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Top Argentina

San Ignacio

(Altitude: 157 m / 510 ft, Population: 6312, Phone Code: 03752)

From Posadas, Ruta Nacional 12 heads eastward through low, rolling hills threaded by broad streams. The dense jungle vegetation is patched with pine tree plantations. Marshy lagoons glisten in the sun. Occasionally there is a turnoff to a port town on the Río Paraná and its tributaries, including Santa Ana and Loreto, both of which once were Jesuit missions. The largest of the Jesuit reducciones, though, is San Ignacio Miní, within the modern-day village San Ignacio. Just to the north of the highway there is a stone archway, half of which is a replica of San Ignacio Miní’s church façade. This is Avenida Sarmiento, the town’s main boulevard with a median park and simplistic monuments. Midway down is the hub of the village, where people seek shade while waiting for the bus. Soon, though, this will be a pedestrian mall. Buses will no longer be allowed to enter town, in order to protect the ruins from pollution.

At the intersection of Sarmiento with Rivadavia there is a plain gothic-styled church. This structure, dedicated to Saint Ignatius, was built in 1936 to replace the wooden one erected when the town was re-founded. Inside there are wooden sculptures and an altar-mural created by local artists. To the right of the church is Museo Provincial Miguel Nadasdy, a small museum of an odd assortment of things from the ruins and 20th-century immigrant life collected by Señor Nadasdy over the years (Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., holidays 9 a.m.-noon, 3-6 p.m. Sarmiento 557. Entry: free).

Turning left onto Rivadavia leads to Plaza Padre José Marx, the town’s main square. Broad walkways of red flagstone lead up to Liberator José de San Martín’s statue in the center. There is a large playground in one quadrant of the park. Around the plaza are various municipal buildings. This is the heart of modern San Ignacio. This town, like many in the region, was established near one of over 30 Jesuit missions in the region that formed part of the Misiones Jesuísticas Guraníes that existed here 1609-1768. Most disappeared beneath the jungle growth or were sacked for stone by early-20th century European immigrants arriving to the region. Those that are now archaeological sites are San Ignacio Miní, Santa Ana, Loreto and Santa María la Mayor. UNESCO declared these and São Miguel das Missões, Brazil, a World Heritage Site in 1983.

Within Parque Provincial Teyú Cuaré, eight kilometers (4.8 mi) east of San Ignacio, are the ruins of the original port of the Jesuit settlement. The Puerto Nuevo, located a few kilometers up the Río Paraná, is a favorite place for fishing, swimming and camping. Off the road to the new port are several M’bya Guaraní communities. The Paraná’s jungle scenery was the inspiration for Uruguayan writer Horacio Quiroga, whose home may be visited. Seven kilometers (4.2 mi) from San Ignacio is Estancia La María Antonia, a country manor based on the design of Simón Bolívar’s home. This estancia offers hiking, photo safaris, birdwatching, horseback riding, yerba mate plantation yours and lodging (Tel.: 0752-47-0011 / 43-8976, E-mail:, URL:


Other places nearby San Ignacio: El Soberbio , Montecarlo, Oberá and Posadas.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

14 May 2010

Things to do in San Ignacio

San Ignacio MinĂ­

138513San Ignacio Miní, in its pre-exodus incarnation, was located in the Territorio del Guairá in Brazil’s modern Paraná state. Founded in 1609 by Fathers José Cataldino and Simón Maceta, this was ...
San Ignacio, Argentina

Parque Provincial Teyú Cuaré

138524Founded in 1992, Parque Provincial Teyú Cuaré protects 78 hectares (192.7 ac) of unique geology and jungle. On this stretch of the Río Paraná’s south bank, there are 120- to 216-meter-high ...
Other Activity
San Ignacio, Argentina

The Missions Of Santa Ana And Loreto

138518The Santa Ana and Loreto mission ruins, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are often overlooked by tours. Both sites are only partially excavated; trees sprout from the fallen vine-covered stones. Each ...
San Ignacio, Argentina

Casa De Quiroga

138521In 1903, young Uruguayan writer Horacio Quiroga (1878-1937) made a journey to Misiones that would change his life forever. Haunted by the beauty and savage wilderness of the region, he returned in ...
Historical Building
San Ignacio, Argentina
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