Exploring the Ruta de Plata in Baja Sur

If you want to get away from Baja Sur’s sand and surf, head up into the mountains and visit the old mining community of El Triunfo.

Located among the peaks of the vast Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, the “Ruta de Plata” (Silver Route) was once one of the world’s most important silver mining regions and the largest town in the entire state. After the decline of the industry in the 1930s, the old town and crumbling mining infrastructure are now a tourist attraction.

With museums that detail the area’s rich history, fabulous cafes and restaurants, and impressive views of the Baja’s entire East Cape territory, it makes for an engaging and educational day trip from both Los Cabos and La Paz. Such day trips are one of the things you will love about La Paz.

Getting There

It’s easier to get to to the Ruta de Plata from La Paz than from Cabo. If you’re setting out from the malecon, it will take you about 50 minutes. Start out as if you were heading to Todos Santos, then swing up into the mountains just past the tiny village of San Pedro. From Cabo airport, the trip will take about one hour and 45 minutes. The route is also much twistier as the road winds its way up through the Sierra, so if you suffer from travel sickness, take a bag!


What to Do in the Ruta de Plata

The centerpiece of the route is the small village of El Triunfo. It feels like a smaller version of Todos Santos, but without the beach. The buildings are predominately constructed out of the region’s iconic red bricks and the old part of the town is comprised of narrow cobbled streets. The entire place has an “Old Mexico” feel about it.

Check out Cynthia’s family having a great time in Triunfo on New Year’s Eve!

Museo Ruta de Plata

The main attraction for most people is the Museo Ruta de Plata. Although not large, the museum is exceptionally well curated, with an significant number of artifacts, video lectures, and interactive activities.

If you’re travelling with kids, make sure you check out the small mine that has been recreated in the back of the main room. Needless to see, the loud bangs and surprise flashes delighted and terrorized Harriet and Luca in equal measure. They came out laughing though, so no harm was done.

Entry to the museum costs $100 MXN/person. You can enter between 10am and 4pm.

The museum is also home to an adjacent restaurant (El Minero de El Triunfo). With freshly cooked paella on an open fire, this is the best place to eat in town if you’re looking for a heartier meal rather than sandwiches and cakes.

If you are traveling with kids, there is plenty to keep them entertained while you eat, including a fountain they can play in and easels for painting.

We also enjoyed snacks at the famous Cafe El Triunfo. They offer great pizzas, fresh bakery produce, and a great terrace with views of the old mining ruins. The place gets really busy around lunchtime, and you will struggle to find a table, so plan accordingly.

The Smokestack

Dominating the skyline on a hill behind the town is the old mine’s famous smokestack. Thought to be designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), it was the recipient of a $200,000 USD grant in the late 2010s after damage from 2014’s Hurricane Odile rendered it unsafe.

The walk up to the tower takes you past an old miners’ graveyard called Panteon Ingles (the English Pantheon) and an assortment of old mining buildings. The path is fairly steep and long, so it might not be suitable if you’ve got a pushchair or elderly people in your group.


Once a year, typically around Easter, the town hosts a massive cultural festival in its main square. It includes locals selling regional handicrafts, endless gastronomical delights, several dances with professionals flying in from Mexico’s many cultural regions, a photograph exhibition, and a piano concert.

Other Museums and Activities

The Museo Ruta de Plata isn’t the only museum in town worth visiting. The small Museo de la Musica is an enjoyable stop if you’re a musician. It features instruments, sheet music, furniture, and decorative objects from the 17th to 19th centuries when the town was at its peak. The region’s music was heavily influenced by the European migrant miners of the era, and this museum tells that story.

Lastly, just outside the town, you will find a cactus sanctuary. The accompanying information is a little lacking, but the walk through the natural fauna is a fun way to spend 30 minutes.

The Drive to La Ventana

Once you’ve seen everything that El Triunfo offers, continue up into the mountains on the road towards Cabo, then turn towards the coast in San Antonio. The views between El Triunfo and San Antonio are some of the finest that the entire Baja has to offer.

When you eventually reach the coast, you’ll find yourself in the small kitesurfing community of La Ventana. It’s situated on a sweeping bay and offers plenty of spots to grab an ice cream or a cocktail. But that’s a story for another time.

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