/  North America   /  United States   /  Arizona   /  
Tumacacori National Historic Park

Tumacacori National Historic Park Travel Guide (2022)

Want to go back in time and visit a nineteenth century Franciscan mission, constructed under the direction of an expert mason of American Indian origin and with the hard work of Spanish workers? Made out of adobe blocks and mortar, and adorned with squashed blocks of that era, San José de Tumacácori was never completely finished, yet stays a striking milestone inside Tumacácori National Historical Park and extremely worthy of your time to explore. Father Kino showed up in Santa Cruz and set up Tumacácori as a mission in January 1691, making it the most ancient mission site in Arizona. Initially known as San Cayetano de Tumacácori, the mission was moved to its current site after the Pima resistance of 1751 and was renamed San José de Tumacácori. The Franciscans started development of the church in 1800, hoping it to imitate the acclaimed Mission San Xavier del Bac, close to Tucson. But troubles with financing stopped the development cycle a few times and the chime tower was never covered with its arch, however the structure was finally finished following after years of hard work and labor and therefore, the Tumacácori National Historical Park is, without any doubt, one of the greatest masterpieces of art in the entire United States.

About Tumacacori National Historic Park:

The Tumacácori National Historical Park is situated in the high valley of the Santa Cruz River, just to the south of the province of Arizona. The recreation center is situated close to the Mexican line, 18 miles north of the city of Nogales and 50 miles south of Tucson. The passage to the recreation center is situated on Interstate Highway No. 19 (exit 29). In the recreation center zone, are the vestiges of three old Spanish Jesuit missions. The recreation center, which covers an area of 45 sections of land, is comprised of three separate parts. Inside the three areas that make up the recreation center’s territory are the Jesuit missions of Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi (1691), San José de Tumacácori (1691), and San Cayetano de Calabazas (1756). The last two missions can be visited through appointment only and it is possible during the fall and cold weather months only. The recreation center’s base camp is situated in Tumacácori. Tumacacori National Historic Park

Image Source

The most wonderful remains are those of the church of San José de Tumacácori, the solitary ones that have been protected in a proper and decent manner. While the remnants of the other two chapels are present in the form of just heaps of stones. The houses of worship were built by the local Indian experts, under the oversight of the Jesuit fathers. The mission was established by the Jesuits in 1691 on the eastern side of the Santa Cruz River. The structure of the current church traces all the way back to the mid-eighteenth century when the place was reconstructed on the western side of the river. Apart from its architecture and structure, the place is also famous for trekking on the Juan Batista de Anza National Historic Trail and also for other activities like bird watching and horseback riding. The path of the trek goes through the recreation center, so it’s an advantageous choice once you get there. Also, as the recreation center is found just 45 miles south of Tucson and 18 miles north of Nogales, there’s a colossal assortment of accommodation choices, from lodgings and inns to hotels, overnight boardinghouses, and upscale retreats. Whichever direction that you follow after exploring the mission, you’ll track down an agreeable spot to rest your head. All this makes the Tumacacori National Historic Park a must visit if you are on a vacation in Arizona. Don’t you agree?

How To Reach The Tumacacori National Historic Park?

Situated in the core of the Sonoran Desert around 50 miles due south of Tucson and 20 miles north of Nogales, Arizona, it is not at all difficult to reach the Tumacacori National Historic Park. You have to take Interstate 19, south from Tucson, 45 miles to the Tumacácori exit. The recreation center is 18 miles north of Nogales. The nearest airport to the historic park is Tucson International Airport which is about 65 miles away from the recreation centre. A lot of rentals are available which take you from the airport to the historic park and it is an easy ride accompanied by amazing views.

How To Reach The Tumacacori National Historic Park?

Image Source

What Is The Most Ideal Time Of The Year To Visit The Tumacacori National Historic Park?

