Misiones province and the Jesuit missions

There are wonderfully evocative remains of several Jesuit missions in the south of picturesque Misiones province. Testimony to their great organization and extensive expansion in the early 17th century, they make a worthwhile stop on your way south from Iguazú Falls. And if you're interested in seeing more, there are the ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, and Loreto, all are within reach of the provincial capital Posadas, or in a long day trip from Iguazú. Misiones' lush landscapes of red earth roads cutting through fecund green jungle, and forest plantations are matched by a rich culture, generated by the mix of indigenous Guaraní and European immigrants, particularly from Eastern Europe, together with a constant flow of Paraguayans and Brazilians from over the borders. The fertile land produces pine forests for wood, huge plantations of tea, and most important of all, the
, the Argentine drink without which the country would grind to a halt . It's a fairly wet region: the annual rainfall exceeds 2000 mm, generating hundreds of rivers and waterfalls, the most magnificent of which are the overwhelming Iguazú Falls, at the province's northernmost tip. But there are more falls, the Saltos de Moconá, almost as spectacular and staggeringly wide, on the southeastern-most edge of the province and accessible for those adventurous enough to make the trip. With time to spare, you could head inland to Oberá, whose 35 churches represent immigrants from an amazing 15 countries, but beyond the laid-back way of life, there's little to hold you in the province for long. The climate might be uncomfortably hot for much walking in summer, but it's pleasantly warm in winter, while flowers and birdlife are most abundant in spring. For more information, see www.turismo.misiones.gov.ar (in Spanish), or www.misionesvive.com.ar (in Spanish and English).

Best time to visit

Summers are incredibly hot here, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees from November to March, but winters are warm and sunny.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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