Vestiges of the fine craftsmanship by the Guaraní Indians who were trained in the missions are scattered around the towns of Trinidad and Jesús. The Jesuit museum at San Ignacio Guazú is a testament to their work, and one of the most significant social experiments on the South American continent. Santa María, whose mission was founded in 1669, now sadly burnt down, has a pretty square with monkeys, and a good little museum with a charming nativity scene in statues (unique among the Reductions). To the south-east lies Ciudad del Este, a major trading centre and the closest point in Paraguay to the Iguassu Falls.
Our preferred accommodation
Estancia/Ranch - San Ignacio GuazuA rustic estancia some 4 hours south of Asunción and 2 hours north of Encarnación, surrounded by rolling countryside. The complex comprises of the original, traditional farm buildings combined with a new modern annexe built with tourism in mind. There is a small pool in the shape of a fountain and a separate bar come restaurant.
Inn/Posada - TrinidadTrinidad is around 1 hour from Encarnación. Las Ruinas is the only hotel in Trinidad itself, at the entrance to the ruins of the Jesuit mission of the same name. It is simple but does have a restaurant and is well placed for seeing the ruins by day and night. There is a small swimming pool and terrace area.
Inn/Posada - 25 minutes from TrinidadTrinidad is around 1 hour from Encarnación. Hotel Papillon is a modern restaurant come motel and makes for a convenient base to visit the Trinidad Mission. Comfortable with good food, there is even a small pool out the back behind the accommodation blocks.
Inn/Posada - Santa María de FéA charming small hotel on the main plaza in Santa María de Fé, around 4 hours south of Asunción and 2 hours north of Encarnación. There is a chapel in the garden and the hotel has an amazing collection of books on missions and their music. You can often see black howler monkeys, among other species, in the trees on the main plaza and across the road is a very good museum.