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World Heritage Jesuit Missions – 3 days

The ancient Jesuit missions of Chiquitos in the department of Santa Cruz (1691-1767) and those of Moxos in the department of Beni (1681-1767) constitute one of the main riches of regional and national cultural heritage. During the process of restoration of the Jesuit temples of these missions a great musical wealth was discovered: in Chiquitos 5,500 and in Moxos 7,000 sheets of sacred music written between the XVII and XVIII centuries, both by European musicians and by the indigenous Zone and that was interpreted daily in these towns until the middle of century XIX.

To this treasure is added the declaration of UNESCO in 1990 that named six villages of Chiquitos as Cultural Heritage of Humanity as “living villages”, since unlike other ancient Jesuit villages that are only ruins, in Chiquitos are still preserved Its beautiful churches, the musical scores, its customs, clothes, parties, ceremonies, manufacture of instruments and many of them the musical tradition. These towns are San Xavier (distant 240 km from Santa Cruz de la Sierra), Concepción (290 km), Santa Ana (520 km), San Rafael (550 km), San Miguel (515 km) and San José de Chiquitos (280 km), but in addition the other missions, although not included in the declaration by UNESCO are part of this circuit and also of extraordinary appeal; These missions are: San Ignacio de Velasco (460 km), Santiago de chiquitos (420 km) and Santo Corazón (640 km). But the Festival also reaches other towns (more than three thousand kilometers of route) that were former Jesuit missions from other regions of the Department of Santa Cruz and Beni as well as Franciscan missions and Mercedarians of the territory of Santa Cruz. This project is unique because it revolves around this lively and dynamic cultural heritage of its peoples who maintain their traditions.

Day 1

After breakfast at 8:00 am transfer to Cotoca and visit this picturesque Villa, we continue to San José. San José de Chiquitos, the third of the oldest missions in the Chiquitania, is located 266 kilometers from Santa Cruz and was founded by the Jesuit Fathers Felipe Suarez and Dionisio de Ávila on March 19, 1697. At that time inhabited by the Indigenous groups jamarós and piñocas.

San José has the only fully constructed stone temple showing a typical style of the Misiones of Paraguay and the north of Argentina. The church began to be constructed in 1748, until 1754, is an excellent example of the Hispanic architecture brought by the missionaries of the Company of Jesus. The local population, under the supervision of the Jesuit priests, carried out the construction of this Church.

Arrival accommodation at the Hotel Villa Chiquitana, lunch and afternoon visit of the church and the sacred museum and continue the visit to the Santa Cruz la Vieja Park and the viewpoint. National Historical Park “Santa Cruz La Vieja”. Declared National Historical Park on February 22, 1989, including the area where the ruins of the first settlement of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, founded by the Spanish captain Ñuflo de Chavez on February 26, 1561 (Santa Cruz de la Sierra was Transferred in the year 1592 to its present place, 250km to the west.

Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

After breakfast, transfer to the Sanctuary Mariano de Chochís, El Pueblito de El Chochís, which has gained importance for a few miracles. And all the people of the region know of his sanctuary. The house of the sanctuary “Mariano de la Torre Sanctuary – Virgin of the Assumption”, was built by the Swiss architect Hans Roth in 1988, and was dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption in 1991. (Hans Roth restored the seven most important Jesuit churches of the Chiquitania – but the Sanctuary is one of the few works that he built that does not have to do with the reconstruction or the restoration of colonial works).

The town of El Chochís, is located at the foot of a rocky cliff that is part of the Chochís Serrania. Its symbol that dominates from afar, is the “Tower of David”, a red rock monolith, which looks like a tower. We continue our trip to Roboré, lunch at a local restaurant.

Transfer to Aguas Calientes, view and if you like you can take a bath, we continue trip to Santiago Santiago de Chiquitos; Is one of the last Jesuit missions established in 1754; Founded by the missionaries Gaspar Troncoso & Gaspar Campos as Santiago Apostle.

Arrival dinner and accommodation in local Hotel.

Day 3

After breakfast, walk to the Interpretation Center and the viewpoint of the Tucavaca Valley. The path that leads to the viewpoint of Tucavaca deserves its name “the antechamber to the sky” has a route of 6 kilometers and will take you to the foot of great rock formations carved by the winds, you can appreciate the beauty of the landscape, the mountains are considered Among the oldest in the world, belong to the Precambrian.

We continue return trip, lunch on the way and arrival at night in Santa Cruz.


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