São Miguel das Missões, Rio Grande do Sul, has records of an important part of South American history. Between 1626 and 1634, the Jesuits of the Society of Jesus had the mission of evangelizing the Indigenous people in the north of Bacia do Rio Prata (a region that today belongs to Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil) thus ensuring the safe navigation along the river by the Spanish and Portuguese during the times of colonization.
They founded 18 villages called Reductions, places where the converted Indigenous people lived, to adapt their culture to Christianity. But the Reductions did not survive the attacks of explorers. Thus, in 1680, the Jesuits returned to the lands which today belong to Rio Grande do Sul and founded seven more Reductions, known as Sete Povos das Missões. One of of which was São Miguel Arcanjo.
The ancient village of São Miguel did not survive the following wars and expulsion of the Jesuits, but the archaeological ruins survived, which today are one of the most beautiful representations of the Jesuit missions in Brazil and a very important historical record of humanity. Not by chance, the Ruins of São Miguel Arcanjo became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1983.
During the day you can explore the ruins and, in the evening, you can watch the beautiful show Som e Luz, which tells the story of the place in Portuguese, English, and Spanish.
In São Miguel das Missões, you will be able to experience a little of the indigenous and gaúcho cultures. For the first, it is worth a conversation with indigenous groups that sell beautiful handicrafts at the archaeological site or take a visit to the Indian village Tekoa Koenju. For the second, it is a true delight to sample the famous gaúcho barbecue and the folk performances in the Centro de Tradições Nativas Sinos de São Miguel.
The nearest airport to São Miguel das Missões is in Santo Ângelo, which small charter and air taxi services.
The nearest international airport is in Porto Alegre, which receives direct flights from Buenos Aires, Miami, Lima, Lisbon, Montevideo, and Panama City as well as flights from many other Brazilian cities.
To arrive in São Miguel das Missões, you need to take a bus to the Santo Ângelo Bus Station, which receives inter-municipal and interstate routes and, from there, go to the São Miguel das Missões Bus Station. The route between the two cities lasts about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
One of the easiest ways to arrive in São Miguel das Missões is through a travel agency that offers transfer between the airport of Porto Alegre and the city.
You can walk through downtown where the hotels, restaurants, and the Ruins of São Miguel Arcanjo are located. On this site there are agencies and tourist guides that can accompany you.
The most comfortable way of getting around the city is by taxi. In this list there are phone numbers of the companies which provide this type of service.
São Miguel das Missões is part of the Rota das Missões in Rio Grande do Sul, which covers several towns and tourist attractions. You can hire travel agencies to calculate the entire route or to move between the tourist attractions of São Miguel das Missões.
The area code (DDD) for São Miguel das Missões is 55.
Tourist information:+55 55 3381 1294
City Hall: +55 55 3381 1300
Ambulance: + 55 55 9946 6493
São Miguel: + 55 55 3381 1136Police: 190
The coldest months are June and July and the warmest ones are January and February.
To enter Brazil, vaccination against any type of illness is not mandatory. However, vaccination against yellow fever (a disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes) is recommended before your trip. If you have never taken the vaccine, you need to take it up to 10 days before the trip (this time period is not necessary if you have already been vaccinated).