Jesuit Missions 3-day
JESUIT MISSIONS 3-DAY
DURATION: 3 days
DISTANCE FROM SANTA CRUZ: 3 hours on paved road
COMBINES WELL WITH: Santa Cruz, Noell Kempff
In 1991, UNESCO declared the 300-year old Jesuit Missions of Bolivia Cultural Patrimony of Humanity. Among some of the best preserved Jesuit churches in South America, the unique and strikingly decorated constructions are a fascinating mix of European and native design and building techniques and iconography.
On our 3-day Jesuit Missions trip, La Paz on Foot takes you to two of the most important towns in the Chiquitania Region, where the missions are concentrated to the north of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. You will be accompanied by a bi-lingual La Paz on Foot guide knowledgeable about the natural and cultural history of the region. San Javier and Concepcion are the tranquil country populations you will visit and get to know, with mission and museum tours and walks about town in each.
At their height, the Jesuit Missions of Chiquitania were the principal settlements of the Jesuits in South America. Their role was to convert native populations to Christianity and drew in thousands of indigenous people from throughout the region. The baroque style churches were all built between 1691 and 1760 and their restoration began in the 70s, led by the architects Hans Roth and Juan Carlos Ruiz. In addition to their restoration, more that 5,000 pieces of baroque music composed by Jesuits and played by indigenous orchestras were preserved.