A visually striking red-sandstone structure with an ornate style incorporating Roman arches, and strongly featuring the passion-flower motif, signature of the Italian architect Juan Prímoli. Founded in 1706, Guaraní people continued to inhabit the site after the expulsion of the Jesuits, until the collapse of the church dome was taken as an instruction by God to abandon the site.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Paraguay attractions

1. Trinidad Ruins

0.08 MILES

Spectacular ruins, with the red-brown stone of the church contrasting strongly with the flower-studded green grass and surrounding hillscapes. Unlike at…

2. Ita Cajón

0.52 MILES

The former Jesuit quarry has now been turned into a pleasant park. The Jesuits removed the stone by hammering along fault lines until the rock broke,…

3. Jesús de Tavarangüe

6.01 MILES

The restored church at Jesús was never finished. It boasts spectacular trefoil arches (a nod to Spain’s Moorish past) and carved motifs of crossed swords…

4. Jesús de Tavarangüe

6.12 MILES

The name Jesús de Tavarangüe means 'Jesus the town that was never finished,' as the Jesuits were expelled before it could be completed. The Spanish…

5. Casa de Horacio Quiroga

13.12 MILES

Uruguayan writer Horacio Quiroga was a get-back-to-nature type who found his muse in the rough-and-ready Misiones backwoods lifestyle. He built his simple…

6. San Ignacio Miní

13.48 MILES

These mission ruins are the most complete in Argentina: atmospheric and impressive for the quantity of carved ornamentation still visible and for the…

7. Escalinata San Pedro

16.26 MILES

A Gaudí-esque ornamental stairway in a residential neighbourhood at the far end of Av Costanera.

8. Sambadromo Carnaval

17.36 MILES

The Sambadromo (Carnival parade ground) is along Av Costanera, which is Encarnación's main strip for nightlife. Outside of Carnival season it is used for…