Situated over the heat of the low desert, Tumacácori National Historical Park is in the mesquite highlands, near 3,300 feet in altitude, where temperatures are five to ten degrees cooler than Tucson or Phoenix. Visiting the recreation center in this moderate environment is pleasurable during any period of the year yet make sure to prepare yourself accordingly. Bringing layered dresses and drinking a lot of water are the two most helpful tips to keep in mind while visiting the park. Hefty but brief rainstorms keep happening in southern Arizona during the months of July and August in the evenings. Therefore, be ready for such a type of climate if you are planning to visit during the spring time of the year. The winters are generally cold and bring little bit of snow with them during the peak months of December and January. So, for that time too, brace yourself accordingly.

What Are Some Of The Activities To Do Inside The Tumacacori National Historic Park?

The Park offers an assortment of activities to do inside its premises. They are:

  • Exploring the Visitor Center: An exhibition hall and a book shop are available for visit inside the Visitor Center. A show also takes place inside it which incorporates lifelike models called, the “santos” from the Franciscan mission and other data and items identified with the Kino missions, the Spanish colonialists, and the Native Americans. A 14-minute video introduction of Native American and Spanish culture is also shown here.
  • Taking a full guided tour: Atleast two officer guided tours are given every day during the months of January and April, at 11 am and 2 pm. Living history exhibits portraying life during the hour of the Franciscan missionaries are accessible by advance request. Local inhabitants exhibiting customary artworks like tortilla making, paper blossom making and bin weaving are on the grounds every day throughout the cold weather months.
  • Tour the adjoining Church: In January, February and March, on full moon nights, the recreation center offers a visit of the church and the river, given the night is clear. You have to contact the recreation center for dates and subtleties.
  • Attend the Tumacacori Fiesta: Every December the two-day Fiesta at Tumacácori is held on the grounds and incorporates conventional artists, melodic gatherings and art demonstrators. Pima, Tohono O’odham, Yaqui and Apache societies are highlighted, as well as Mexican and Anglo-American culture. Around 5,000 individuals go to this multi day occasion held during the first full weekend of December and the event is absolutely free of charge.
  • Hike the Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail: The Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail runs just to the north of the recreation center, along the Santa Cruz River, among Tumacácori and the old presidio at Tubac.
  • Attend the annual High Mass: A customary High Mass is organized yearly in the mission church but can be attended only through reservations. Be set up to stand up for 60 minutes because the service is commended similarly as it would have been when it actually started. Period style dress is empowered.

What Are Some Of The Comfortable Hotels To Stay Around The Tumacacori National Historic Park?

They are:

  • Casa Paloma B&B: The Casa Paloma B&B is situated in Tumacacori. Karin Newby Gallery, Sculpture Garden and Tubac Center of the Arts are its main social features, while Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is an eminent landmark. This sans smoke bed and breakfast includes a wellness gym, espresso/tea machine, and a microwave inside every room. Free breakfast, free WiFi inside its premises and free self parking are its additional features. Some rooms even comprise of a mini fridge, a personal office, and a PC station whereas some of the other facilities accessible to visitors incorporate coolers, Egyptian cotton sheets, and espresso makers.
  • Cozy Casita at the Ranch: This ranch stay is situated in Tumacacori. Tubac Presidio State Historic Park and Mission San Cayetano de Calabazas are nearby tourist spots, and a portion of the zone’s exercises can be competent at Tubac Center of the Arts and Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. The rooms have a large bed and little restrooms with single shower. For the guests, the rooms likewise incorporate a mini refrigerator, microwave and an espresso producer. This zone has a private porch with seating for two, which is an extraordinary spot to appreciate the wonderful nightfalls, untamed life and maybe a glass of wine.

FAQ’s For Tourists Planning To Visit The Tumacacori National Historic Park

Q1. What Are Some Of The Popular Restaurants Around The Tumacacori National Historic Park?

Ans: Italian Peasant and Shelby’s Bistro are some of the popular restaurants that serve amazing food here.

Q2. What Are Some Of The Places To Visit Around The Tumacacori National Historic Park?

Ans: Patagonia Lake State Park and Escape Rooms are some of the places to visit around Tumacacori National Historic Park.

Q3. What Are Some Of The Hotels Near The Tumacacori National Historic Park?

Ans: Get Away to the Ranch and Casa Paloma are some of the hotels near the Tumacacori National Historic Park.

Where do you want to go?

Get a Quote