The 11 Best Things to Do in El Triunfo, Baja California Sur (2024)

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One of my favorite parts of traveling often is coming upon new places I never intended to visit but find a special fondness for. One such place is the tiny town of El Triunfo on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula; it is home to just over 300 people, but the town’s history and heritage are fascinating and well worth a visit.

I visited El Triunfo briefly during my first trip to Baja California Sur in late 2018; it was only when browsing back through my photos in early 2023 (after my UnCruise in Baja) that I realized what a special place this is and wanted to share top-notch resources for my fellow travelers –and also inspire my own return visit.

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If you’ve discovered El Triunfo for yourself and know it’s a must-visit during your trip to Baja California Sur, this post will share all of the top things to do in El Triunfo –from a surprising number of museums to a deep dive into mining history (quite literally!). Oh, and a particularly unusual story about a clairvoyant little girl, too… Read on to discover all the best things to do in El Triunfo.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Pericú peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to exploreNative Land.

Table of Contents

1. Museo Ruta de la Plata

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If there’s one spot you must visit in El Triunfo, it’s the Museo Ruta de la Plata, the Silver Route Museum. This mining museum opened in 2017 and has become a focal point for visitors who want to learn more about El Triunfo, its mining history, and the mining history of Baja California Sur as a whole.

The museum includes a video introduction, exhibits about the significant locations along BCS’ “Ruta de Plata” (including El Triunfo), shares oral history videos of residents who remember mining operations in the region, and has a simulated mine entrance where you can get a sense of what the work of mining was actually like.

Admission to the museum is 100 pesos (about US$5) per person and it’s open daily except Tuesdays.

All this museum will do is whet your appetite to explore more –you can visit the nearby chimneys and smelting ruins, or climb up to the primary mine entrance. But I’m getting ahead of myself, as you’ll learn about each of these below.

2. Chimenea La Ramona

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As you approach El Triunfo –from the north (La Paz) or the south (Los Cabos) –,you can’t miss it: a towering chimney casts a long shadow over town. This is Chimnea La Ramona, named for Saint Raymond, on whose feast day in the 1890s construction was completed by El Progreso Mining Company.

After 130 years, La Ramona shows little signs of the passage of time, in part because of major restoration work carried out in 2018 (just before my visit!). Perhaps surprisingly, Christy Walton of Wal-Mart fortune helped lead the funding efforts to restore La Ramona as a site of cultural, historical, and tourism importance.

You can enter the historic site and ruins around La Ramona, where smelting and other mining operations took place, and walk all the way around the smokestack.

3. Chimenea La Julia

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La Ramona is not the only chimney in El Triunfo, as you’ll notice coming into town. There’s also Chimenea La Julia, a smaller, square smokestack nearby, which was built in the 1860s after the boom times came to town. This one was used for different mining operations, as part of the smelting and crushing facilities of the El Triunfo Silver Mining & Commercial Company.

La Julia is a popular photo spot and you can see other mining relics in the area when walking around the site.

4. Mina El Túnel de las Almas

Another essential stop for mining history enthusiasts, Mina El Túnel de las Almas is the entrance to the old El Triunfo gold mine. It’s an informal operation today –you walk up and call the phone number if nobody is present. If someone can give you a tour, they come open the gate and teach you about the history of the mine before leading you into the mine shaft a short distance.

The most recent info I could find suggests the tour costs 80 pesos per person with a 4-person minimum; my guess is that as long as you’re willing to pay for all four people, group size is less important (especially if you remember to tip on top of that!).

5. Los Tres Panteónes del Triunfo

I’m making up titles here, but this header reads “the three cemeteries of El Triunfo,” as they illustrate an important part of life in a mining town: racial segregation. In death, as in life, the different ethnic groups who helped El Triunfo’s mine succeed are segregated and treated with varying levels of resect.

As part of walking up to the mine entrance, you’ll pass the Panteón Ingles; this is the English cemetery in town. You’ll notice beautiful white tombs, well-kept and well-protected.

