Over a hundred years after silver was discovered in the southern Baja mountains at San Antonio, silver and gold were discovered in a nearby mountain area, soon to be called El Triunfo (The Triumph). The year was 1862, and the fever grew quickly as minors from other parts of Mexico and the United States set up camp to find their fortunes. Many of the miners who missed out on the California gold rush of 1849 came to El Triunfo for a second chance at striking it rich, along with those who had hit pay dirt in California and wanted to try their luck again.

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      By 1865 this once-sleepy cattle ranch became a boom town of approximately ten thousand souls. It was, at the time, the largest settlement in all of southern Baja! After 60 some-odd years of mining, El Triunfo finally closed its operations in 1926. Today, as the Baja traveler visits the area, it seems difficult to picture this quaint collection of brick buildings as anything more than just another quiet Baja village. The buildings that are located right on Baja Highway One are very scenic, but the quiet feel of the area makes it hard to believe that less than 1000 people still call El Triunfo home.

      Today El Truinfo has a school, a market, and a chapel. At the north end Restaurant Pasaditors puts together a decent place and sodas for hungry hombres.

      The tall chimney and surrounding brick buildings just in from the south side of the highway are the remains of the old smelter. The interior ceilings of the smelter buildings are lined with dried smoke remnants several inches thick from the many decades of operation.

      As we enter the new millennium, mining on a very small scale still takes place in El Triunfo, a small reminder of the grand history of this very special Baja town.

      El Triunfo can be reached by taking Baja Highway One south of La Paz approximately 30 miles at km. 163. The highway runs right through town!

      For more information on the area south of El Triunfo check out the BUENA VISTA section of Baja Expo.



      Since it is usually hot in this part of the Peninsula most visitors stop by the small market on the north side of the street to purchase a cold drink. This is one of the few remaining services still open in this once-thriving town.



      El Triunfo is a tourist destination, but you are not likely to see many other people here unless you stay for some length of time. Most Gringos just drive through town on the main highway on their way to Buena Vista, the East Cape and Los Cabos. Don't be a typical tourist...stop and check it out! You'll be glad you did.



      If you have a camera and you like a little adventure you will love El Triunfo. Walking through the abandoned buildings and smelts provides ample opportunity to creatively capture a small piece of Baja history. The tall smokestacks are very photographic, especially with some of the other older brick buildings in the foreground.



      Enjoyed El Triunfo but looking for some refreshing beach action? The spectacular beaches of Punta Pescadero are less than 40 minutes southeast of El Triunfo. Smile at all of the tourists and new residents in Buena Vista and Los Barriles as you secretly take the dirt coastal road 8 miles north of town to one of Baja's best beaches. A stop at the Punta Pescadero Hotel bar for an appetizer and a cold drink (overlooking the Sea of Cortez!) is a must.


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