Tumacácori National Historic Park

Lonely Planet review

Three miles south of Tubac, this pink-and-cream edifice shimmers on the desert like a conquistador's dream. In 1691 Father Eusebio Kino and his cohort arrived at the Tumacácori settlement and quickly founded a mission to convert the local Native Americans. However, repeated Apache raids and the harsh winter of 1848 drove the priests out, leaving the complex to crumble for decades. For self-guided tours of the hauntingly beautiful ruins (ask for the free booklet) start at the visitor center, which also has a few exhibits. Skip the 15-minute video and plunge into the cool church alcoves and thorny gravesites. An impressive mass is held here on Christmas Eve.