the original building remain in the present reconstruction.
  • Santa Ana de Velasco: small mission founded in 1755.