Santa Ana de Velasco
Santa Ana is best known as one of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a very small village where life is quiet. The church of Santa Ana is the most authentic from the mission churches.
There is a bus from San Ignacio that goes daily to San Rafael through Santa Ana. The road from San Ignacio to Santa Ana is rough road of very bad quality. Locals tell (as of 2012) the road won't become better soon as the president prefers to invest into the roads of the western part of the country.
You can visit Santa Ana by taxi on a day trip from San Ignacio.
Santa Ana is small enough to walk on foot.
- The church and the belltower (At the main square). While the church may not look exceptional from outside, the spirit inside is charming - the smell of wood, stripes, flower, authentic clay tiles floor. Inside there is an antique (more than 200 years) organ, brought from Potosí that still works (though now restored - some electronics added). There is also a harf, made by local people. Columns are slightly bent, for the church was finished by local people (they didn't have tools good as the jesuits) after the jesuits left. The belltower calls for restoration work. Bs15 for entry.
- The main square. A sight in itself - winding pathways, grass, occasional donkey.
- Walk around the village. This is an unforgettable tranquility and harmony experience in Chiquitania that you are not going to find anywhere else. Being sheer bliss for the soul, the walk (tranquility, cane roofs, simple houses, hens and chickens, kids, etc.) makes you feel as you'd like to spend here an extra day or two.
Continue to the missions of San Rafael or San José. For San José, you have to go first to San Ignacio (directly by taxi or by a couple of buses via San Rafael and San Miguel) or San Rafael, and board some bus to San José. For San Rafael, jump on a daily bus from San Ignacio that stops at Santa Ana.