I organized my reconnaissance trip in June 2022 in the wonderful region of Baja California Sur. This region has always attracted me, both for its incredible wildlife and for the opportunity to contemplate vast spaces, between its seas and deserts.

Before these reconnaissance trips, we always try to set up a solid organization to create a very busy schedule, so as to be able to see and discover as much as possible on site. However, I’ve decided to set aside a few free days to remain as flexible as possible, as the unexpected can often lead to wonderful discoveries.

So, when I arrived in La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, my intention was not only to visit the region in depth, but also to meet the locals, local experts and guides to get advice, learn more about the region, its customs and traditions, and find out about THE DESTINATION off the beaten track, unknown to the general public, offering a complete change of scenery. It was at this point that I came across an article by the “El Color de la Memoria” collective, which a guide friend of mine had told me about. This collective collects, through the voices of elders, the many stories, myths and legends that give life to the villages of Baja California Sur. That’s how I came across an article telling the story of La Purisima, a small village hidden in an oasis, lost in the middle of the desert, which struck me as a mirage. I had found a goal for the two days of free time I’d given myself: to discover this village.

After a few hours of driving through breathtaking landscapes in the middle of the desert, the asphalt road turned into a track, and began to wind its way between canyons. After one last bend, I went from arid desert to a magnificent jungle of date palms. I had arrived at La Purisima.

I then discovered the oasis and the impressive view of the canyons and El Pilón peak.

After chatting with a few locals, they invited me to visit Doña Lilia and Don Lalo, who have since retired and run a small bed & breakfast a stone’s throw from the oasis, for the rare travelers who venture into the village. They welcomed me with incomparable kindness and invited me to have dinner with them.

A local guide then accompanied me to show me around the village.

Today, La Purisima has no more than 370 inhabitants. The village was founded after the 1717 visit of a Jesuit mission led by Father Nicolas Tamaral, who, having seen the impressive El Pilón peak surrounded by so much vegetation in the middle of the desert, is said to have seen a sign from God and decided to build the Mission de la Purísima Concepción de Maria Cadegomo there.

He also told me the legend of Charles Blackman, the vampire of La Purisima, who is said to haunt the village cemetery to this day. A fascinating story that seemed to come straight out of a Coppola film.

He introduced me to the natural beauty of the village and surrounding area, where you can enjoy a few hikes between oasis and desert, the natural pools created by the canyon, take a kayak tour in the oasis, or simply contemplate the landscape during a stunning sunset.

At La Purisima, you can also observe local traditions, such as the artisanal production of La Purisme cheese (highly reputed in the region) and leatherwork. Join Doña Lilia and Don Lalo on their ranch, just a few minutes from the oasis.

La Purisima was by far the best moment of my reconnaissance trip, a moment out of time, light years away from mass tourism, in a magical place, in the company of people who offered me a sincere and kind welcome.

Adrien, Terra Maya travel designer