Kino Missions RouteLa Ruta de las Misiones
The Route of the Missions
Sonoran Kino Missions
An alternate route when driving from Magdalena to Altar on your way to Caborca is a pleasant, laid-back trip back in time following the route of the mission churches established by Jesuit Priest Eusebio Francisco Kino.
After driving through the town of Magdalena, at the southern end of town take a right at the stoplight intersection where you see the “Tubutama” sign, and follow the road.
After driving for several miles, in the distance you’ll see La Mision de San Pedro y San Pablo de Tubutama, which is visible miles before you arrive in Tubutama.
The pueblo sits on a mesa overlooking the Altar valley, and the mission and adjoining plaza are the centerpieces of this small community.The mission is the sixth iteration from the original, with this building dating back to 1788.
The mission is known for its ornate baroque plaster designs, and across the street is a tranquil plaza that offers a nice place to rest before continuing your journey. Continuing the drive from Tubutama, the next pueblo on the route is Atil.
The town plaza is about a mile off the highway, just turn south from the highway and it’s straight ahead. Along Atil’s plaza are a mission that was originally constructed in the 1740’s, and a more recently constructed church.
After leaving Atil, drive to the highway and take a left turn on the highway to continue west toward Oquitoa. The drive between Atil and Oquitoa has classic Sonoran desert scenery, with an abundance of saguaro cactus along the way. After driving 19 miles you’ll arrive in the village of Oquitoa.
The Mision de San Antonio de Oquitoa is an interesting and very photogenic locale. Both the church and the monuments in its adjoining graveyard, which range from simple to very elaborate statues, have a rustic beauty.
Continuing on the road from Oquitoa, it is only seven miles to the pueblo of Altar. When you arrive at the intersection with Mexico Highway 15, turn right to drive to Caborca (about 25 minutes) or make a left to go past Trincheras to Santa Ana.