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San Ignacio Miní - Ruin San Ignacio - Argentina

San 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 one of the earliest Jesuit reducciones founded in South America. Like many in that region, the inhabitants had to flee the constant attacks by Portuguese slave traders. San Ignacio Miní moved several times before taking permanent root here in 1696. Construction of the church began in 1720. At its peak in 1733, this reducción had 4500 inhabitants. After 1740 the population declined, reaching 3500 by the time of the Jesuits’ expulsion in 1768. The port of this Jesuit mission lay about eight kilometers (4.8 mi) west, on the banks of the Río Paraná, in what is now Parque Provincial Teyú Cuaré.

San Ignacio Miní’s typical reducción urban plan covered 24 hectares (59 ac), plus extensive farmlands. Presently about nine hectares (22 ac) are preserved, much of them excavated. The red sandstone church has an intricately carved façade with three doors that lead into the central nave and side aisles. Its sheer grandeur saved it from being a quarry for early 20th-century immigrants, a fate many other mission ruins suffered.

In a former school on the front edge of the site is the museum with excellent explanations (in English and Spanish) of mission life and a scale model of the reducción. A listening station allows visitors to hear Guaraní and sacred music of the era. Another area has recordings of Guaraní legends, with texts displayed in Spanish an English. A smaller museum with miscellaneous artifacts is near the ruin’s exit.


Alberdi 347

San Ignacio, Argentina

Ruin Types:

Getting There

Walk east on Avenida Rivadavia, which runs along the backside of the ruins. Turn right; the entrance is about 100 meters down.

Travel Tips:

The last guided tour is at 7 p.m. You can visit the site without a guide. The museum exhibits are in Spanish and English, and the ruins’ explanatory placards are in five languages.

A Sound and Light (Imagen y Sonido) Show is offered at 7 p.m. in fall and winter, and at 8 p.m. in spring and summer. Space is limited to 70 persons, so reservations are required. Headset with translated recordings in five languages is available (free). Cost for the show is Foreigners $7, Latin Americans $5.70, Argentines $4.25, Misiones resident and Argentine retirees $3, Misiones retirees and all children under 6 years old free. The ticket does not include day visits to San Ignacio Miní, or entry into the other Mission ruins. Show is cancelled in case of rain.

This reducción’s name, San Ignacio Miní (the Small), is to distinguish it from San Igncion Guazú (the Great), the continent’s first mission located in present-day Paraguay.

Price Description:

Foreigners $7, Latin Americans $5.70, Argentines $4.25, Misiones resident and Argentine retirees $3, Misiones retirees and all children under 6 years old free. Includes pamphlet about the four Jesuit Mission sites and basic guide services (Spanish, English, French, Italian). A guide, however, is not required.

Upon buying a ticket, identification must be presented. Ticket is good for 15 days, and includes entry into the Santa Ana, Loreto and Santa María Mayor sites. The ticket window is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day, but the ruins are open (and free).

Relative price: Mid-Range

Open Hours from:Daily 7 a.m.

Open Hours to:Daily 7 p.m.

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring:

Bring along bug spray and wear long sleeves and pants, as bugs are especially bad after rains and at night.

Visit the other Jesuit ruins at Santa Ana and Loreto. Explore the nature and legends of Parque Provincial Teyú Cuaré. Go boating, fishing and sunbathing at Puerto Nuevo’s beach. Visit Horacio Quiroga’s homestead.

Currencies accepted
Argentine Peso

Contact Information:
Phone: 47-0186

Here are other activities in and around San Ignacio that may be of interest: The Missions Of Santa Ana And Loreto,

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