Sítio Arqueológico São Miguel Arcanjo

Top choice in Rio Grande do Sul

The most moving of the Brazilian missions, this elegant church, designed by an Italian architect who was also a Jesuit friar, earned Unesco World Heritage status in 1984. It's surrounded by the ruins of the Jesuit settlement, which evokes a certain ‘paradise lost.' On a beautiful day, snapping pics will drain your phone battery.

The archaeological site also includes the excellent Museu das Missões.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rio Grande do Sul attractions

1. Museu das Missões

0.05 MILES

Designed by Lúcio Costa of Brasília fame, this museum contains an impressive collection of religious artifacts that were rescued from the ruins.

2. Santuário de Caaró

10.71 MILES

About 20km west of São Miguel, the Santuário de Caaró is the place where the region’s spiritual history is most alive. A modest monument honors three…

4. Museu Municipal Dr José Olavo Machado

24.38 MILES

A small but well-done municipal museum housing several rooms of historical artifacts (including an epic accounting machine), agricultural tools, sculpture…

5. Catedral Angelopolitana

24.43 MILES

A homage to São Miguel Arcanjo, this 1929 sandstone church dominates the plaza with its intriguing mix of baroque, Renaissance and Guarani architecture…