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Mission: Santo Tomás de Aquino

History and Highlights

Most travelers sail right past Misión Santo Tomás de Aquino in Santo Tomás, 28 miles (45 km) south of Ensenada, without even knowing what they’re missing.  Given that there’s almost nothing left of the mission, it’s all too understandable.

Misión Santo Tomás de Aquino was founded in 1791 and relocated twice during its 58 years of existence, spending the last 50 at the site in the town now called Santo Tomás.  Although the mission was once home to several buildings, including a large church, only a few rumps of adobe remain from those edifices.  One can also view elements of the mission’s aqueduct along the western flank of its grounds.

To the site’s eastern side is a camping and leisure park containing a large swimming pool filled with water from the same spring that gave the Dominicans cause to relocate the mission here in 1799.

Who founded it?

The Dominicans, led by Father José Loriente.

What should I expect to see?

Only a few time-worn adobe mounds and remnants of the mission’s aqueduct mark the location.

When should I go?


Where is it and how do I get there?

Set your GPS coordinates to N 31° 33.51’ W 116° 24.82’.  The mission site is just to the east of the Transpeninsular Highway in the village of Santo Tomás, 28 miles (45 km) south of Ensenada, almost directly opposite the community’s Pemex station.

Why should I go?

The mission grounds make a fine picnic site and with the site’s proximity to the Transpeninsular, it’s a great place to stop for lunch as you make your way up or down the peninsula.


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