The following day we took a full day excursion to the ruins of Jesuits’ mission, some 240 km south of Puerto Iguazu. On the way to the ruins we visited a precious stone mine called Wanda, believe it or not, named after Polish princess Wanda from the 10th century Polish legend. It is still a mystery to me why and who named the mine Wanda but so be it. Nice touch. A part of the explanation is that there had been a great influx of Poles immigrating here in the early part of 20th century. In fact there are still fairly large communities of Poles, Ukrainians, Germans and Russians that live here. We are talking 3rd and 4th generation. We were told that in October each year there is a Festival of Immigrants here in Missiones which we thought would be nice to visit in the future.
Anyway, back to the subject. The mine was ok, just a little place but nice stones and related products and souvenirs. Jewelery most of all.
The ruins on the other hand were impressive. There are a lot of remains of the church and surrounding buildings which Jesuits built themselves and with the help of the local indigenous people called Guarani. The mission was built in the latter part of 17th century and ran until in 18th century the Jesuits were kicked out of South America. For more on that issue watch the movie Mission with Robert de Niro which also shows a great deal of the Iguazu Falls.
It was a long day of driving altogether but nice sightseeing.