Established in Argentina from the 17th century, the Jesuits were instrumental in introducing wine and the first universities to the country. You can find many remains of estancias, the farms which they built, on the territory of the Guaranis Indians in the province of Misiones. The perimeter of the Jesuit missions includes thirty villages and straddles the borders of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. Five of these villages have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.
To see one of the most well-preserved of these missions, we recommend a visit to San Ignacio Miní. At its peak, the settlement had a population of 4,000 converts. You can view a scale model of San Ignacio in the adjoining museum and admire the well-preserved columns and sculptures.
The Jesuit missions of Loreto, Santa Maria la Mayor and Santa Agata have maintained their original rural organization. This configuration included ranches, orchards and mate plantations. You can also see the vestiges of the various buildings (churches, workshops, dwellings) which made up these atypical villages.