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Jesuit Missions of the Guaraní People


San Ignacio and Santa Ana (the best-preserved ruins), together with Loreto and Santa María la Mayor are testimony to the life and social organisation in the Jesuit Missions of the Guaraní People, founded in the 16th and 17th centuries. Declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

They can be visited all year round. January and February are very hot. Recommended for the whole family. Entry fees apply.

What to see
San Ignacio Miní

These are the best known and most preserved ruins as a result of the restoration work that has been undertaken. The church, the Fathers’ House, the cemetery, some houses and the town council are laid out around the central square.  


At night, an image and sound show recreates history and engages visitors in a unique experience.

Santa Ana

It is interesting to see how, with the passing of time, the rainforest has taken over, transformed and eroded the abandoned buildings. Here, the different areas that made up the settlement (referred to as reducción), such as the square, the staircase leading to the school, the orchard and the temple, can be seen. A qualified guide can be hired at the site.


At night, the image and sound show offers a different perspective.

Nuestra Señora de Loreto

It is renowned for having had the first printing press in the region and an important library. What can be seen at present? The remains of the temple where the relics of Antonio Ruiz de Montoya are buried and the ruins of the Virgen de Loreto Chapel. It is an important pilgrimage centre.

Santa María la Mayor

Sitting 120 km away from Posadas, this is the only Jesuit settlement on the west bank of the Uruguay River where architectural ruins still linger. Among the surviving ruins there are walls, chapels, dikes, ditches and trails, as well as workshops, residences and a temporary temple (the original one was destroyed by a fire in 1735).

How to get there and move around

Santa Ana, Loreto and San Ignacio are very close to Posadas, on National Route 12, which connects the capital of Misiones with Puerto Iguazú. Santa Ana, Loreto and San Ignacio are located 48 km, 56 km and 65 km away, respectively. 


The furthest from Posadas is Santa María La Mayor, sitting 120 km away. To get there, go to Apóstoles along National Route 105 and then take provincial routes 10 and 2 up to La Corita. These ruins can be an intermediate stop before continuing along Scenic Route 2 to El Soberbio and Moconá Provincial Park.

Where to stay

With various accommodation and dining options, Posadas is a good place to stay whilst visiting the Jesuit Missions of the Guaraní People.


To visit Santa María la Mayor, you can stay at San Javier, which is located 23 km away and offers different accommodation options.

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