Considered the jewel of Baja California’s Spanish Mission, Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó (Mission San Javier for short) is the second of a series of Spanish colonial religious outposts stretching from Loreto, Mexico, in Baja California Sur to Solano, Alta California (United States). Today, it is being watched over by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. Visiting the mission was one of the activities offered by Wild Loreto Tours through the resort at which we were staying. The guide offers history of the area as well as the mission as the van travels the winding road past ranches, abandoned structures, orchards, a chapel and scenic overlooks. Depending on recent rainfall, there could be a few water crossings. A few years ago, we visited the first mission in downtown Loreto.
There are plenty of places to read about the history of the Jesuits who founded the missions and how the local population fared. I’ll skip that here. My interest was in the history and architecture that have been preserved for so many centuries.