"The Mission" Top 5 Page for this destination San Ignacio by barryg23

San Ignacio Travel Guide: 49 reviews and 141 photos

Legacy of the Jesuits

The biggest attraction in Misiones, a province in northeast Argentina, is the spectacular Iguazu Falls waterfalls, but there are other sights in the area, including the San Ignacio Jesuit Mission, now a UNESCO world heritage site, where you can enjoy the atmospheric ruins of the 17th century missions.

By the 18th century almost 5000 Guarani indigenous people lived in this mission, which was run by two priests. There they attended schools, grew maize and tobacco and presumably adopted to Christianity. The mission also provided a safe haven from the slave trading which was becoming prevalent at this time. However, following the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, the missions were abandoned and fell into ruin. They were consumed by the thick Misiones jungle and only emerged again in the 19th century when new towns were founded in the province.

The Hollywood film "The Mission" with Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons & Liam Neeson is a good place to start for anyone who wants to learn more about the missions.

Our trip to the San Ignacio mission was very brief. We took a bus from Iguazu Falls to San Ignacio, left our bags with the people at the gate while we explored the museum and ruins in the rain, then hopped on another bus to Posadas before crossing to Paraguay. So we had only a few hours in San Ignacio, but it gave us enough time to see the town and visit the site.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Excellent museum, impressive ruins
  • Cons:Rain and humidity during our visit
  • In a nutshell:An important part of Argentina's history
  • Last visit to San Ignacio: Oct 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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