The part of Argentina we were in is called the missiones region. This comes drop the fact that from 1609, for a century and a half, the Jesuits established missions in remote areas across South America -there are ruins across Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, at the peak there were 30 different missions. They created communities of the indigenous Guarini people. There were benefits for the Guarini as they protect them from the colonial powers and educated them and actually changed only the main culture clashes with Catholicism – polygamy and cannibalism. This period came to an abrupt end in 1767 when Carlos III of Spain banned them fearing they were becoming powerful and did not show loyalty to the crown.
The best preserved of these in Argentina is San Ignacio Mini which is conveniently located in the centre of Pousadas town, there is a small interpretation centre explaining the history from both perspectives. Your admission fee also includes Santa Ana and Loreto, 2 other less preserved missions, they’re worth a visit also, we had both to ourselves an the guards were really friendly and chatted to us about their Guarani heritage and culture. I also loved to see how nature is taking back the ruins. We visited all the missions easily in one day.
You are really close to the border with Paraguay where you can easily take a day trip over to see the Trinidad ruins which are well preserved and in a spectacular location with many carvings still well preserved also, they’re very different and a worthwhile trip over. We had torrential rain and the roads were largely flooded so we didn’t venture any further into Paraguay, or visit the other ruins here which was a shame.