The Jesuit missions

Northeast of Santa Cruz is the region called La Chiquitanía, which covers the provinces of Chiquitos, Ñuflo de Chávez, Velasco, Angel Sandoval, and Germán Busch. This is a vast, sprawling, sparsely populated area, mainly given over to cattle ranching and seemingly of little interest to the traveller. But this is a part of Bolivia with a fascinating history and a precious heritage.

Here lie the seven surviving Jesuit mission churches of San Javier, Concepción, San Ignacio de Velasco, Santa Ana, San Rafael, San Miguel and San José de Chiquitos, all of which became UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1990. These are perhaps the finest examples of colonial religious art and craftsmanship in the country and will impress even those travellers who would not normally set foot inside a church. A comprehensive and highly recommended website is

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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