Rest balanced between hot weather and refreshing waters in the Chiquitania and Jesuit missions

Rest balanced between hot weather and refreshing waters in the Chiquitania and Jesuit missions

Chiquitanía or Chiquitos´s plain with some hills and undulating topography is in the extreme south-east of Bolivia, covering much of the eastern department of Santa Cruz.

Due to tropical latitudes, the chiquitana region has hot weather, with temperatures between 28 ° C to 39 ° C, affected by the exchange of very warm air masses from the north equatorial zones and rarely influenced by fresh air masses from Antarctica to the south with the arrival of the cold winds, called ?surazos? reaching a temperature of 5 ° C to 15 ° C.

The meeting of the warm winds and cold winds on chiquitano flat relief also determines the existence of storms at times of seasonal change, these storms are accompanied by heavy rains, especially in the eastern and western limits of the Chiquitos region. The regime of rainfall varies markedly from north to south, which is the annual average of 1,050 mm in the north and just over 600 mm in the south of this region.

In this chiquitana region has the Chiquitano Dry Forest. The Chiquitano Dry Forest ecoregion is characterized by its transitional location between the humid climate of the Amazon and Gran Chaco semi dry. Geologically the Chiquitano Dry Forest has an undulating topography, the presence of small mountain ranges and the Precambrian shield, a granitic rock formation outcrops present in the soils of the region.

The vegetation of the area is semi-deciduous dry forest Chiquitano, to deciduous, meaning the leaves of the trees partially to completely fall in the dry season, but the trees become green again with the rains. In the Chiquitano dry forest characteristic trees are purple (Machaerium scleroxylon) Momoqui (Caesalpinia pluviosa), yellow Tararas (Centrolobium microchaeta, Centrolobium microchaete), and the South American oak (Amburana cearensis), among others. Over 75% of the species of timber from the forests of the Chiquitania region are of commercial value. This is the wealth of renewable natural resources has Chiquitania and was found by the Spanish colonizers and then by Spanish Jesuit missionaries when they came after Christopher Columbus.

There was the need loyal to the Spanish crown in the region of Chiquitos populations, because people are needed to curb the constant penetration of the Mamelukes and Portuguese bandeirantes who were adventurers hired the service of the Portuguese crown, which invaded in these territories unguarded in order to have Indians for the sale as slaves.

With missionary reduction establishments and cities, colonial administration order was strengthened. Spain consolidated strategy network of support for groups which swept expedition to the virgin forests of the Chaco and Chiquitanía, managing to extend its dominance, optimizing its evangelizing action.

The first translation of a large part of the inhabitants of Santa Cruz de la Sierra was made in 1604, from the foothills of the Serrania de Chiquitos to Cotoca, current sanctuary that houses the devotion to the Virgin of Cotoca.

The 1621 Santa Cruz de la Sierra moved a second time, from his seat Cotoca to the city of San Lorenzo, taking place in the first months of next year, 1622. Thus, Santa Cruz de la Sierra and San Lorenzo, form a single city on the river Pirai, prevailing the name of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Santa Cruz de la Sierra remained 44 years, in the place of his first foundation in the Chiquitanía. When these people of Santa Cruz were transferred by order of the Royal Court of Charcas to San Lorenzo Real de la Frontera, many resisted and remained in the same place, which today is San José de Chiquitos, accepting Jesuit missionary priests. Jesuit missionary priests performed several indigenous reductions, carrying his catechetical work and art teaching and mission building sets. Chiquitano culture is still alive in the Chiquitanos peoples why have been named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the December 12, 1990.

The colonization of America was also undertaken by priests of various religious orders, who carried out extensive work of evangelization. Among the missions of such orders highlighted the Jesuits and Franciscans, and its work in the Bolivian Chiquitania.

