Take a Drive to Mission San JavierIt would have been easy to stay put and keep on ‘luxuriating’ at the hotel without interruption, but I wanted to discover more of the area outside of Danzante Bay. I had researched and landed on Wild Loreto Tours [link], and after contacting them, we decided on a half day trip to see the Mission San Javier (or if you prefer the full name: Mision San Francisco Javier de Vigge-Biaundo). The drive would take us across part of the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range on a winding road to the Mission San Javier, one of the oldest and best preserved Jesuit missions in the US and Mexico.
It took about an hour to an hour and half to get to San Javier. We stopped along the way to take in the view and–my favorite–to meet an old couple that had moved to the area over twenty years ago, after living in the town of Loreto [link] all their lives. They were kind and so gracious with their time, showing us their ranch, their mules and chickens, their fruit trees, the way they water their land. No question we had was left unanswered. They had created a small, surprisingly self-sufficient oasis in the midst of an otherwise arid desert, where they planned live as long as they could (both are well over 80 years old). We communicated well through our amazing and patient guide, Mario, but next time I come back, I’ll be speaking Spanish ; )
The town of San Javier at the end of the mountain road, is small and picturesque. The mission is of course the high point of visiting here. There isn’t much else to see, except for a few smaller stores and restaurants catering to the sprinkling of travelers that make their way into the mountains. The mission is very well preserved, since it has been protected by the surrounding mountains for hundreds of years. The setting is striking.
Mario filled us in on the history, and reminding us how cool the Jesuits were, and so ahead of their time. It’s hard to believe that we’re still fighting for a fair access to education and healthcare today, as the Jesuits did so long ago! They had their heads and heart in the right place, for sure.
Across from the Mission, on the corner is a restaurant where we had a delicious lunch after seeing the mission. Best of all: they have some ice cold, refreshing beers!
A heartfelt thank you to Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa (Instagram: @villadelpalmarl, Facebook: @https://www.facebook.com/villadelpalmarattheislandsofloreto/) for a fun-filled 3 days, allowing me to discover this gem of a destination – and for Wild Loreto Tours and Mario, for this unforgettable excursion!!