Jesuit Missions, 3 days
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in Sa. Cruz for the journey through the beautiful green lowlands.
First we will arrive in the town of Cotoca. There we will make a short stop to see if there are sloths in the trees on the central Plaza.
Then we cross the bridge of Pailón over the Río Grande that runs parallel to the railway. The famous old wooden bridge is only still in use for train traffic and you will see it next to you.
In the whole area you come across agriculture and cattle breeding.
During a few stops along the way you can stretch your legs. We will also have lunch on the way before we arrive in San José de Chiquitos.
The Mission San José was founded in the year 1697, 2 km away from where the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra was founded for the first time. Today this place is part of the Historic National Park Santa Cruz la Vieja.
Depending on the time we will visit the church with museum at the end of the 1st day or at the beginning of the 2nd day. The church of San José de Chiquitos is huge, it covers a whole block and it is the only stone church in the Missions.
Dinner and overnight stay are in San José de Chiquitos.
On the 2nd day we will see the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) near San José. The valley derives its name from the rocks in all kinds of whimsical shapes that you see here.
Then we head for the Sanctuary at the foot of La Torre de David near the town of Chochis, in the municipality of Roboré.
The sanctuary Mariano de la Torre is dedicated to the Vírgen de Asunto and has beautiful wood carvings that have been constructed around the mountain. Construction took place in 1988 under the leadership of Swiss architect Hans Roth.
Inside the sanctuary there is an altar and a pulpit and you can see parrots, fish, toucans, deer and anteaters cut out in wood, and a leaf of the Ambaiba tree that transits into the face of Jesus and the 12 apostles. There are also many images of typical Chiquitanos angels playing a musical instrument.
After the visit to Chochis we will travel the last part of the trip to the wonderfully quiet town of Santiago de Chiquitos.
Santiago is surrounded by beautiful nature. It is situated higher than the other missions and therefore it is a bit cooler.
We will have dinner and stay overnight in Santiago de Chiquitos.
On the 3rd day you can take a bath in the thermal waters of Aguas Calientes before we travel back to Sa. Cruz.
Tip: If you have one extra day to spend in Santiago de Chiquitos you can do a day hike to e.g. a viewpoint over the immense green Tucavaca Valley, or to a naturally formed arch or ancient rock paintings.
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