In the late seventeenth century it began the creation of the Jesuit missions in Bolivia, mainly in the regions of Chiquitos, north of the department of Santa Cruz, and in Moxos, located in the territory of Beni. First Mission San Francisco Xavier was founded in 1691 by Jesuit José de Arce. Then San Rafael Mission in 1696, due to Zea and Herbas Jesuits was created. Then in 1697 the Jesuit Felipe Suarez founded San Jose Mission. San Juan Bautista Mission dates back to 1699. The Concepcion Mission dates from 1709. The San Ignacio de Zamucos Mission was created in 1724, was abandoned in 1745. Later, the San Ignacio Mission was founded in 1748, the Santiago Mission in 1754, and the last was finally founded the Santa Ana Mission in 1755 and the “Santo Corazón” mission in 1760.

The evangelization of missionaries was made using the Renaissance and Baroque music. The main function of the missions was to convert the nomadic tribes in what was known as “settlements of Indians converted to the Catholic faith” in an attempt to introduce indigenous people to a religious, civic and artistic life.

In 1767, the Jesuits were expelled from Spain and America, leaving incomplete and abandoned his work. While in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil work done remarkably disappeared. But in Bolivia, the work remained and grown for generations until today. So it is worth visiting the Jesuit Missions in the Chiquitania.

San José de Chiquitos. It was the third Jesuit mission founded in Chiquitano territory with the population of jamarós and piñocas. San José de Chiquitos was founded on March 19, 1697.

The term “chiquitos? or translated as ?small people” is due to the belief of the Spaniards with respect to the stature of the original inhabitants to see the huts with small doors. San Jose is named in honor of the patron saint of the mission.

San José de Chiquitos is located 266 km from the city Santa Cruz de la Sierra. San José de Chiquitos is at a height of 310 meters. In the territory of San José de Chiquitos livestock development, extensive industrial agriculture, forestry, trade due to the passage of the railway and tourism is observed.

In the territory of San José de Chiquitos live Mennonites immigrants who colonized large areas north of San José de Chiquitos, such as ?Nueva Esperanza? translated as ?New Hope? Mennonite colony is located.

San José de Chiquitos is characterized by being at the foot of the hill range “San Jose” in the area of Letei hill at an altitude of 653 meters. South east of San Jose de Chiquitos is the Turubó hill is at an altitude of 606 meters. The average annual temperature is 27 ° C. The maximum temperature is 39 ° C and the minimum is 10 ° C.

Roboré is best known as “the Pearl of the East” is located in the province Chiquitos 400 km from the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in the biooceánico corridor on the Bolivia-Brazil road. The climate in the municipality of Roboré is warm, subtropical. The average temperature in this area is 26 ° C, with the highest average in the summer of 31 ° C and an average minimum in winter of 19 ° C.

Roboré Township was founded on October 25, 1916, which coincides with the day of the celebration of religious holidays. Each October 25 is celebrated the feast of the patron Roboré Cristo Rey and the founding of the city of Roboré.

Township Roboré contains an inexhaustible natural wealth. Large waterfalls, refreshing natural pools and spas, hot springs endless, mysterious caves, spectacular trails, rock formations and landscapes, make an ideal place to enjoy ecotourism in the Pearl of the East Bolivian place.

15 minutes from the main square of the city is the spa Roboré Fifth Army Division “El Chorro” translated as ?Water jet?, the spa San Manuel and Municipal spa. A few kilometers ahead spa Fifth Division is the real 15 minutes from the main square of the city is the spa Roboré Fifth Army Division “El Chorro”, the spa San Manuel and Municipal spa. A few kilometers ahead spa Fifth Division is the real village´s jet where the nature has high splendor besides the water fall.

Another attraction is the San Luis waterfall. This stunning waterfall cold water leaves the water running between the stones. The San Luis waterfall is surrounded by canyons and lush vegetation, leading to a natural lagoon with crystalline waters adorned by a sandy beach ready for the rest of visitors. The San Luis waterfall, is a large waterfall, 23 meters high, which forms a large pool of great depth in its deepest area.

