Itching to get out on the open road and explore a new area of Baja Sur, we decided to take a day trip to El Triunfo, a small historical mining town about 1 hour northeast of Villa Santa Cruz and Todos Santos. Up in the mountains, the town itself is very quiet and very quaint, but with some surprisingly notable things to see. With only a few restaurants, some mining ruins, and a lovely mission, you need just a few hours to get a good look at El Triunfo.
To begin our afternoon, we first dined at the delicious Caffe El Triunfo for a casual lunch. Serving amazing homemade pizzas, pasta dishes and enormous salads, the Caffe seems to be the center of life in El Triunfo. We enjoyed lounging in the café with iced teas (a nice respite from the heat), watching a steady flow of customers, and chatting with some of the local expats who have made El Triunfo their home. The food is simple, but wonderful, and the homemade bread and sweet treats for sale at the counter are worth the trip on their own.
After lunch, we strolled behind the restaurant to see the remains of the silver and gold mines that were active in El Triunfo from the 1860s to the 1920s (these mines are the reason the town came to be). While most of the structures were crumbling and decrepit, the one beacon that remains is an impressive 35-meter-high smokestack designed by Gustav Eiffel. While it is no Eiffel Tower, it is très magnifique. During the late 1800s, Eiffel traveled throughout Latin America designing a variety of structures and made a stop in El Triunfo – what a wonderful legacy for the town.
Equally as impressive as the Eiffel smokestack, the collection of pianos on display at the El Triunfo Piano Museum is both remarkable and a bit bizarre. The Museum boasts pianos and other instruments from New York, Chicago, Germany, Austria, etc. and are from all different historic time periods. For such a small town like El Triunfo, it is quite unbelievable to see vintage pianos from around the world collected and exhibited in this unlikely location.
After wrapping up our walk through the Piano Museum and wandering through the old Mission, it was time to head home. On the drive out of the hills of El Triunfo and back to the beaches of Todos Santos, we were quite content with our day trip. With a lovely café and noteworthy historical sites, we will definitely recommend this excursion to our Villa Santa Cruz guests.