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ESSENTIAL SANTA CRUZ — 4 days/3 nights

In-depth Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos

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+ Six Jesuit Mission Churches of the Chiquitos
+ Artisans Workshops & Bespoke Activities
+ 3 Nights at UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Essential Santa Cruz will enable you to sample the very best of Bolivian daily life and history combined with breathtaking landscapes around Santa Cruz, and featuring privately guided tours.

This trip is unique in that it combines the incredible natural history and scenery of the tropical woodlands and fertile plains at the southern end of the Amazon basin, with some of Bolivia’s most interesting cultural elements such as the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Santa Cruz, and the 18th c. Mission churches of the Chiquitania.

At 416 meters above sea level, Santa Cruz is located in the Eastern Lowlands of Bolivia. It is warm and distinctly tropical most of the year, and is a perfect tropical vacation spot with a charming, hip ambiance and a combination of relaxed and adventurous lifestyles. Plenty of restaurants, bars and open air front beach lounges to lay back and chill out with friends and locals...

In the days when Eastern Bolivia was still unsurveyed and lacked political definition, the Jesuits created an autonomous religious state from which they spread throughout southern South America. Missions were founded in remote areas previously unexplored by Europeans, including the Bolivian Chiquitania where the height of mission architecture is represented in its unique and well-preserved churches.

You will have the opportunity to explore each mission individually, admiring the amount of time and effort that has been put into the construction of each church. With the incredible mix of both natural and cultural features, this trip promises to satisfy the interests of everyone!

This trip option is a subtle combination of relaxed, tropical vacation and cultural adventure around Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. You will spend three nights at local hotels in the World Heritage Sites of the Chiquitano area with visits in and around the region. This trip enables to spend most of your time in the Jesuit Missions area, and visit up to 6 World Heritage Sites! Optional add-ons and bespoke itineraries.

WHERE?

• SANTA CRUZ - Far from the altiplano in the huge eastern lowland plains of Bolivia is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a city where the warmth of its people is only exceeded by the heat of its climate. Santa Cruz is rapidly becoming  the principal gateway to Bolivia:  it is the center of the country´s economic growth, has the best international airport in the country, and is at a low altitude – only 416 m. (1,350 ft) above sea level. The rapid economic development has not affected the colonial character of the old backstreets nor the famous good humor of the city's inhabitants.

• JESUIT MISSIONS OF THE CHIQUITOS - The Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos are truly monumental treasures and are officially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The numerous indigenous tribes in the eastern lowlands of Bolivia were traditionally hunters and gatherers. In the 18th century the Jesuits settled these people into groups called reducciones (reductions). Several thousand native people were organized into productive units that were a type of socialist society. Some considered the groups little utopias. Architects, sculptors and musicians were brought from Europe to help build the churches and the community. The local people proved to be talented artisans and musicians. The prosperity of the missions caused political issues within the Catholic Church and the Jesuits were expelled from South America in 1767.

Our excursions combine history, religious art, culture, and beautiful countryside as found in very few other parts of the world. Our 4-day trip includes a visit to San Xavier (founded 1691), Concepción (1699), San Ignacio (1748), San Rafael (1695), San Miguel (1722) and Santa Ana (1755). Optional add-on also includes San José (1697) and the southern Jesuit Mission Circuit (e.g. Santiago de Chiquitos, Chochis and the Sureste Cruceño or South-East Chiquitano).

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WHAT?

Cultural Exploration - Adventure Touring - Artists Excursions - Community Projects - Photography

WHEN?

Year-Round Departures (depart virtually any day of the week).

May - October is dry season.

+ Six Jesuit Mission Churches of the Chiquitos
+ Artisans Workshops & Bespoke Activities
+ 3 Nights at UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Typical Itinerary (fully customizable)

Day 1 - Depart Santa Cruz to visit San Xavier Jesuit Mission (Unesco World Heritage Site), including the beautiful baroque church and surrounding village. [B]

Day 2 - Visit Concepción Jesuit Mission (Unesco World Heritage Site) and meet with master artisans in charge of the conservation of the site. On to San Ignacio de Velasco Jesuit Mission. [B]

Day 3 - Visit to three more missions noted for their originality and rich expressive architecture: San Rafael, San Miguel, and Santa Ana. Back to Concepción for the night. [B]

Day 4 - Morning at leisure in Concepción for optional activities; Transfer back to Santa Cruz. [B]

Bolivia Short Trip #1 - Essential Santa Cruz

Meals Included: Breakfast [B], Lunch [L], Dinner [D]

Depart any day! Custom dates and prices available.
Contact one of our travel consultants for details.

Solutions for families, small and large groups – feel free to request a custom quote.

We organize tailor-made tours at competitive prices throughout Bolivia for individuals, couples or groups, off the usual tourist routes and accompanied by accredited local guides, to get you in direct contact with stunning Bolivian landscapes, the people and local culture.

Choose the duration of your Bolivia trip, the places you want to visit, type of accommodation, schedules, ways to get around and even your budget. Everything exactly as you prefer!

Contact us so that we can prepare a detailed tailor-made itinerary for you, based on your travel dates and personal conveniences.

If you are a group of 10 or more travelers, you can take advantage of the favorable conditions that Fremen Tours Bolivia has planned for you.

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