You can also visit the Panteón Municipal (the Mexican cemetery, more on that below) and the Panteón Chino, where Chinese mine workers were laid to rest. Each of these cemeteries is noticeably more humble, with some of the tombs in the Chinese cemetery showing evidence of vandalism and very poor care.

All three cemeteries are open to the public.

6. El Mirador Viewpoint

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Beyond Mina El Túnel de las Almas, you can walk up to the El Mirador, a lookout over all of El Triunfo as it stands today. You’ll be surrounded by ruins of her former glory days, but can get a sense of just how impressive this town might have been when it filled the valley with homes, buildings, and businesses.

Reviews of the hike say it’s easy, though close-toed shoes are always a good idea. (My Baja packing list advises this too, as I wore my Chacos and it can be quite dangerous for exposed feet in the desert!)

7. Tumba de la Niña Vidente del Triunfo

For another type of “seeing,” you may want to visit la Tumba de la Niña Vidente del Triunfo –the tomb of the “seer” girl of El Triunfo. Born in 1934, Winter Yrenea Ojeda Rouyer developed quickly with what appeared to be a supernatural ability to predict the future, among other powers. (There was a book about her, “La Niña Vidente del Triunfo” by Gamaliel Valle Hamburgo.) Confusingly, her tomb has a sign saying she died in 1940, but some sources say she lived to old age. (Guess I need to read the book!)

In any case, her tomb is here in the town where she was born, in the Panteón Municipal. People leave toys and light candles for her.

8. Museo del Vaquero de las Californias

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Natives, miners, and missionaries weren’t the only ones in El Triunfo throughout time: like any good Wild Western destination, there were cowboys too. Ranching work dates back some 300 years in Baja California, so there’s lots of history to learn.

The Museo del Vaquero de las Californias – the Cowboy Museum of the Californias – celebrates these characters in the Californias: Baja and Alta (the U.S. state of California), with a specific focus on cowboys in Baja California Sur. The museum is bilingual and has multimedia exhibits that introduce you to the founding vaquero families of the region, and how their traditions have been shaped by –and shaped in return –life in BCS.

Admission for visitors is 100 pesos (US$5) with a discount for locals (75 pesos) as well as seniors and students (60 pesos).

9. Museo de la Musica

Last but certainly not least, El Triunfo is home to another museum, the Museo de la Musica or Music Museum. As mentioned in my guide to visiting El Triunfo, the city’s boom period brought a lot of culture to the area, including many musical instruments – some of which are preserved at the museum.

This free museum is housed in a 19th-century building known as “La Vieja Casona” (The Old Big House) and includes exhibits of musical instruments, sheet music, and stories of the people who owned and practiced on them. It’s only open Wednesday through Saturday each week.

10. Margery’s Tea Room

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If you learn about the history of El Triunfo (which I share in my main travel guide for this small town), the town was once a cultural center during its “boom” days of the gold and silver rush in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Like the Music Museum, Margery’s Tea Room captures another slice of that culture and brings it into the present – in this case, one you can live in. They don’t offer tea seatings daily (usually just on weekends and some special occasions); keep an eye on their Facebook page to see if it overlaps with your trip –then don one of the hats they provide, sip with your pinky up, and imagine a time 100+ years ago when miner’s wives met in these rooms and drank tea from this china while enjoying the high life in El Triunfo.

11. Cactus Sanctuary

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If you need one more thing to do in El Triunfo, I’ve got you! About 15 minutes outside of town in El Otro Arroyo (the other arroyo), you’ll discover the Cactus Sanctuary.

There’s about a mile of trails weaving among the trees and cacti in this quite natural botanical garden, and a local guide will teach you about each one during your visit. (There does seem to be an admission charge, though the last price I can find online was 50 pesos and it might cost more now.)

As a bonus, you can also find the hacienda of Don Manuel de Ocio, who established the first mine in El Triunfo, out near the cactus sanctuary.

Excited about your visit to Baja California Sur and all the things to do in El Triunfo? Let me know any questions you have about these experiences in the comments below.

The 11 Best Things to Do in El Triunfo, Baja California Sur (2024)


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