5 km from the city of Roboré The spa is totaisales. This spa of outstanding natural beauty has two springs of cold water. The second source is a cascade of cold water decorating a natural setting that delights the eye and invite you into their waters. The trip part is made by car and also on foot walking 1200 meters in the mountainous ranges of hills it allows to know this beautiful place.

Roboré around there are two semi-nomadic indigenous communities ayoreode. Urucu is a community that is 2 km southwest of Roboré downtown. Another community is Tobité which is located 6 km northeast of Roboré.

Chochís is a young town that belongs to the municipality of Roboré Chiquitos Province, it has become the ideal place to relax and enjoy nature. It is located 440 kilometers from the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 80 km from San Jose de Chiquitos and 50 km of Robore, Southeast area.

The Bridal Veil is a beautiful waterfall of 12 meters high is located 2.5 km from town and 50 km from Chochís downtown and 50 km from Roboré downtown on the road to the Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary before reaching the River “Bird”. Arriving at attractive visitors can see a tree carving depicting the flora and fauna. Also on the tour you can observe animals in their natural habitat. The veil of the bride has a natural pool of cold and crystalline waters surrounded by lush vegetation and stone.  The legend of the veil of the Bride says that lovers bathe in its waters. Then the lovers marry in the year having visited the waterfall.

4 hours of Chochís it takes to get to Motacusal. Motacusal is a place of great natural beauty with rock formations that make the visitor play with imagination.

Aguas Calientes is within the municipality Roboré. Aguas Calientes has volcanic hot springs with medicinal properties. Aguas Calientes is at a distance of 32kms from Roboré, and just 45 minutes by paved road from Roboré. Aguas Calientes is 19 kms from Santiago de Chiquitos. Aguas Calientes is 432 km from Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Aguas Calientes River receives water from different hot and sulfuric water with an average temperature of 40 ° C at the surface of a shallow river with a sandy riverbed. The Aguas Calientes  river ´s properties are its healing properties for rheumatism and skin diseases are tested. Aguas Calientes river has a length of 5 km of medicinal waters and amazing nature.

The riverside of the Aguas Calientes River are covered with an exotic and lush vegetation. This heavenly place is visited by locals on weekends or holidays.

Aguas Calientes is the place for a perfect day trip from Santiago de Chiquitos or Roboré. There is also the possibility to sleep on site.

Specifically, the place is called Hervores, because on the river, from the floor born gushing hot water, so the water seems boiling.  The Hervores not have great depth. The Hervores, is the site with more hot water between 41 ° C and 45 ° C, the most interesting site is formed by outbreaks of water or boils, where literally the water is boiling, and the visitor can enter feeling the earth it begins to swallow his body, but no chance of that and if he can stay inside, you can enjoy a delicious massage. These waters have medicinal properties, given the concentration of minerals. The Hervores of Aguas Calientes have up to 2 meters deep; the place is surrounded by greenery, ideal for rest. The Hervores of Aguas Calientes is 900 meters from the Aguas Calientes town, 35km from Roboré.

Following the course of the water, you get to El Playon, instead of a little fresh water, where you can spend hours relaxing swimming and observing nature. El Playon is a place deeper in the Aguas Calientes river, ideal for swimming.

Another interesting site is the Aguas Calientes´s Burriño, which is a warm and clear lagoon waters for recreation. Burriño is 300m from Aguas Calientes and is 35 km from Roboré.

The cost of the tour includes:

Private transport – back and wait
Food (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Refreshments during the rides (water and fruit)
Boletos de entrada para visitas a los lugares turísticos mencionados
Interaction with the locals to take pictures
Depending on visitors, there is a guide in Spanish, French, English, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese.

The cost of the trip does not include:

Mosquito repellents
Hat sunscreen
Walking shoes
Socks, towel, swimsuit
Alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks
Individual personal expenses

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