Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site San Ignacio Miní, Argentina

San Ignacio Miní is a Jesuit mission in Argentina. It was founded in 1632 by Jesuit missionaries and is located in present-day San Ignacio valley, about 60 km to the south of Posadas, in Misiones Province, Argentina. San Ignacio Mini is one of the five Jesuit missions of the Guaranis that were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

What to See at San Ignacio Miní

The ruins of San Ignacio Mini is the best preserved in the area. It comprises a plaza with a basilica, a municipal administrative building (called cabildo), a cemetery, a monastery and a few abodes. The basilica was designed by Italian-born Jesuit priest Juan Brasanelli. It is 74 meters long and 24 meters wide - the walls alone have a thickness of 2 meters, enabling the structure to stand for over two centuries, despite the fragile material.

Photos of San Ignacio Mini

Ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Argentina
Ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Argentina
Author: Loco085 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)

Ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Argentina
Ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Argentina
Author: Dario Alpern (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Argentina
Ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Argentina
Author: Christof Berger (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

San Ignacio Mini was lost to the jungle until rediscovered in 1897. The expedition by poet Leopoldo Lugones brought added exposure to the ruins in 1903, but it was only in 1940 that any form of restoration was carried out on it.

The World Monuments Fund had recently completed restoration work on the main gateway to mission. The place is not turned into a museum called the Museo Jesuítico de San Ignacio Miní.


The history of San Ignacio Mini goes back to 1610 when two Jesuit priests, José Cataldino and Simón Maceta, arrived in the area known as Guayrá to the natives and La Pinería to the Spanish conquistadores. They set up their missionary stations there. However, constant attacks from Portuguese slave traders (called Bandeirantes) forced the priests to move their mission.

The first relocation took place in 1632, but it was only in 1696 that they settled at San Ignacio Miní. It was called Miní, meaning minor in the Guaraní language, to distinguish it from the bigger mission of the same name, San Ignacio Guazu (guazu meaning great).


San Ignacio Mini is quite near the other Jesuit ruins in Misones Province, including Nuestra Señora de Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa Maria la Mayor.

Visiting this Site

Your base for visiting this World Heritage Site is Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. You should find your accommodation in Buenos Aires, and then get your hotel to help you make arrangements for visiting the sights in Argentina. I recommend that you base yourself in Buenos Aires rather than a smaller Argentine city, as you will have more options here. There will be plenty of tour packages to choose from, according to the amount of time you have in your hands.

Here's a comprehensive list of Hotels in Buenos Aires with online booking facilities. Booking is provided by HostelBookers, so there is no booking fee involved.

Book Hotel Rooms in Argentina and Worldwide

Click here also for a full list of hotels in Argentina or hotels worldwide. If you prefer budget accommodation in hostels, guesthouses or inns, check out hostels worldwide for budget accommodation providers with online booking.

Argentina Local Tours

As part of your tour planning, here are some local tours of Argentina that you may wish to add to your itinerary. These tours are arranged by Viator, one of the most reputable tour agencies in the market.

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