Tourism in Bolivia
JESUIT MISSIONS
Cultural world heritage
MINISTERIO DE CULTURAS
Calle Ayacucho y Potosí
(Palacio Chico)
Tel. 591.2.2200946 – 2200910
A tourist destination of great cultural and historic richness, located in the Eastern mountainous región of Department of Santa Cruz, approximately six hours from the capital city.

In the colonial period, several jungle tribes prospered in the Chiquitos region, and were evangelized by the missionaries from the Jesus Company; the Jesuit Missions have lasted throughout time and are a valuable legacy of the period in which they were founded (1691 – 1767). Its value is manifested mainly in the architecture of its “Mestizo” baroque style temples; adorned with painted murals, golden altars and precious hand carved altar pieces, pulpits, chest drawers and impressive columns. The memory of religious and folklore customs revives during Easter and Patron Saint festivities. The high artistic level and profound cultural meaning of the pieces of art created in the Jesuit Missions motivated UNESCO, in 1991 to declare this site a Cultural World Heritage.

The richness of the baroque music, composed and executed in the Missions, as a unique collection in all America, has motivated the creation of the International Biennial Festival of Baroque and Renaissance Music “Chiquitos Missions” that takes place in Santa Cruz and the mission villages every other year. The Jesuit Mission region has also a pleasant climate and dense vegetation.
  • PLACES OF INTEREST  
    • San Javier, seat to a music school and musical instrument workshop. The baroque style church was declared as Historical World Heritage.

      Concepción de Chiquitos, a town that has preserved the simplicity and peacefulness of its streets, bordered with porched adobe houses; it beholds a surprising variety of orchids.

      San Ignacio de Velasco, the largest populated village on the mission´s route. In this beautiful land, the near-by communities still maintain their indigenous traditions.

      San Miguel, located 40 km. from San Ignacio, holds an elevated staircase built in 1760, which allows an overall view of the mission and a better appreciation of the fore part of the mission building.

      San Rafael, founded in 1696 to the southeast of the Velasco province and on the banks of the Gaubys River, was an important mission-preaching center.

      Santa Ana, one of the last missions to be built, has a church built by the natives under the supervision of the priests, resulting in an achieved country-styled temple, which is small in comparison to the ones of the other missions.

      San José de Chiquitos, the only one completely built of stone, due to the existence of lime and slab stone deposits.
PHOTO GALLERY - JESUIT MISSIONS
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