San Ignacio de Velasco
San Ignacio is the communication and infrastructure hub of the region. It is one of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos towns, but the church is not UNESCO-protected. You can easily reach three other nearby missions from there: San Miguel, San Rafael and Santa Ana.
From Concepción (the bus leaves from there at around 17) there are 5 bumpy hours, Bs50.
San Ignacio is small enough to walk on foot.
A lot of mototaxis are available.
- The church (At the main square). The church is the biggest and probably the most decorated in Chiquitania, but is not UNESCO-protected, as it was not restored but reconstructed.
- Visit a semi-modern local Indian Community of San Juancito (12 km west of the town (first ~10 km on a road towards Concepción, then turn north at the road pointer to San Juancito)). To get there, find yourself a taxi from San Ignacio - i.e. you can ask to bring you there, leave for 4 h and then come back for you, all for Bs200. Community people tell that to come with "trufi" is cheaper and could cost Bs140-160. There is a bus option as well (take a bus to Concepción and jump out at the road pointer), but you have to think of how you are coming back. People tell the community has (as of 2012) about 100 years. The community has a village, work fields and a pond. The people kindly welcomes tourists, tell that some come and spend several weeks (there is some accommodation available) with them. It is interesting to see how the people live, to talk (they talk Spanish) and to help at work. After hard work take a heavenly swim in the pond. You may leave them some money, when leaving - they'll need it to buy goods from the town.
Wooden artwork from some of the workshops (i.e. Taller Hermanos Guasase, av. Rosenhammer between calle Chiquitos and calle Cochabamba) in town.
You can have breakfast (empanadas are very tasty) and dinner at eateries at the marketplace.
- Casa Suiza (Calle Sucre), ☎ Cellphone 76306798. Nice place and hosts. Bolivian family that runs the place can organize a day trip to the three nearby missions for Bs400. They can take to the community of San Juancito too. Breakfast (need to arrange), including the local coffee brand, is extra Bs20. Single Bs40.
Visit the missions of San Miguel, San Rafael and Santa Ana. Take a day trip by taxi (~Bs400) or go by bus (there is one daily that goes to San Rafael through Santa Ana), but with later option you'd have to sleep in Santa Ana or San Rafael.
Head south for San Jose de Chiquitos. There are one or two daily buses going there, that pass through San Miguel and San Rafael. Cost Bs50.
Head north to the wild and magnificent Noel Kempff Mercado national park. Getting there may be tough, as there may be no buses going there. Talk with locals to find how best to get there.