South America Living

Jesuit Mission at San Ignacio Mini Travel Information

San Ignacio Mini

Founded in 1610 by two Jesuit missionaires, the San Ignacio “Mini” (to distinguish from the mission San Ignacio “Guazu”, or “great”) ruins are located approximately 60 km (37 miles) from the town of Posadas in northeastern Argentina.

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The site is officially called “Mision Jesuitica Guarani San Ignacio Mini” and a very popular tourist attraction in addition to the waterfalls at Iguazu.

Map of Jesuit Missions in the Tri-border Area Founded in the 17th and 18th Centuries

San Ignacio Mini, along with fourteen other Jesuit missions are collectively known as the “Missions of the Guaranis” (named after the Guaraní Native Americans of the area) and were established in the Tri-border area (Argentina, Paraguay & Brazil) in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Five of these mission sites – San Ignacio Mini and four others – have been partially restored and were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The four others are: Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto, Santa Maria la Mayor and Sao Miguel das Missoes.

The original site contained a plaza with a basilica (large, important church), a cabildo (administrative building for the ‘council’ that governed a municipality), a cemetery, a monastery and abodes.

The front structure of the site has been beautifully restored and contains the Museo Jesuítico de San Ignacio Miní (San Ignacio Mini Museum) and has on display sculptures, artifacts (metal crosses, ironwork) and photographs. To take a walk through the museum or the outer grounds, click here to watch a video: Videos of San Ignacio Mini Ruins

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