Todos Santos Todos Santos is approximately 50 miles north of Cabo San Lucas on highway 19 (South Baja map). This is a beautiful one-hour drive through the mountains and along the ruggedly beautiful Pacific coast. This small town has a history dating back to the early 1700s and was originally the location of a Jesuit mission and plantations that produced sugar cane and mangos. At one time this area supported eight sugar mills. Today Todos Santos is known for being somewhat of an artists colony with several shops featuring the work of local artists. Todos Santos is also known for the quality of the local fresh fruits and vegetables, hand made furniture and some good surfing nearby. Todos Santos is a nice stop on a one-day tour of the southern tip of Baja California Sur. Browsing the colorful shops and lunch at one of the outstanding restaurants will prove to be time well spent. La Paz La Paz is located on the Sea of Cortez, 100 miles north of Cabo San Lucas and is the capital of the state of Baja California Sur. La Paz, originally a pirate's haven is the states largest city. Italian missionaries built a church in La Paz over 500 years ago. A trip to La Paz is a full day excursion which should include shopping, just strolling along the malecon and lunch on the beach or in one of the many seaside restaurants. You may want to plan an extra night into your itinerary just to enjoy one of the famous La Paz sunsets, which can be some of the most picturesque seen anywhere. The beaches north of La Paz include some incredible coves where you will easily put the rigors of reality far behind you. Carnival in La Paz, held on the six days before Ash Wednesday, is one giant party with colorful parades, street dancing, carnival rides, entertainment, games and a great family atmosphere. Miraflores Miraflores is a quaint little town approximately 25 miles north of San Jose del Cabo. This town is several hundred years old. Miraflores is known in the area for the quality of the local leather products and the natural Hot Springs located just outside of town. The Miraflores area also produces some of the most incredible sweet basil to ever come out of mother earth. This is a quiet, relaxing drive and a great way to spend that extra 1/2 day by taking in a bit of the local history and enjoying the unusually lush surroundings. The combination of a trip to Miraflores and then proceeding on to Santiago for lunch makes for an enjoyable and relaxing getaway. Santiago Santiago is a small down-to-earth town approximately 35 miles north of San Jose del Cabo and just 1 1/2 miles north of the Tropic of Cancer. Santiago dates back to 1723 when an Italian padre built a mission there. The area is known for farming, fruit orchards and a small zoo, the only one in Southern Baja. There is also a small, very rustic, museum (open ??) containing colonial artifacts and local fossils. There are many working farms and ranches in the area, so do not be too surprised if you see some real cowboys in this area. This area offers the option of great day hikes into the mountains. Buena Vista - Los Barriles Excellent sport fishing, windsurfing and the tranquility of the beaches have made this area of the East Cape famous. Development is creeping in, but at the normal Baja pace...SLOW. Several resort hotels line the shore of the Sea of Cortez offering those who prefer a more secluded vacation a comfortable alternative to Los Cabos. There are some interesting side trips to be made (nearby cave paintings and hikes up into the Sierra de La Laguna mountains), some of which need the services of a local guide. To the north of Los Barriles, along a sometimes treacherous road you will discover some incredible beaches and a couple of "very remote" beach resorts. Los Barriles is a great lunch or early dinner stop if you are on a day trip from Los Cabos. 45 miles north of San Jose del Cabo. San Bartolo San Bartolo is a scenic tropical village, complete with thatched roof homes, 10 miles north of Los Barriles as you begin your climb into the hills. This is a great place to stop and buy mangos, avocados, locally made candies and some of the most incredible of the local treats, fruit filled empanadas. A large, spring fed, arroyo runs along the base of the valley, and provides this pleasant town with a bountiful fresh water supply. San Antonio San Antonio, a mining town in times past, is 18 miles north of San Bartolo. Silver was discovered here in 1748. San Antonio served briefly as the capital of South Baja in 1829 when Loreto was destroyed by a hurricane. It is hard to believe that this small town once had a population of 10,000. The unusual church, many old buildings and the remains of the exhausted mines make San Antonio an ideal "out of the ordinary" photo stop. The large smoke stack from one of the abandoned mines, which is dated 1890, dominates the town skyline. El Triunfo Another small mining town 4 1/2 miles north, El Triunfo is still home to some small scale miners who work the local mountains. Gold and silver were first discovered here in 1862. A hurricane in flooded all of the local mines and the area was soon after left almost deserted. There is talk of some larger mining operations returning to El Triunfo. The local economy is now almost totally based around the basket weaving co-op which sells the local fare in a couple of small shops. Take a look, if you can find them open, they have some very nice merchandise. A few of the town's old buildings, have been, or are in the process of being, restored. From El Triunfo you need to make a decision on weather to continue on or head back to Los Cabos. After you leave El Triunfo you can continue on another 12 miles where you will meet the Junction with Highway 19. From here you can continue straight to La Paz or head south to Todos Santos and back to Cabo San Lucas.