Overview

Two of the most southerly of Paraguay’s departments, Misiones and Itapuá, are distinguished not so much by their geography or land use, but by their unique cultural history.  This is the peaceful, rolling land of the Jesuit Missions, the history of which has until now exerted a huge influence on the region.

When Jesuit Missionaries arrived here during the early 1600s they established settlements known as Reductions, which  flourished for over 150 years. Here, the indigenous Guaraní people were housed, educated and given spiritual guidance by the priests. They were introduced to co-operative farming, music, architecture and art, the vestiges of which are on display long after the decline of the Missions in the 18th century left most of original 30 towns in Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil in ruins. These sites are now protected by UNESCO listing and form part of the Ruta Jesuita, a convenient way to visit the ruins and museums while passing through a totally rural landscape cornfields on decent roads.

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Ruins of Jesuit mission Paraguay

The weather in The Jesuit Missions of the south is wide and varied

Located in the south of the country, Misiones and Itapuá have a unique cultural history and were established in the early 1600s by the Jesuit missionaries who exerted a huge influence on the region for over 150 years. The sites are now protected by UNESCO and form part of the Ruta Jesuita.

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