The province of Misiones in Argentina is home to the famous Iguazú Falls, where numerous tourists from around the world come to marvel at this natural wonder. For those looking to spend more than just a day or two in this part of the country we’ve selected a handful of interesting things to do in Misiones, which will enable you to sample it’s wonderful natural resources and venture beyond the falls.
De la Cruz Theme Park: nature and religion combined
De la Cruz Theme Park is situated on Santa Ana Hill, providing delightful panoramic views over the Paraná Jungle. There is a trail that splits into two routes: one for nature, the other for reflection, meditation and religious celebrations. The former gives you the chance to identify exotic wildlife species and visit natural springs, whereas the latter offers stations for prayer and reflection. The park features a concrete building with the cross of Santa Ana on top, which is illuminated at sunset every day, creating a unique spectacle. Inside the building, you can watch shows at the Jungle Theatre and admire the artwork on display at the Exhibitions Gallery, as well as choose from a number of places to relax with a coffee or lunch. At the centre of the park, there is a butterfly farm and an orchid farm, both inspired by nature of the region.
San Ignacio Jesuit Ruins: discover Guaraní culture
San Ignacio was one of the missions founded by the Jesuits during the Spanish colonial period. Its ruins, which were rediscovered and restored in the 1900s, are the most complete of those in Argentina and provide an excellent example of ‘Guaraní baroque’. You can take a San Ignacio Jesuit Ruins tour, which gives you the opportunity to explore the magnificent red sandstone church with the assistance of a professional tour guide. The guide will teach you about the work of the missionaries and the importance of their contributions to the religious and cultural aspects of Guaraní culture. Just beside the exit of the church, there is a museum containing some excellent carved paving stones, which is also worth a visit.
Moconá Waterfall: “the one that swallows all”
This waterfall was named after the Guaraní word ‘Moconá’ meaning “the one that swallows all”, which is perfectly fitting for this vast body of water. Moconá is one of the most unique waterfalls in the world, for rather than running perpendicular to the river, it runs parallel to it, due to a narrow underwater canyon located below. Visitors can stand at the centre and enjoy watching a seemingly endless wall of falling water, which surrounds them at 180 degrees. Around the falls you’ll find the pristine Atlantic Forest, where the Moconá Provincial Park was established. From here, you can enjoy breathtaking viewpoints, sight various different species of flora and fauna and go hiking along one of the many trails. If you’re interested in this great alternative activity in Iguazu, Argentina4u offers a tour to Moconá Falls.
Wanda Mines: gems galore
Wanda is a small town located approximately 40 kilometres from Puerto Iguazú, which was named after a Polish princess who was very fond of gems. At the Wanda Mines, you’ll find a gemstone site which contains quartz crystals, amethysts, agates and topazes, to name a few varieties. From Route 12, there are several mining companies just a few kilometres away, which provide guided tours that enable travellers to appreciate the different sectors of the mines, workshops and showrooms. You can also visit Wanda Mines as part of the San Ignacio Jesuit Ruin Excursion.
Yacutinga: private rainforest reserve
Yacutinga is a private rainforest reserve in the northeastern corner of Misiones, roughly two hours west of Iguazu Falls. Not only is it home to countless species of birds, mammals and plants, but it also protects several endangered species, such as the jaguar, tapir and ocelot, though it is rare to spot these creatures there. Within the reserve you’ll find the Yacutinga Lodge, the first eco-lodge in Argentina, which was built using fallen wood from the forest, recycled bottles, cans and plastic. Created specifically for nature lovers, this lodge offers a unique way to explore the surrounding jungle and enjoy safaris with expert naturalist guides.
As well as the aforementioned activities, there are many other things to do in Misiones. Check out our catalogue of tours and activities in Iguazu and start planning your dream vacation in Misiones!
By: Milly Day – English Content Manager