History and Highlights
Misión Santiago el Apostól Aiñiní was founded by Father Ignacio María Nápoli in 1724 as the Jesuits sought to extend their foothold in Baja Sur beyond La Paz.
Its history could be described as turbulent and uninspiring. As at the other southern missions, the challenges posed by persistent waves of disease that ravaged every Baja mission were compounded by aggressive attacks by Pericú Indians. In 1734, the Pericú burned the mission, its contents and its priest. The six decades that followed saw repeated efforts to rebuild the mission thwarted by the same ills, leading to its abandonment in 1795.
Today, Santiago is a tidy town with a stately twentieth-century church built on what is believed to be the mission’s final location. Even if there are no verifiable ruins of the original mission to be found, the church and town make for a great outing.
Who founded it?
The Jesuits, led by Father Ignacio María Nápoli.
What should I expect to see?
A stately modern church marks the mission’s final location.
When should I go?
Where is it and how do I get there?
Set your GPS coordinates to N 23° 28.54’ W 109° 43.04’. The main access road for Santiago heads west from the Transpeninsular Highway 26 miles (42 km) north of the junction at Los Cabos International Airport. Follow this road to the town square, then turn left at its far side and contine to the end of the road. The church is on the left at the corner.
Why should I go?
Both Santiago and its parish church are delightful places to visit.