Jesuit Missions, 5 days
For the description of the first 2 days of this tour we refer you to the detailed description of the 4-days tour.
On the 3rd day we continue the journey to the other two small missions, San Miguel de Velasco (1721) and San Rafael de Velasco (1696).
You will probably be very impressed by the paintings in the churches. The serene peace that prevails in the villages gives a wonderful feeling.
In San Miguel we will visit a workshop where beautiful carvings are made, such as ornaments for the churches. The angel heads can be seen in the murals everywhere in the missions. You can also buy beautiful handmade souvenirs here.
Then we drive via San José de Chiquitos to the wonderfully quiet town of Santiago de Chiquitos (1754). Santiago is surrounded by beautiful nature. It is situated higher than the other missions and therefore it is a bit cooler. After arrival we visit the church of Santiago.
We will have dinner and stay overnight in Santiago de Chiquitos.
On the 4th day we take a walk to a viewpoint over the immense green Tucavaca valley. Then we drive to Aguas Calientes, where you can take a bath in the thermal water.
Then we head for Chochis, where we visit the Sanctuary at the foot of La Torre de David. 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 travel to San José de Chiquitos. Possibly we drive to the viewpoint of Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) to enjoy the sunset. Valle de la Luna derives its name from the rocks in all kinds of whimsical shapes that you see here. If we don't visit the Moon Valley today, we will do it the next morning.
Dinner and overnight stay are in San José.
On the 5th day we will visit the church with the museum of San José. The church of San José de Chiquitos is huge, it covers a whole block and it is the only stone church in the Missions.
Then the return journey to Sa. Cruz starts. On the way we visit Sa. Cruz la Vieja, the place 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.
We will make some stops along the way to take pictures, stretch the legs and have lunch.
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